Sisca did not believe the cardinal could have possibly been oblivious to the alleged sexual abuse. “Where has he been? We had high hopes for him. He was appointed cardinal by the Pope. It’s a prestigious title. A cardinal is a chosen figure, and [the Pope] would not appoint a random priest,” she told The Jakarta Post in early February.
A recently uncovered case of child sexual abuse at a Catholic church in Depok, West Java, has put a spotlight on sexual abuse in the wider Indonesian Catholic Church, causing adherents throughout the country to call for justice and reform.
Bishops Council of Indonesia (KWI) chairman and Jakarta Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo, who was just appointed cardinal, denied any knowledge of a report of sexual abuse in the Indonesian Catholic Church and questioned its “authenticity”.
A priest’s involvement in a sexual relationship, for example, even though it might be consensual, could be regarded as a form of abuse of power and trust because of the position the priest and the pledge he made at his priestly ordination to live in celibacy.
Weekly magazine Warta Minggu published by the Tomang Catholic parish in West Jakarta reported that at least 56 people were subjected to sexual abuse in Indonesia’s Catholic Church.