Bishops to Publish an Election Guide for Corruption-Plagued Indonesia

"I Wish to Enlighten My Community," Says Cardinal Darmaatmadja

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JAKARTA, Indonesia, NOV. 17, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Noting the increase of corruption in Indonesia, the Catholic bishops' conference plans to publish a series of guidelines to help Catholics in their electoral choices next year.



At the conclusion of the bishops' assembly Friday, Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, president of the episcopate, said that Catholics in the country have a great responsibility in the election of a "clean" government.

"Our country has very serious problems caused by greed and corruption," he said, according to AsiaNews.it. Thus, it is necessary "to stop this behavior and fight against ambition," the cardinal said.

Cardinal Darmaatmadja, archbishop of Jakarta, said that the Church in Indonesia will soon publish a guide that will recommend the election of candidates known for their integrity and support of social justice.

"I do not wish to meddle in the political freedom of Catholics (...) but as someone with responsibility, I wish to promote a unitary view," the cardinal said.

The "Guide for the Elections" will include an analyses of the fundamental problems of the country in areas such as politics, the economy, external debt and deforestation.

The primary reason for the guide, however, is the increase in corruption, nepotism and perversion of justice.

"The people who hold power also have the money in their hands, while the poor people die on the streets," Cardinal Darmaatmadja said. "I wish to enlighten my community on the way to exercise their right to vote."

Long listed among the most corrupt countries, Indonesia is preparing for parliamentary elections on April 5, and presidential elections next June or September.

Corruption is also a concern of the Muslims. One month ago, two major Muslim organizations -- the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah -- launched a national campaign against this phenomenon. Cardinal Darmaatmadja praised the initiative and appealed to Catholics to support it.