22 Agustus 2007

Civil Responsibility of Catholics

By: Father John Flynn

ROME, JAN. 14, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Christians have a right to make their voices heard on political and civil issues. This was one of the points made by Benedict XVI in his address to the Roman Curia on Dec. 22. After commenting on why the Church is opposed to legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, the Pope defended the right of the faithful, and the Church itself, to speak out on this issue.

"If we tell ourselves that the Church ought not to interfere in such matters, we cannot but answer: Are we not concerned with the human being?" the Holy Father stated. It is our duty, he explained, to defend the human person.
This is sorely needed in contemporary society, the Pontiff explained earlier in his address. "The modern spirit has lost its bearings," he noted, and this means that many people are unsure of what norms to transmit to their children. In fact, in many cases we no longer know how to use our freedom correctly, or what is morally right or wrong.

"The great problem of the West is forgetfulness of God," the Pope commented, and this forgetfulness is spreading.
Just three days later the Pope returned to this theme, in his message before giving his blessing "urbi et orbi" on Christmas Day. "Despite humanity's many advances, man has always been the same: a freedom poised between good and evil, between life and death."

In the modern age our need for faith is greater than ever, given the complexity of the issues being face. The message the Church offers does not diminish our humanity, however, the Pope was quick to point out. "In truth, Christ comes to destroy only evil, only sin; everything else, all the rest, he elevates and perfects."

Faith in the public arena
There is, nevertheless, opposition to religion playing any role in public debates, Benedict XVI said. In his Dec. 9 speech to the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists the Pope examined the concept of "secularity."

The term, he explained, originally described the status of the lay Christian who did not belong to the clergy. In modern times, however, "it has come to mean the exclusion of religion and its symbols from public life by confining them to the private sphere and to the individual conscience."

This understanding of secularity conceives the separation of Church and state as meaning that the former is not entitled in any way to intervene in matters concerning the life and conduct of citizens, the Pope explained. Moreover, it also demands that all religious symbols be excluded from public places.

Faced with this challenge Benedict XVI told his listeners that it is the task of Christians to formulate an alternative concept of secularity "which, on the one hand, acknowledges the place that is due to God and his moral law, to Christ and to his Church in human life, both individual and social; and on the other, affirms and respects the 'rightful autonomy of earthly affairs,'" as defined by the Second Vatican Council constitution "Gaudium et Spes," (No. 36).

As the Vatican II document made clear, a "healthy secularity" means autonomy from control by the Church of the political and social spheres. Thus, the Church is free to express its point of view and the people must decide on the best way to organize political life.
But it is not autonomy from the moral order. It would be a mistake to accept that religion should be strictly confined to the private sphere of life, the Pope argued. The exclusion of religion from public life is not a rightful secularity, "but its degeneration into secularism," he said.

In addition, when the Church comments on legislative matters this should not be considered as undue meddling, "but, rather, of the affirmation and defense of the important values that give meaning to the person's life and safeguard his or her dignity." It is the duty of the Church, said the Pontiff, "to firmly proclaim the truth about man and his destiny."

Concluding his speech the Pope recommended that faced with people who want "to exclude God from every sphere of life and present him as man's enemy," Christians should show "that God is love and wants the good and happiness of all human beings."
The moral law given to us by God does not seek to oppress, he explained, "but rather to set us free from evil and make us happy."

Serving mankind
The December speeches by the Pope on the role of faith in public life reflected one of his constant concerns during the past year. Another important commentary by Benedict XVI on the issue came in his Oct. 19 address to participants in the national ecclesial convention, held in Verona.

The Pope observed that the convention organized by the Church in Italy had considered the question of the civil and political responsibility of Catholics. "Christ has come to save the real, concrete man who lives in history and in the community, and so Christianity and the Church have had a public dimension and value from the beginning," he affirmed.

The Church, the Holy Father added, is not interested in becoming a "political agent," and it is the role of the lay faithful, as citizens, to work directly in the political sphere. But, he added, the Church does offer a contribution by means of its social doctrine. In addition, strengthening moral and spiritual energies means that there is a greater probability that justice is put before the satisfaction of personal interests.

When the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, made his first official visit to Benedict XVI on Nov. 20, the theme of Church and state once more came to the fore. Both of these institutions, while distinct, have in common the function of serving the human person, the Pontiff commented.

The good of citizens cannot be limited to a few material indicators, such as wealth, education and health. The religious dimension is also a vital part of well-being, starting with religious freedom.

But religious freedom, the Pope argued, is not limited to the right to celebrate services or not have personal beliefs attacked. Religious freedom also includes the right of families, religious groups and the Church to exercise their responsibilities.

This freedom does not jeopardize the state or the interests of other groups, because it is carried out in spirit of service to society, Benedict XVI explained. So when the Church and the faithful affront such issues as safeguarding human life or defending the family and marriage they do so not just because of specific religious beliefs, but "in the context of, and abiding by, the rules of democratic coexistence for the good of the whole of society and on behalf of values that every upright person can share."

These efforts by the Church and Christians are not always accepted favorably, observed the Pope in his Sept. 8 address to the bishops of the Canadian province of Ontario, on the occasion of their five-yearly visit to Rome.

Moreover, he noted that some Christian civic leaders "sacrifice the unity of faith and sanction the disintegration of reason and the principles of natural ethics, by yielding to ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls."
But, the Pope reminded the bishops: "Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person." For this reason Catholics involved in political life should be a witness to "the splendor of truth" and not separate morality from the public sphere.

Benedict XVI urged the bishops to demonstrate that "[o]ur Christian faith, far from being an impediment to dialogue, is a bridge, precisely because it brings together reason and culture." An appeal valid for Christians in all countries as a new year begins.

Bishop Warns Of 'Collective Sins,' Urges Catholics To Protect The Environment

Oleh: Frans Obon

RUTENG, Indonesia (UCAN) -- Bishop Eduardus Sangsun of Ruteng told Catholics that reckless human action caused the floods and landslides that hit Flores island in early March, and urged them to preserve nature.

The Divine Word bishop from the largely Catholic island said that people's "collective sins," such as "our tendency to cut down trees recklessly and our ignorance about preserving springs," have resulted in the drying up of the land. "And when the rainy season comes, floods sweep people away and landslides kill them."

