Bali Bishop in Adelaide for terror remembrance
Archbishop Philip Wilson and the Catholic Bishop of Denpasar, Benyamin Bria, yesterday reflected on the Bali terrorist attacks which have affected - and united - their communities.
The Advertiser reports that the bishops met in 1990, when they studied canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. They have kept in touch and shared the grief of their parishioners since the bomb blasts that killed 202 people in 2002.
In Adelaide to lead church services marking the third anniversary of those attacks, Bishop Bria's focus remained on friendship.
"I hope that we are still friends," he said of Australians and Balinese. "Most Indonesians are still good... and I want to make sure that we are still your friends and you are still our friends.
"And don't be afraid to come to Bali."
Bishop Bria will lead an interfaith service at St Francis Xavier Cathedral at 7:00 pm today, and preside at a memorial Catholic mass at 6:00 pm tomorrow.
About 3% of Indonesians are Catholics. There are 21 parishes in the Denpasar diocese and more than 30,000 Catholics on the island, which is predominantly Hindu.
Bishop Bria said Bali depends on tourism, and he understands that many people are now afraid to go there.
But he has been heartened by news reports the day after this month's attacks showing Australians refusing to cancel holidays.
"We, as religious leaders, have urged the Government to promote security and to assure the people that the country is secure and safe," he said.
Archbishop Wilson said he had invited Bishop Bria to Adelaide because of the "deep bond" between their people.
"Since the first Bali bombing we've been in constant contact with each other, offering our prayers jointly for our two peoples who have been affected by this," he said.
"We stand here together as two bishops of the Catholic Church from two different countries, united in our prayers."
Bishops united against terror (The Advertiser 11/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Adelaide | Bali bishop to lead Australia's bombing anniversary services in Adelaide (Catholic Communications Adelaide 10/10/05)
Bali bishop calls for month of prayer (CathNews 6/10/05)
Archbishop Carroll extends prayers, sympathy to Bali victims (CathNews 5/10/05)
Diocese mourning Bali bomb victims (CathNews 4/10/05)
Melbourne archbishop says don"t let Bali anguish breed hate (CathNews 13/10/03)
Bali anniversary focus on anti-terrorism education (CathNews 10/10/03)
Australians honour Bali bomb victims (CathNews 21/10/02)
Bishops reunite for Bali bombings anniversary (The Southern Cross, October 2005)
Bali victim's body returned to Australia (ABC South West WA 10/10/05)
Church support for Bali blast victims, families (Catholic Weekly 9/10/05)
Maintain the rage on Bali, says PM (The Australian/Australian Associated Press 10/10/05)
Bishop urges boost for island protection (The Australian 11/10/05)
Students mourn Bali victims (Courier-Mail/Australian Associated Press 10/10/05)
11 Oct 2005