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Pope Francis will travel to Indonesia this September

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Credit: Rome Reports

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will travel to Indonesia from 3-6 September this year.

The tour is part of a broader regional trip to Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste lasting about 10 days.

The Archbishop of Jakarta, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoamodjo, and the president of the Indonesian Catholic Bishops’ Conference confirmed the reports that have been circulating for weeks.

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The trip to the country’s capital city of Jakarta had originally been planned for 2022 when the outgoing president invited the pope. But the visit was postponed due to COVID restrictions.

The announcement has created excitement among the Catholic population in Indonesia which has the largest number of Muslims in the world with more than 242 million.

Catholics make up 8.5 million or only 3 per cent of the country’s population. But one of the country’s cardinals said the groups work to keep an atmosphere of peace.

“The national mosque, called Istiqlal, meaning liberty, or freedom, lies just in front of the Catholic cathedral in Jakarta,” explained Cardinal Hardjoamodjo.

“The national mosque was intentionally built at this site as a symbol of harmony.”

Indonesia and the Vatican have had good diplomatic relations since 1947. This will be the third time a pope has visited the country.

First was Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of his last international trips and in 1989, Pope John Paul II was the second papal visit.

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