Bishop Sangsun was speaking to Catholics attending a March 11 requiem Mass for those who died in the floods and landslides. The Mass was held at the Assumption of Mary Cathedral Church in Ruteng, 1,510 kilometers east of Jakarta, with the diocese's vicar general, Father Alfons Segar, and seven other priests as concelebrants.

According to Satkorlak, the government disaster-management coordination body, 41 people died from the landslides and one in the floods.

The disasters also displaced about 5,000 others, all members of Ruteng diocese. The five parishes affected are Christ the King in Pagal, St. Anthony of Padua in Beamese, St. Francis in Reo, St. Joseph in Benteng Jawa and St. Damian in Beamuring, all in Manggarai district.

A total of 1,923 Catholics are taking shelter in the parish hall in Pagal, and another 1,683 at St. Joseph parish hall. At least 1,034 people had taken refuge at the parish hall in Beamuring, 30 kilometers east of Ruteng.

The bishop said that, "all Catholics of Ruteng diocese should repent today," urging them to start "planting as many trees as possible" and to "protect springs."

The prelate lamented that for many years, local Catholics have not paid serious attention to the local Church's call. However, he continued, the recent floods and landslides "have opened the eyes of every Catholic of this diocese" and "have made them aware of the consequences to their lives today or tomorrow if they do not preserve nature."

He also recalled that he had visited people taking shelter in the parish halls in Pagal and Benteng Jawa, who were suffering from various diseases.

Bishop Sangsun suggested that the local Church and government pay serious attention to the victims. "Many people lost their lives, properties, homes, fields and cattle. Many people are now in fear. They may also lose their future," he warned. "It is our task to help them."

In order to ease their burden, he asked all Catholics of his diocese to provide material or financial aid. "You can send them to the socio-economic development commission," he advised.

Father Simon Nama, the commission's head, told UCA News March 11, "We welcome any aid, and we will distribute it to the victims especially those who are taking shelter in Pagal and Benteng Jawa." His commission has already distributed rice, instant noodles, mineral water, clothes, blankets, canvas and soap.

On March 15, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife visited Catholics taking shelter in the parish hall in Pagal, 30 kilometers north of Ruteng. Minister of Agriculture Anton Apriantono and Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Freddy Numberi as well as East Nusa Tenggara Governor Piet Alexander Tallo and Manggarai District Head Christian Rotok accompanied them during the 40-minute visit.

President Yudhoyono greeted and spoke with the Catholics.

"I and my wife as well as the ministers, governor, district head and some local officials come here to show our love for all of you. We all are brothers and sisters who live on this land of Indonesia. God wants us to learn something from these disasters: you should keep the faith," he said.

"We cannot live in deep grief all the time," he said. "We have to move and find a way to secure a better future," he added.

He promised that the government will rebuild roads, houses and schools destroyed by the landslides. But he also asked people not to cut down trees illegally. "Let us replant bare lands for the sake of our grandsons and granddaughters," he continued.

During the visit, President Yudhoyono helped distribute 22 tons worth of aid, including rice, stationery and school uniforms.

Related UCAN Reports

INDONESIA Dozens Killed, Thousands Displaced In Flores Floods And Landslides (March 8, 2007)

INDONESIA Church Agency Helps Victims Of Recent Flooding, Landslides In Sumatra (January 10, 2007)

INDONESIA Catholic Church Gives Emergency Help To Disaster Victims (January 13, 2006)

INDONESIA Missionary Priest's Murder In Philippines Shocks Flores Catholics

By: Frans Obon

ENDE, Indonesia (UCAN) -- News of the recent murder of a Divine Word priest in the Philippines has shocked Catholics in Flores, eastern Indonesia.
"The death of Father Fransiskus Madhu has brought deep sorrow not only for the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), but also for the whole Church and all Catholics on Flores Island," Brother Edel Atalema, a member of the Divine Word's Ende provincial council, told UCA News on April 3. "All missioners sent from Flores bring the name and reflect the richness of the Church of Flores."

Father Madhu was shot dead while preparing for Palm Sunday Mass on April 1. According to Father Jerome Adriatico, superior of the Philippine Northern Province of the Society of the Divine Word, Father Madhu was gunned down at 5:30 p.m. in Mabongtot Elementary School in Lubuagan, Kalinga province. Masses are held in the public school because there is no church in that community, about 320 kilometers north of Manila.

Father Madhu was born on May 13, 1976, to a Catholic family in Wewolaci hamlet of Lengkosambi village. The area, 1,600 kilometers east of Jakarta, is in Ngada district, part of Ende archdiocese. The youngest of five children of Rafael Ranggo and Mathilde Mandi, he was ordained a Divine Word priest on August 8, 2004, and sent as a missioner to the Philippines in 2005.

Brother Atalema said that Ende province, the home of the slain priest, has disseminated news about Father Madhu's murder to all Divine Word communities and diocesan centers on Flores and Timor islands. "We ask all to offer special Holy Masses for the late Father Madhu," he said.

The murder shocked local Catholics because it is the first among Florinese and Timorese missioners working overseas. About 20 Divine Word priests from Flores and neighboring Timor work or study in the Philippines. Seven are serving in the Philippine Northern Province of the Society of the Divine Word.

Local media highlighted the assassination, while the Ende chapter of state-owned Radio Republik Indonesia broadcast reports across Flores Island.

Brother Atalema told UCA News he found groups of people crowding the house in Wewolaci hamlet where Father Madhu's parents live. "When we arrived, they all were mourning and praying," he said. Brother Atalema and Divine Word Father Maxi Seno, who is from Lengkosambi village, visited the family on April 2 officially to inform the family about the tragic death of the priest.

"Rafael Ranggo, Father Madhu's 70-year-old father, came out of his zinc-roofed, bamboo-walled house to welcome us," Brother Atalema recalled. "He looked strong and resolved. After starring at us in silence for several seconds, he told us, 'Perhaps it is his time to die.'"

After Brother Atalema spoke with the family, they canceled their plan to send two members to attend the funeral in the Philippines. Instead, they asked that Father Madhu's body be returned to Indonesia for burial in Ende or at St. Paul Major Seminary in Ledalero, Flores, so as to visit his tomb easily.

