donderdag 31 maart 2016

In Memoriam: Andreas Sol and Fransiskus Amanue

On 26 March two outspoken and impressive priests of Indonesia have died.
The oldest was Andreas Sol, born 19 October 1915 in Sloten (now included in Amsterdam). I wrote about him earlier this year, related to the celebration of his 100th birthday. He lived most of his life in East Indonesia, from the Kei islands to the major island of Ambon, where Catholics always were a small community, between Protestants and Muslims. It were mostly Catholics from Tanimbar and Kei, besides a group of Chinese converts. Sol built a strong infrastructure: schools, houses for the Dutch Sisters (PBHK, Daughters of the Mother of the Sacred Heart) and his Indonesian order. Schools, orphanages: care for the poor and weak among his flock. The rich of his flock could support the poor, it was not only foreign funds he sought (although he had access to these sources as well and kept good relations). But he was also the founder of the Rumphius library where the heritage of the history of Ambon is cherished in its many varieties.
That same day also Fransiskus Amanue died, priest and human rights activist. He was born in Adonara, 17 November 1944. He became known for his allegations of corruption of the Bupati of Larantuka. as far as I remember he was in an official position as Delegate for Justice and Peace in the diocese, but the Bupati had also given a car to the bishop (who therefore was not critical towards the Bupati). Anyhow, Amanue was called to the court for insulting the Bupati and was sentenced to two months of emprisionment. But the angry population burnt down the building of the court and the house of the public prosecutor. This was all inNovember 2003. I wrote in Catholics in Independent Indonesia, 1945-2010 (p. 284) "The big dreams of total social and economic reformation of the 1960s generated only small improvements in society. Are the representatives for justice and peace the prophetic replacements for the development workers?"

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