Holy See–Indonesia relations

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Holy See–Indonesia relations
Map indicating locations of Holy See and Indonesia

Holy See


The Holy See–Indonesia relations is important as part of global interfaith dialogue since Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim majority population,[1] and Indonesia recognize Roman Catholicism as one of its six approved religions. The Holy See has a nunciature in Jakarta,[2] while Indonesia has an embassy in Rome.[3]


There have been relations between the Holy See and Indonesia since the era of the Majapahit empire. Between 1318–1330 CE, Mattiussi, a Franciscan friar, visited several places in today's Indonesia: Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. He was sent by the Pope to launch a mission into the lands of Mongols in the Asian interior.[4] In his report he described the marvellous palace of the Javanese King and the war with the Great Khan of China. It was the court of Majapahit king Jayanegara in Trowulan that was visited by Mattiussi.[5]

During the colonial era of the Dutch East Indies, some parts of Indonesia, such as Flores, were known as Catholic majority areas. During colonial times, most Europeans residing in the Dutch East Indies were Protestants; however the teachings of the Catholic church began to develop there in the 19th century. The Holy See recognized the Republic of Indonesia on 6 July 1947 and established an Apostolic delegate in the country. Official relations between the Republic of Indonesia and Holy See was established in 1950 with the status of Apostolic Internunciatur.[6] In December 1965, the status changed to Nunciatur Apostolic.

There have been two papal visits to Indonesia: those of Pope Paul VI in December 1970,[7] and of Pope John Paul II in October 1989.[8] They both paid a courtesy visit to President Suharto. During his visit Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass and addressed a crowd of 130,000 Indonesian Catholics congregated in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.[9] Since September 2017 the Apostolic Nuncio of Holy See to Indonesia is assigned to Archbishop Piero Pioppo.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Margareth S. Aritonang and Ina Parlina (March 15, 2013). "Indonesian Muslims seek better ties with new pope". thejakartapost.com. The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Indonesia (nunciature)". Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Embassy of Republic of Indonesia to the Holy See". indonesiavatican.it. Embassy of Republic of Indonesia to the Holy See. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  4. ^ Habig ofm ed., Marion, "Blessed Odoric Matiussi of Pordenone", The Franciscan Book of Saints, Franciscan Herald Press, 1959
  5. ^ "Ritual Networks and Royal Power in Majapahit Java, page:100". Persee. 1996. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  6. ^ "Vatican Indonesia' relations". catholicherald.co.uk. Catholic Herald. 10 March 1950. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Address of the Holy Father Paul VI to the President of the Republic of Indonesia - Djakarta, Indonesia Thursday, 3 December 1970". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013.
  8. ^ Haberman, Clyde (October 10, 1989). "Pope, on Delicate Ground, Visits Indonesia". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  9. ^ Pope John Paul II (1989). "Holy Mass in the Stadium of "Istora Senayan" in Jakarta, Indonesia". catholicnewsagency.com. Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Archbishop Piero Pioppo". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 14 June 2018.

External links[edit]