"I told them that our Ende province will pay the expenses for two of them to visit the Philippines," Brother Atalema said, "but in line with our rules, the province will not allow Father Madhu's body to be returned to Indonesia. Instead, he will be buried in the SVD cemetery in the place where he worked." The brother cited the precedent of European missioners dying in Indonesia but not being returned to their native countries.

According to Brother Atalema, "the incident will not change Ende province's policy and commitment to continue sending missionaries to the Philippines." Dominikus Lopi, a Catholic layman in Ende, told UCA News on April 3, "In my view, Father Fransiskus Madhu has become a Florinese martyr because he was killed while proclaiming the love of Christ."

"I remember him in my prayers, and may he resurrect together with Christ," said Lopi, who is also from Ngadha district.
This tragey, Lopi added, should make Catholics in Flores aware of the importance of giving their continuous prayer support for missioners overseas, especially those working in conflict areas.

PHILIPPINES Young Indonesian Priest Shot Dead In Northern Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (UCAN) -- A young Indonesian Divine Word priest on mission in the northern Philippines was shot and killed while preparing for Palm Sunday Mass on April 1.
Father Fransiskus Madhu was gunned down at 5:30 p.m. in Mabongtot Elementary School in Lubuagan, Kalinga province, reported Father Jerome Adriatico, superior of the Philippine Northern Province of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD).
Masses are held in the public school because there is no church in that community about 320 kilometers north of Manila.
The slain priest's superior spoke with UCA News April 2 while en route to Lubuagan. He said Bishop Prudencio Andaya of Tabuk had confirmed reports of Father Madhu's death.
As of April 2, no clear motive had been established. The 30-year-old priest from Ende, on the predominantly Catholic Indonesian island of Flores, was shot in the lower abdomen "for no reason at all," Father Adriatico told UCA News. "There was no provocation; there was no altercation."
Father Madhu was born on May 13, 1976, to a Catholic family in Wewolaci hamlet of Lengkosambi village. The area 1,600 kilometers east of Jakarta is in Ngada district, in the territory of Ende archdiocese.
Father Madhu was the youngest of five children of Rafael Ranggo and Mathilde Mandi. He joined his Religious society in 1995 and pledged his perpetual Religious vows on August 15, 2003. A year later, on August 8, 2004, he was ordained an SVD priest. He was sent to serve as a missioner in the Philippines in 2005.
Father Adriatico said Father Madhu was "just living his vocation" and "doing mission." The priest had not returned home for vacation since arriving, the superior noted. Father Madhu was not affiliated with any peasant or farmer group, as many previous victims of alleged extrajudicial killings were.
The slain priest spoke the northern Ilocano dialect "proficiently," and was "very likeable" and "very affable," the superior said. "He would easily smile and laugh and do his job."
Father Adriatico regretted that Father Madhu had to die so "treacherously." He also deplored lawlessness and a violent "culture and thinking" that preys on "good people who are not doing any harm."
"It's painful, it's a shock," he said.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk serves the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao, where about 66 percent of the people are Catholics. Most of the other residents are other Christians or follow indigenous beliefs.
Father Madhu was serving in the SVD Philippine Northern Province, based in San Fernando, in La Union province, with seven other Indonesian SVD priests. The SVP province serves 10 northern provinces of Luzon, the main northern Philippine island. Thirteen of its 71 priests are foreigners.
Father Adriatico said a Mass for the slain priest is tentatively set for April 3 in Tabuk. He said Father Madhu's remains would be transferred to the Shrine of the Divine Word at Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City, just northeast of Manila.
According to Divine Word Brother Rufinus Rehing of the SVD Ende province in Indonesia, the family learned about the incident from a relative on April 1 evening. Brother Edel Atalema, "a member of Ende SVD's provincial council, has gone to the home village of the late Father Madhu to inform the family officially about the incident," Brother Rehing said.
"The family asked us to arrange for two people from the family to go to the Philippines accompanied by an English-speaking priest to attend the funeral," he added.

PL02196.1439 April 2, 2007 54 EM-lines (577 words)

17 Agustus 2007

Flores dan the Soccer War


KITA sering begitu percaya bahwa bola kaki tidak sekadar ajang kompetisi, adu strategi, adu taktik, adu kekuatan, adu kecerdikan mengolah si kulit bundar, tetapi bola kaki dipandang sebagai jembatan yang menyatukan perbedaan dan menguatkan persaudaraan. Sepakbola adalah sebuah medium.
Ajang sepakbola dunia karenanya dilihat sebagai medium mempererat hubungan antarbangsa. Sepakbola di tingkat kelurahan, kecamatan, kabupaten ataupun nasional juga medium yang mendamaikan jika terjadi konflik pertanahan, konflik perbatasan, konflik etnis, konflik agama dan mungkin salah paham yang mengakibatkan pertikaian yang tidak perlu. Pendek kata sepakbola adalah salah satu medium yang membuat kita sejenak melupakan kepahitan hidup dan kepedihan hubungan antarmanusia. Karena hidup adalah juga soal kesanggupan untuk melupakan dan mengingat.
Namun sepakbola memberikan pula hal yang diperlukan manusia: kebanggaan. Tim sepakbola nasional yang dipandang mewakili kebanggaan sebuah bangsa bisa mempertaruhkan segalanya demi harga diri bangsa, demi nasionalisme. Sebab itu para pemain atau atlet sering disebut pahlawan olahraga karena mereka dianggap membela harga diri bangsa. Jika kalah, bangsa kehilangan mukanya. Jika menang, tim nasional mengangkat harga diri bangsa. Sepakbola lalu menjadi ukuran bahwa sebuah bangsa bisa bersaing dengan bangsa lain.
Sedemikian kuatnya persepsi itu dibentuk, sedemikian pula perasaan kita terbentuk secara mendalam dan sekeras batu untuk berusaha sekuat tenaga menyelamatkan harga diri bangsa. Dengan taruhan apapun.
Sepakbola sering pula menarik ke dalam dirinya sebuah makna lain, entah politik, ekonomi, dan kultural. Melalui sepakbola atau kegiatan olahraga apapun bentuknya, seorang calon yang ancang-ancang hendak maju dalam pemilihan kepala daerah dan wakil kepala daerah, misalnya memperkenalkan dirinya. Melalui sebuah spanduk di sudut lapangan atau spanduk ucapan selamat datang.

