Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin made a formal visit to Jakarta, Indonesia. The Italian prelate is on his way to East Timor to celebrate the 5th centenary of the evangelization of the country.
In a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Cardinal Parolin praised the country as “a good example and a model of peace, interreligious coexistence and tolerance between groups of different faiths."
According to AsiaNews, the cardinal met on August 10th with the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN). Among the topics of discussion were interfaith coexistence, cultural cooperation, joint media initiatives and education. Cardinal Parolin noted “the very significant phenomenon that people show respect, tolerance and acceptance of diversity, making Indonesia a truly unique nation.”
Following the meeting, a joint statement was released stating that “all differences must be addressed in the best possible way and all groups demonstrate willingness to collaborate to create a world that is open to any person.”
Cardinal Parolin’s visit to Jakarta is the first by a Secretary of State since 1950 when formal diplomatic relations were established between the two states.
The Vatican Secretary of State is traveling to East Timor for the 500th anniversary celebrations of its evangelization on August 15th.