Friday, September 14, 2018

1) West Papua Catholics demand their bishop's removal

2) Enembe plans to review autonomy funds distribution

1) West Papua Catholics demand their bishop's removal
Inaction by Bishop Hilarion Datus Lega allowed dispute between two priests become an ethnic feud, protesters say

Catholics in Manokwari-Sorong diocese, West Papua province, stage a rally in Sorong on Sept. 12 against Bishop Hilarion Datus Lega, who they say is no longer able to lead the diocese. (Photo supplied by Frans Michael)

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta  Indonesia  September 14, 2018

Angry Catholics in Indonesia's West Papua province are calling for their "foreign" bishop to quit and be replaced by a native-born Papuan priest.

The anger allegedly stems from a dispute between two priests that turned into an ethnic feud, which the diocese does not seem willing to confirm.

Hundreds of Catholics took to the streets of Sorong in Manokwari-Sorong diocese on Sept. 12, to demand the resignation of Bishop Hilarion Datus Lega who they accused of being arrogant, discriminatory and unable to solve problems affecting the diocese.

Diocesan officials, however, denied the accusations, saying everything was fine.

In a statement read out during the rally, Flores-born Bishop Datus Lega was also accused of not respecting indigenous Papuan priests.

"He is not a good and right leader of Catholics. He is not a true shepherd according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church," the statement said.

One of the protesters, Alosius Siep, said the bishop should be replaced by a Papuan-born cleric.

"We have a lot of qualified priests to replace him," Papua-based news portal quoted him as saying.

Some 250 police were deployed to monitor the protest, which passed off peacefully.

In a statement received by, several priests in the diocese defended Bishop Lega, saying there were no problems between the bishop and his priests and that the protesters were small in number.

 "[They are] a small group of people who are only acting on behalf of themselves," the priests said in the statement signed by the vicar-general, Father Lewi Bori.

The priests also called on other Catholics in the diocese to remain united and not be easily provoked.

"Let us not let ourselves be consumed by false information and spread false rumors," they said.

However, a lay Catholic in the diocese who asked for anonymity, told that the Sorong rally was biggest yet after several similar protests were staged in recent weeks.

He said the problems began in April when diocesan treasurer Father Rudy Renyaan — a Papuan — threatened to kill Father Paul Tan an ethnic Chinese priest over a financial dispute.


2) Enembe plans to review autonomy funds distribution

Published 22 hours ago on 14 September 2018 By admin

Jakarta, Jubi – Governor Lukas Enembe said he would evaluate the distributions of Special Autonomy funds allocated for districts and municipality in Papua. Before, the 80 per cent of funds were allocated for districts and municipality, while the remaining 20 per cent was for the provincial government.
“We will recalculate the distribution of autonomy funds and implement what it has been best decided,” the governor told reporters on Wednesday (5/9/2018) in Jakarta.

Regarding the number of funds allocated, he said the provincial government could not yet determine the portions for each district and municipality because it would decide through a thorough study.
“We shouldn’t talk irresponsibly, because it needs the more in-depth study to decide. The distribution of the autonomy funds must not cause problems in the future, and it should be agreed by all regional governments,” he said.
Moreover, the governor said the Papua Provincial Government need to allocate a large portion of its provincial budget for the realization of the National Sports Event 2020. In addition, the handover of high school management from the regional governments to the provincial government also need a lot of funds. (*)
Reporter: Alex Loen
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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