THE SOCCER WAR karya Ryszard Kapuscinski boleh dibilang kisah klasik bagaimana bola bukan hanya sebuah kompetisi yang mengharuskan secara ketat mengolah kecerdasaan dan emosi, tetapi memiliki keterkaitan dengan politik, kekisruhan dan kepelikan hidup sebuah bangsa.
Kapuscinski lahir 1932 di Kota Pinsk di Polandia Utara, sekarang wilayah itu telah menjadi wilayah Uni Soviet. Dengan amat memikat dia menceritakan bagaimana bola menceburkan Honduras dan El Salvador, dua negara di Amerika Tengah ke dalam kancah perang 100 jam atau selama empat hari. Buku-buku reportase jurnalistik Kapuscinski menjadi best seller. Dia menggunakan teknik bercerita dalam reportasenya, sebuah genre yang belum begitu populer di kalangan jurnalis di Indonesia.
Di Amerika Latin, juga seperti yang kita saksikan di layar televisi, bola dan politik memang sering tidak bisa terpisahkan. Dan itulah yang terjadi antara Honduras dan El Salvador.
Pada tahun 1969, hari Minggu 8 Juni, tim nasional Honduras dan El Salvador bertanding di ibu kota Honduras di Tegucigalpa. Kedua negara sedang bertanding mengikuti Piala Dunia di Meksiko 1970. “Tidak seorangpun di dunia memberikan perhatian,” tulis Kapuscinski.
Tim El Salvador tiba di Tegucigalpa Sabtu dan sepanjang malam mereka tidak bisa tidur. Karena mereka menjadi target perang psikologis oleh pendukung tim nasional Honduras. Batu-batu dilemparkan ke jendela, petasan meletus susul menyusul. Mereka membunyikan klason mobil bertalu-talu di depan hotel. Semua hal ini terjadi sepanjang malam. “Ini praktik yang lazim di Amerika Latin,” kata Kapuscinski. Hari Minggu tim nasional Honduras mengalahkan tim El Salvador yang tidak tidur sepanjang malam itu dengan skor 1-0.
Amelia Bolanios, gadis berusia 18 tahun sedang duduk di depan televisi di El Salvador menyaksikan striker Honduras Roberto Cardona menciptakan gol di menit terakhir. Dia bangun dan mengambil pistol ayahnya yang ditaruh di laci meja. Dia menembak ulu hatinya sendiri.
“Gadis muda ini tidak bisa tahan melihat negerinya bertekuk lutut,” kata surat kabar di El Salvador, El Nacional hari berikutnya. Seluruh rakyat menyaksikan acara penguburan Amelia Bolanios. Para tentara dengan bendera Salvador berada di depan prosesi penguburan. Di belakangnya presiden dan menteri kabinetnya, serta tim nasional yang pagi berikutnya langsung terbang dengan penerbangan ekstra dari Tegucigalpa.
Seminggu kemudian pertandingan balasan dilangsungkan di El Salvador di Stadion Flor Blanca. Kini giliran tim nasional Honduras tidak bisa tidur sepanjang malam. Pendukung tim El Salvador memecahkan kaca jendela dan melemparkan telur busuk dan tikus mati. Para pemain dibawa ke lapangan dengan menggunakan kendaraan lapis baja milik tentara untuk menyelamatkan mereka dari ancaman massa yang memegang potret “pahlawan nasional” Amelia Bolanios di sepanjang rute yang dilewati.
Para tentara berjaga keliling lapangan. Sementara para pendukung tim nasional El Salvador terus berteriak dan mengejek. Hasilnya El Salvador menang 3-0.
Dengan kendaraan lapis baja yang sama, tim nasional Honduras dibawa langsung ke lapangan terbang. Nasib buruk menimpa pendukung Honduras. Mereka ditendang dan dipukul. Dua orang meninggal. Sebanyak 150 kendaraan penonton dibakar. Perbatasan dua negara ditutup beberapa jam setelah itu.
Pagi berikutnya tentara El Salvador membombardir Tegucigalpa. Ledakan bom terdengar keras. Seluruh kota panik. “Anak saya! Anak saya!,” teriak ibu-ibu. Kota menjadi hening dan mendadak mati. Listrik mati dan kota Tegucigalpa gelap gulita. Pemerintah mengumumkan melalui radio bahwa tentara El Salvador telah menyerang Honduras di garis depan.
Dalam situasi perang, slogan berseliweran dan grafiti penuh di dinding-dinding kota Tegucigalpa. “Only Imbecle worries, Nobody beats Honduras” Pick up your guns and let’s go guys, cut those Salvadorians Down to Size”.
Singkat cerita, konflik bersenjata yang dipicu sepakbola ini berlangsung 100 jam, menewaskan 6.000 orang dan lebih dari 12.000 menderita luka-luka; 50.000 orang kehilangan tempat tinggal dan lahan. Banyak kampung hancur.
Alasan sesungguhnya dari perang itu adalah El Salvador, negara yang paling kecil di Amerika Tengah memiliki populasi paling padat (sekitar 160 per kilometer persegi). Tapi tanah-tanah pertanian dimiliki 14 klan terbesar. Bahkan orang mengatakan El Salvador milik 14 keluarga. Dua pertiga dari penduduk kampung tidak memiliki lahan. Bertahun-tahun petani yang tidak punya tanah ini beremigrasi ke Honduras, yang enam kali lebih besar dari El Salvador (12.000 kilometer persegi), tapi penduduknya hanya dua juta lima ratus ribu.
Petani asal El Salvador ini menetap di Honduras, membangun perkampungan dan perlahan-lahan kesejahteraannya meningkat. Jumlah mereka kira-kira 300.000.
Pada tahun 1960-an, para petani Honduras menuntut lahan dan pemerintah Honduras mengesahkan undang-undang pembaruan agraria. Karena pemerintahan oligarki ini bergantung pada Amerika Serikat, undang-undang ini tidak menyentuh lahan milik pemerintahan oligarki atau lahan perkebunan pisang milik United Fruit Company, namun meredistribusi kembali lahan milik 300.000 petani El Salvador yang telah menetap di Honduras. Para petani El Salvador ini dipaksa kembali ke tanah air mereka di mana tidak ada apa-apa lagi di negara asalnya dan dalam beberapa kejadian mereka ditolak pemerintah El Salvador karena takut terjadi revolusi petani.
Hubungan kedua negara tegang. Suratkabar di dua negara mengkompor rasa benci, saling umpat, saling menuding sebagai Nazi, kejam, mata-mata, agresor, dan pencuri. Inilah keadaannya ketika pertandingan sepakbola itu berlangsung.
Setelah perang berhenti, pertandingan seri ketiga dilanjutkan di negara netral, Meksiko. Di stadion, pendukung Honduras ditempat pada satu sisi dan pada sisi lainnya pendukung El Salvador dan di tengah-tengah ditempatkan 5.000 polisi Meksiko. El Salvador menang 3-2.
Di Amerika Latin sepakbola dan politik tidak terpisahkan. Ketika Brasil memenangkan Piala Dunia di Meksiko 1970, tulis Kapuscinski, temannya dari Brasil yang berada di pengasingan mengatakan kepadanya, “Pemerintah militer sayap kanan dapat dipastikan dalam lima tahun ke depan berada dalam damai”.
Saat itu Brasil mengalahkan Inggris. Suratkabar di ibu kota Brasil, Jornal dos Sportes membuat berita headline “Yesus Memenangkan Brasil” dengan kata-kata, “Kapan saja bola mengarah ke gawang kami dan sebuah gol tampaknya tak terelakkan, Yesus menjulurkan kakinya keluar dari awan-awan dan menjauhkan bola itu”.

