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Jakarta Archbishop urges Catholics to vote for the Common Good

Cardinal Darmaatmadja of Jakarta has published a small booklet containing guidelines for Catholics to enable them better understand the electoral process that will culminate in today's vote for the Indonesian presidency.

This morning's Sydney Morning Herald reports that Indonesians are set to abandon President Megawati Soekarnoputri (pictured) in favour of a former general who served as her Security Minister, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, when more than half a million polling booths open at 7:00 am local time to cater for 153 million eligible voters.

The Indonesian Church has expressed no preference for any of the five candidates running and has remained politically neutral. Contrary to Protestants, who have founded their own confessional party, there is no Catholic party. For some missionaries in Jakarta this is evidence of the Indonesian Church choosing prudence and discretion.

The Archbishop of Jakarta Cardinal Darmaatmadja has published a booklet offering some practical advice about the voting process and giving certain guidelines as to how Catholics can judge candidates. The booklet can help Catholics choose the candidate who is closest to the social teachings of the Church.

Cardinal Darmaatmadja, a Jesuit, also issued a pastoral letter in May in which he said voters should choose presidential candidates with strong commitments to fighting poverty and creating jobs.

"We have to choose leaders who commit themselves to reducing the number of poor people, curbing public deception through good education and reducing the number of jobless people by creating employment opportunities," he said, "Your Choice is Very Decisive".

Archbishop of Jakarta: "Catholics! Vote for Those Who Serve the Common Good" ( 3/7/04)

Megawati's defeat all but certain in today's poll (Sydney Morning Herald 5/7/04)
Presidential Election: Retired Generals in Pole Position ( 4/7/04)
Five Candidates Running in the Presidential Elections (Profile) ( 4/7/04)
Presidential Candidates: Many Gifts, Many Votes ( 3/7/04)
Australia, Indonesia fight religious mistrust (ABC 3/7/04)
Downer meets Indonesian religious leaders (ABC 1/7/04)
Jakarta Cardinal says choose president with clear programs (CathNews 12/5/04)

5 Jul 2004