donderdag 12 juli 2018

An Indonesian General in Rome

On 4 July 2018 the Indonesian priest Paul Budi Kleden was elected to become the next General Superior of the SVD, the Societas Verbi Divini (Society of the Divine Word), with his office in Rome. It is the second non-European general superior (after someone from the Philippines) in this original German-European order. The SVD entered Indonesia in 1913 with a first mission post in Timor (Atambua region), but due to World War I only spread broader after 1919.
Now 100 years later the Indonesian branches of the SVD are worldwide the largest for this order. Of the somewhat more than 6000 male members, over 800 are Indonesians.Consequently an Indonesian has now been chosen as their international leader.
The Kleden Clan has its base in Waibalun, a district of Larantuka, East Flores. Perhaps best known is Ignas Kleden (b 1948) who studied social science in Munich, worked with LP3ES, founded in Jakarta the research and lobbying CEIA, Centre for East Indonesian Studies or the Go-East centre.
There is a younger member of the clan, Paul Budi Kleden, born in 1965. He also studied in Germany, Freiburg, 1996-2000, and became a social activist, but also seminary professor. He was already living in Rome since 2012 as a member of the international council of the SVD order, after some academic and leading positions in his home country. The UCAN bulletin ( on Asian Christianity quoted a large number of fellow priests who were proud and confident about this election.

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