SEPAKBOLA di Flores dan The Soccer War punya konteks berbeda. Jauh-jauh berbeda. Namun ada satu unsur yang tampaknya memberikan garis merah bahwa sepakbola sering menarik ke dalam dirinya hal-hal di luar hakikat sepakbola sebagai ajang kompetisi, ajang adu kecerdasan, ajang hiburan, dan medium mempersatukan. Di Flores umumnya “emosi menggebuk” dalam pertandingan sepakbola sudah menjadi cerita klasik.
Sudah sering terjadi, begitu memuncaknya emosi menggebuk ini membuat satu dua pertandingan tidak selesai atau terjadi kekisruhan di ujung akhir pertandingan. Pertandingan antarkampung, antardesa, antarparoki, antarkecamatan, diwarnai keributan: mulai dari hal sepele hingga ketidakpuasan terhadap wasit.
Di Ruteng sebagai misal, beberapa waktu lalu, baku pukul di lapangan antarpemain, nyaris memicu baku pukul antarkampung. Eh, datang dari mana emosi seperti ini. Dari pribadi ke pribadi, berubah menjadi kampung lawan kampung.
Beberapa waktu lalu, Copa Flores pertama dengan arsitek utama M Liga Anwar digelar di Stadion Marilonga, lokasi yang dalam sejarah pembuangan Soekarno (1934-1938) menjadi tempat dia dihukum pemerintah Belanda karena mengajarkan lagu Indonesia Raya kepada rakyat Ende.
Copa Flores adalah satu dari sekian ajang perhelatan sepakbola bergensi di Flores di luar El Tari Cup, Pekan Olahraga Daerah Flores dan Lembata (Pordafta) sukses. Tim sepakbola dari Ngada, Ende, Maumere, dan Flores Timur – minus Manggarai, Manggarai Barat, dan Lembata—berlaga dalam turnamen berhadiah jutaan rupiah ini. Sabtu lalu Persando mengalahkan Bintang Timur (Flotim) di final melalui adu penalti, dengan skor 3-1 untuk Persando (Ndona-Ende). Sayangnya di semifinal, Copa Flores sempat terhenti karena konflik di luar sepakbola.
Copa Flores mungkin juga copa-copa lainnya di kemudian hari dan The Soccer War konteksnya jauh-jauh berbeda. Tapi terdapat garis merah menghubungkan keduanya: hal-hal di luar sepakbola dibawa masuk ke dalam ajang kompetisi. Mungkin bukan ini alasan atau jawabannya, mengapa sepakbola kita tidak pernah maju dan menjadi medium yang mempersatukan etnik-etnik di Flores.*
Flores Pos Feature Bola Kaki 18 Agustus 2007

08 Agustus 2007

Terkesan dengan Pentas Seni


Selama 14 tahun, seorang suster Ursulin mengelola majalah Kunang-Kunang, yang terbit di Ende sejak 1973. Uniknya dia menetap di Jakarta, tapi secara teratur mengirim naskah ke Ende. Dia terkesan dengan pentas seni para siswa SDK dan SMP Santa Ursula Ende.

