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Indonesia's Catholic politicians called to inspire political struggle


Catholic scholars and public figures in Indonesia have urged Catholic politicians to inspire a "political struggle for national interest with Christian values".

Catholic politicians should join existing political parties, even those based on a religion other than Catholic, instead of setting up their own Catholic party, according to various speakers of a seminar earlier this month in Jakarta.

The seminar, titled Is it necessary for Catholics to have their own political party?, was organised by the Centre for Community Studies and Education.

Speaking to some 200 Catholic politicians and scholars, Jesuit Fr Franz Magnis-Suseno said Catholics must bring Christian values into their political struggle, but not necessarily through their own Catholic party.

"Our presence in other parties would be much more valuable for Catholicism than forming our own Catholic party," he stated, adding that "as members of society, we need to fight for the whole country's common interest."

LINKS
Franz Magnis-Suseno, SJ: Religious Freedom in Indonesia: Situation and Prospects
Father Franz Magnis-Suseno, Jesuit theologian: "I can see a pattern behind the religious clashes..." (Real Audio/BBC)

SOURCE
CRTN


22 Mar 2002