MESKI usianya menjelang 70 tahun, dia masih cerdas. Jalan pikirannya teratur. Pendengarannya tajam. Dia masih kuat berjalan kaki. Siang kemarin tidak ada rasa letih menaiki tangga-tangga kecil di lorong-lorong biara Ursulin di Jln Wirajaya.
Suster Emmanuel Widiyanti Gunanto OSU datang ke Ende beberapa hari lalu menghadiri pesta emas (50 tahun) kehadiran yang aktif para suster Ursulin di Flores sejak 8 Juli 1957. Segar sekali ingatannya, ketika dia bercerita tentang visi awal membuat majalah yang menyediakan bacaan bagi anak-anak Flores. Majalah Kunang-Kunang, yang telah berusia 34 tahun.
Majalah Kunang-Kunang mendapat Surat Izin Terbit berdasarkan Keputusan Menteri Penerangan RI No. 01454/SK Dirjen-PG/SIT/1973 tertanggal 6 Agustus 1973. Lembaran perkenalan pertama Majalah Kunang-Kunang disisipkan dalam nomor perkenalan Dian. Nomor pertama Kunang-Kunang terbit dengan format 22 X 15 cm, tebal 32 halaman dan harga per nomor Rp25.
Dia mengaku Pater Alex Beding SVD menggagas lahirnya Dian. Sekitar April 1972, Pater Alex bertemu dengan Suster Ema di Biara Ursulin Ende. Waktu itu dia menjabat Kepala Sekolah Pendidikan Guru (SPG) Santa Ursula. Dia baru saja dua tahun di Ende. Setelah tamat jurusan Sastra Inggris di Atmajaya tahun 1970, oleh Serikat dia ditempatkan di Ende dan menjabat kepala sekolah.
“Saya bilang, anak-anak butuh bacaan. Kalau boleh saya mulai dengan anak-anak. Dian itu kan pelita kecil yang memberikan cahaya. Apakah ada yang lebih kecil dari Dian. Pikirkan yang kecil. Maka lahirlah nama Kunang-Kunang, binatang kecil yang berkelip-kelip” katanya.
Tetapi Juli 1972 dia pindah ke SPG Santa Maria di Jakarta. Pindah tugas tidak menghalanginya mewujudkan impian besar menyediakan bahan bacaan bagi anak-anak Flores. Di sekolah ini dia mengajak Yeyen (sekarang dokter) dan Irene Suliana (sekarang wartawan di Majalah Aura). Tahun 1973 dia pergi ke Roma dan Irlandia untuk program tersiat (kursus penyegaran) selama 9 bulan. Namun dia tetap mengerjakan naskah Kunang-Kunang dan dikirim ke Ende. “Di Eropa saya sakit. Saya bilang orang cacat saja bisa ketik dengan kaki. Saya berusaha,” katanya.
Ada saja kendala. Kita kumpulkan bahan untuk satu edisi, kemudian dikirim ke Ende lewat pos. Dua bulan sebelum terbit bahan sudah dikirim. “Mama Mia. Ada saja kendala. Kertas datang dari Jawa. Tinta habis. Pernah terjadi kertas dimakan tikus. Namun semua berjalan”.
Ketika mengunjungi Flores 1982, dia mengikuti perayaan ekaristi di Paroki Onekore. Majalah Kunang-Kunang sudah mendapat tempat di hati anak-anak. Di Gereja anak-anak baca Kunang-Kunang. “Tuhan bagaimana. Ampun,” katanya sambil tertawa.
Empat belas tahun kemudian (1987), dia melepaskan Kunang-Kunang.

SUSTER Ema lahir 15 September 1937. Sejak kecil suka membaca dan mengarang. Kemarin dia tunjukkan notes kecil yang dia buat sendiri, mencatat segala macam hal. Dia tamat dari Sekolah Guru Atas 1957 dan masuk biara Ursulin 1958. Tanggal 27 Januari 1961 mengikrarkan kaul pertama dan kaul kekal 1966. Dia melanjutkan studi di Jurusan Sastra Inggris di Atmajaya Jakarta dan tamat 1970. Namun, dia tidak sempat mengikuti wisuda karena dia sudah berada di Ende.
Orangtuanya melarang dia jadi guru. Karena gaji guru itu kecil dan bisa kena penyakit tuberkulosis . “Tapi saya merasa tidak akan bahagia kalau tidak jadi guru”.
Dia punya moto “Jadikan Hidup Indah untuk Tuhan”. “Saya tidak tahu bentuk apa yang terindah untuk Tuhan itu. Tetapi saya berusaha memberikan yang terindah untuk Tuhan”.
Sekarang dia terlibat dalam Biblical Catholic Federation dan dia menjabat Koordinator untuk Asia Tenggara (1996-2008). Di Bandung sekarang ia terlibat aktif di Angela Merici Biblical Centre yang memberikan kursus Kitab Suci, kelompok Youth Bible. Meski usianya hampir 70 tahun, dia tidak mengenal kata pensiun.
Malah makin giat dia membagi kasih dari Tuhan yang diimaninya yang dianggapnya kekasihnya yang setia kepada anak-anak yatim piatu di panti asuhan di Flores. “Kalau ada orang yang menanyakan, bagaimana mereka bisa menyumbangkan sesuatu, saya mengatakan, saya tahu di mana kamu bisa memberikan sesuatu”.

PARA siswa SDK Santa Ursula dan SMP Santa Ursula mementaskan operet Santa Angela Sabtu malam dan Minggu malam di aula Paroki Onekore di Jln Wirajaya. Laurens Lado, sang sutradara membuat kolaborasi indah antara kisah panggilan Santa Angela dan kreasi seni para siswa. Suara mereka merdu. Tarian tas baru. Kolintang, angklung, dan atraksi daerah. Khasanah busana juga terbilang bernuansa nusantara.
Suster Ema memuji Laurens Lado karena secara tepat menangkap spirit cerita tentang Santa Angela. Bagi dia, pementasan ini luar biasa. Yang paling berkesan, katanya, pementasan seni itu. “Ini karya kolosal untuk Ende dan bahwa para siswa bisa mementaskannya. Mengharukan. Ini kemajuan luar biasa di tengah keterbatasan yang ada”.
Dalam pertemuan dengan alumni, Senin siang ada feed back menggembirakan. Ada kemajuan spiritual yang luar biasa.
Pesta emas menjadi momentum baru untuk membuat prioritas baru selaras zaman. Ada tiga komitmen yang tengah dibangun yakni pengembangan sumber daya manusia, taman baca, dan laboratorium lingkungan.
Di pendopo di halaman tengah biara, tempat saya mewawancarainya, dia memperlihatkan kepeduliannya yang tinggi pada pengembangan kreativitas anak. Selain pementasan seni, dia melihat pentingnya menulis bagi anak-anak. Karena dia yakin melalui tulisan yang termuat dalam majalah anak-anak, kita mentransferkan nilai. “Kami memberikan bahan bacaan kepada anak-anak, tetapi juga nilai-nilai kemanusiaan”.
“Tiap anak punya kemampuan untuk berkreativitas. Anak-anak punya bakat. Kita bertugas memberikan dorongan (encourage). Kalau kita mencela, dia tidak akan mau lagi. Tiap anak bisa tulis”. Masalahnya di sini, semua serba mahal. Sarana kurang. Tapi bukan berarti tidak bisa mendorong anak berkespresi.
Berbicara laboratorium lingkungan hidup bukan sesuatu yang abstrak. Cinta lingkungan hidup bisa dikaitkan dengan menulis. Caranya, setiap anak tanam pohon. Lalu lihat dan evaluasi. Dia menulis perkembangannya. Ceritakan. Karena kalau tidak demikian, dia tidak tahu mau tulis apa. Bahannya apa? Mulai dari hal-hal sederhana. Dari yang kecil. Semuanya terpadu.
Dia punya ide bagaimana majalah anak-anak bisa marketable. Dia bilang, anak-anak itu diminta menulis, lalu karya mereka dimuat di majalah. Pasti mereka beli. “Kita ciptakan sense of belongings itu. Ada kebanggaan kalau mereka tulis”.
Cerita Suster Ema adalah satu dari sekian garis indah kenangan 50 tahun kehadiran para Suster Ursulin di Flores.*

Artikel ini dimuat di Flores Pos, 8 Agustus 2007

07 Agustus 2007

Banyak Orang Salah Tafsir

Gereja Katolik mempromosikan gerakan aktif tanpa kekerasan untuk melawan kecenderungan menggunakan kekerasan dalam menyelesaikan suatu masalah.


SUARANYA menggelegar memenuhi ruangan. Dengan aksentuasi yang jelas, seakan memberikan penegasan bahwa kekerasan harus hilang ditelan bumi. Suara damai memenuhi ruang peradaban manusia.
Romo Rofinus Neto Wuli Pr mengenakan baju batik bersuara lantang di hadapan peserta pelatihan Gerakan Aktif Tanpa Kekerasan (Active Non-Violence) di Pondok Bina Olangari, Senin (30/7). Sebagai Ketua Komisi Keadilan, Perdamaian, dan Keutuhan Ciptaan Keuskupan Agung Ende, dia memberikan sambutan pada acara pembukaan.
Dia bilang, Gereja Katolik Indonesia telah berbicara mengenai habitus baru untuk melawan kebobrokan dalam masyarakat, termasuk kekerasan. Satu pilihan tampan jika Gereja memperkenalkan dan memasyarakatkan gerakan aktif tanpa kekerasan. Karena ajakan ini bersumber dari ajaran Kristus mengenai cinta kasih dan melawan kejahatan dengan kebaikan.
Orang-orang lagi jenuh dengan kekerasan yang terjadi di berbagai belahan dunia. Juga di dalam konteks masyarakat Flores. Orang-orang modern sekarang lagi merindukan hidup damai. Kerinduan yang sama menjadi impian Gereja Katolik Keuskupan Agung Ende.
Komitmen Gereja Katolik Keuskupan Agung Ende melawan kekerasan dengan gerakan aktif anti kekerasan mendapat bentuk dan wadahnya yang tepat dalam komunitas umat basis. Keuskupan Agung Ende berkomitmen mengembangkan habitus baru, cara pandang baru, budaya baru sebagai tandingan (alternatif) dalam komunitas umat basis. Keuskupan tengah berjuang keras membentuk dan mengembangkan komunitas umat basis ini sebagai komunitas perjuangan dan pembebasan. Visi menggereja dengan cara baru yang memberi tekanan pada komunitas umat basis terumus dengan jelas dalam Musyawarah Pastoral (Muspas) IV tahun 2000 di Maumere, ibu kota Kabupaten dan Muspas V tahun 2005
Gerakan komunitas basis ini menyuntikan kembali dimensi kemandirian dan solidaritas di dalam kehidupan bersama yang telah terfragmentaris. Segala masalah di dalam komunitas basis, pun masalah kemasyarakatan lintas sekat ditangani di dalam komunitas basis. Dengan ini umat basis tidak menunggu datangnya dewa penyelamat, tetapi mereka dalam semangat solider, sehati dan sejiwa menolong sesamanya yang tidak bisa membela diri, tidak mampu memperjuangkan hak-haknya, yang diperlakukan tidak adil.

MASYARAKAT Flores yang mayoritas Katolik belepotan dengan lumpur kekerasan. Konflik pertanahan dominan sebagai trigger (pemicu) konflik. Ronny bilang, konflik ini sudah berlipat-lipat dan masalah menjadi amat kompleks. Ada pembunuhan sudah berada di luar batas perikemanusiaan, caplok-mencaplok, dendam. Konflik tanah sudah berujung ganda: pribadi dengan pribadi, masyarakat dengan masyarakat, masyarakat dengan pemerintah. Kekerasan personal dan struktural sudah menjadi makan minum tiap hari.
Dia contohkan Mbay, ibu kota Kabupaten Nagekeo. Tanah telah menjadi masalah serius. Lama-lama, orang Mbay dan di utara Flores akan menjadi orang asing di tanah sendiri.
Kekerasan dalam rumah tangga juga meningkat. Bahkan ada kekerasan yang berdampak pada abortus. Kasus kekerasan dalam rumah tangga ini ibarat gunung es. Ada banyak kasus yang tidak terungkap dan tidak dimunculkan ke permukaan karena alasan budaya.
Bagaimana Gereja menyikapi ini. Ronny mengatakan, ada empat langkah yang dilakukan Gereja. Pertama, konsientisasi atau penyadaran; kedua, animasi dan motivasi, ketiga, mediasi dan konsultasi, dan keempat advokasi non litigasi. Advokasi non litigasi ini mendorong Komisi untuk berjuang memediasi berbagai konflik sedini mungkin dengan mengutamakan kearifan budaya lokal. Kita memiliki nilai-nilai budaya yang menjunjung tinggi hak asasi manusia dan sejalan dengan nilai Injili.
Kalau komunitas umat basis dijadikan komunitas perjuangan dan pembebasan, ini tidak lain dari usaha Gereja agar masyarakat secara bersama-sama menyelesaikan konflik dan bersama-sama membangun peradaban baru. “Kalau ada kejadian, tidak saling tunggu”.
Kalau satu masalah diselesaikan melalui jalan hukum, ada banyak orang kecil dan miskin di dalam komunitas basis kita yang tidak punya uang, punya kekuatan untuk mengurus perkara. Kita berusaha agar mereka menyelesaikan konflik itu dengan cara damai oleh mereka sendiri tanpa dibawa ke pengadilan.

ROMO Ronny ditahbiskan imam 3 September 1997 di Paroki Langa, Kevikepan Bajawa, Keuskupan Agung Ende. Dia lahir 14 November 1967 di Langa, Bajawa, Kabupaten Ngada. Sejak menjalankan Tahun Orientasi Pastoral (TOP) di Paroki St Yoseph Maumere, ia sudah mulai terlibat dalam petisi damai mengencam tindakan pencemaran hosti di Maumere tahun 1995. Dia berpengalaman mengajar di berbagai lembaga pendidikan dan berkarya di Paroki. Sekarang dia bekerja di Paroki St Mikhael Maukeli.
Sekarang dia menjabat Ketua Komisi Keadilan, Perdamaian, dan Keutuhan Ciptaan Keuskupan Agung Ende. Dia pernah menjadi anggota pleno/Koordinator Regio NTT Komisi Keadilan dan Perdamaian Konferensi Waligereja Indonesia (KWI) (2001-2003).
Dia terlibat aktif dalam komisi keadilan dan perdamaian Gereja Katolik karena dia pandang tugas ini sebagai bagian dari panggilan hidupnya. “Ini panggilan perutusan saya”. Karya keadilan dan perdamaian juga bagian tak terpisahkan dari seluruh reksa pastoral Gereja, bukan sesuatu yang dicangkokkan.
Karya ini penting dalam pandangannya karena akan memperlihatkan warna Gereja di tengah tata dunia. Gereja tidak hanya memberi perhatian pada hal-hal kultis, tetapi juga diakonia.
Moto tahbisannya menginspirasinya untuk makin terlibat dalam kegiatan komisi keadilan dan perdamaian. “Aku tahu kepada siapa aku percaya (Scio, cui Credendi)” yang diambil dari 2 Timoteus 1:12. “Ini spiritualitas pengabdian dan perjuangan saya”.
Dia mengatakan, banyak orang salah tafsir dengan karya Komisi Keadilan, Perdamaian, dan Keutuhan Ciptaan. Kalau untung, orang bilang komisi keadilan dan perdamaian benar. Kalau mengguncangkan, komisi keadilan dan perdamaian terlalu jauh. Orang yang bilang terlalu jauh itu dia tidak mengerti. Ini bagian integral dari karya Gereja.
Usianya terbilang muda. Tentu saja dia memiliki obsesi terciptanya bumi dan langit baru. Adakah harapan untuk itu?
Hidup harus punya harapan, katanya. “Saya optimistis wajah Gereja lokal akan berubah, paling kurang ada perubahan. Saya punya harapan tentang hidup yang lebih baik, lebih adil, dan harmonis tanpa kekerasan. Hal ini bisa terwujud”.
Dia memiliki dasar untuk percaya dan berharap. “Saya percaya karena Tuhan yang memulai dan Dia pula yang akan menyempurnakannya”.
Gerekan aktif tanpa kekerasan akan diterima sebagai salah satu sikap hidup masyarakat Flores.

Artikel ini dimuat di Flores Pos, 6 Agustus 2007

Bishop Sensi Formally Installed As Archbishop Of Ende


ENDE, Indonesia (UCAN) -- Bishop Vincentius Sensi Potokota of Maumere was formally installed on June 7 as archbishop of Ende.
He succeeded Archbishop Abdon Longinus da Cunha, who died April 6, 2006, of heart failure, as head of the archdiocese in the central part of Flores, a predominantly Catholic island.
The Vatican nuncio to Indonesia, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, presided at the June 7 installation Mass at Christ the King Cathedral in Ende, 630 kilometers east of Jakarta. About 2,000 Catholics attended, some of whom watched the ceremony on wide-screen television under tents erected in the cathedral compound.
Bishop Fransiskus Kopong Kung of Larantuka and Divine Word Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira of Weetebula concelebrated the Mass along with 180 priests. Larantuka is in eastern Flores, while Weetebula is on nearby Sumba.
In his sermon, Archbishop Sensi said his transfer from neighboring Maumere diocese, created from Ende in December 2005, provides many new lessons.
He expressed his "commitment to faith and service to the people" and his conviction that God will create the best out of "logical and illogical, or suitable and unsuitable things." He added, "I claim to creatively believe in God because it pacifies my heart."
Archbishop Sensi was ordained the first bishop of Maumere on April 23, 2006. He took the Latin motto Praedica Verbum, Opportune Importune (preach the word, whether convenient or inconvenient), taken from Saint Paul's second letter to Timothy. He was appointed archbishop of Ende on April 14 this year.
"Twenty-seven years ago, when I was ordained a priest, I chose 'Not my will but yours be done' as my priestly motto," Archbishop Sensi said. His service as archbishop he described as a further development of his priestly commitment.
The new archdiocesan leader asked his people to pray for each other and realize together the life of Jesus in their daily life.
Ende archdiocese covers 5,084 square kilometers. It has 411,334 Catholics in a population of 449,057, served by 287 priests, 513 Religious sisters and brothers, and 567 catechists. They work in 52 parishes.
On June 6, Maumere diocese Catholics accompanied Archbishop Sensi and Archbishop Girelli to the area that borders Ende archdiocese's territory.
There, a sub-district head welcomed the archbishops in the name of Ende people by putting traditional Ende shawls around their necks.
About 1,000 people, including some Muslims and Protestants, welcomed the two archbishops as they entered Ende town. A Muslim woman named Fatimah put another Ende traditional shawl around Archbishop Girelli's neck.
She told UCA News that Muslims' involvement in the welcome ceremony showed that "Muslims widely welcome Catholics' hands for dialogue."
Another Muslim, Said Muhamad, told UCA News he joined the welcome ceremony "because we are brothers and sisters of one God, and Archbishop Sensi is a personality who is open to other believers."
During the last Id al-Fitr, the feast that ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, then-Bishop Sensi called Muslims to build dialogue, he recalled.
People then accompanied the two archbishops to the Ende archbishop's residence. Before entering, Archbishop Sensi stepped on an egg with his bare foot, a traditional local rite for entering a new dwelling.
In his speech before the installation Mass, Archbishop Girelli urged Catholics on Flores to establish dialogue with other believers.
"The archdiocese of Ende is the center of Catholics on Flores. Florinese must be proud, as well as examples of good citizens who sincerely establish dialogue," the nuncio said.
Ende district head Paulinus Domi, a Catholic, welcomed the installation of a new archbishop and promised in his address to maintain and improve good cooperation between the Church and government "for the betterment of the people."
After the Mass, Ros Fernandes told UCA News she was glad for the appointment of "the simple personality" as the archbishop of Ende. "This is divine providence. We are glad and happy. When we heard during the Church announcement that the pope appointed him as the new archbishop, many people cried happily," the Catholic woman said.
Artikel dimuat di Ucan, 11 Juni 2007
IS02661.1449 June 11, 2007 63 EM-lines (659 words)