The folks on Indonesia’s jap island of Flores have been shocked by the invention of three human skeletons on Jan. 27, 2013. A DNA check end result confirmed that the skeletons have been these of a neighborhood 30-year-old girl and her two infants. The lady was a former Catholic nun.
They have been killed, or deserted to fulfill their dying, some 10 to 12 years beforehand by a neighborhood Catholic priest, Herman Jumat Masan. The stays have been repatriated to the girl’s residence village and at last laid to relaxation in line with correct burial customs on Feb. 5, 2013. The 2 infants have been the product of an affair between the previous nun and the priest.
The our bodies of the victims had been buried in a garbage pit outdoors the bed room of the priest on the seminary in Flores. This was such a cruel and undignified finish to the lives of a mom and her two infants.
The invention was not a coincidence. A search had been organized by members of the family and police after a key witness had come ahead with info. The witness occurred to be an ex-girlfriend of the priest, the perpetrator. The ultimate discovery of the our bodies ended a protracted seek for the girl, who had left her convent previous to her dying.
One can solely think about the anguish of the victims’ household going by means of the extended ordeal of hope and expectations of stories about their family members, solely to be tortured by tales regarding their whereabouts.
Many rumors in regards to the whereabouts of the girl have been a cover-up fabricated by the perpetrator of the crime. The fabricated tales gave the girl’s dad and mom a false hope that their beloved daughter was nonetheless alive, and that they might someday be reunited. To them, there was no purpose to embark on a seek for her whereabouts or enquire as to her true situation as this communication, albeit rare, didn’t increase fast alarm that one thing was improper.
The emotional and bodily drain on the dad and mom can’t be absolutely comprehended in the course of the 10 or so years since their daughter “went lacking” and, undoubtedly, any search would have been financially difficult given the false info as to her whereabouts.
The invention not solely shook however shamed the locals, who had been typically pleased with their robust sense of attachment to Catholicism. Their faith and adat (customary regulation) each worth life and respect for girls and youngsters. It was thus a shameful and tragic crime dedicated towards a powerless girl and her harmless infants by the hands of a cold-blooded killer, the priest.
Masan surrendered to police in Maumere, Flores, on Feb. 4, 2013. He admitted his crime and was ready to face the regulation. He was sentenced to death however later received a reduction to life imprisonment.
There’s very darkish undercurrent to those sequence of occasions. Undoubtedly, the girl and her killer have been each Catholics. The killer left the priesthood lengthy after the crime had taken place.
This case is fascinating as a result of Catholic monks are speculated to be celibate, which implies sexual acts are thought of haram or banned. Nevertheless, the truth is completely different and these guidelines don’t appear to be adhered to in observe. Many are discovered to have engaged in sexual acts, each heterosexual and gay.
The beliefs which are the idea for the banning of heterosexual exercise, as mirrored within the non secular vow of celibacy, are presumably as a result of Catholic instructing of sexual activity as a method for procreation, and never for some other purpose.
Gay acts among the many non secular celibate actions aren’t essentially banned exactly as a result of it’s assumed that homosexuality doesn’t exist, at the very least in Indonesia. After all, the assumed absence of homosexuality in non secular communities is nonsense.
Additional, the invention of the skeletons induced ache for the villagers as a result of the overwhelming majority of individuals in Flores are Catholics. They nonetheless typically see monks as their dwelling symbols of spiritual piety to whom they’re proudly hooked up. Like adat, faith nonetheless has a powerful affect within the creation and recreation of the identification of Flores.
The locals are ashamed not solely as a result of the killing of a girl and her two infants occurred, however furthermore as a result of the alleged perpetrator was then an lively priest. Issues are made even worse when such acts desecrate the sacred grounds of the seminary compound, which strikes on the very coronary heart of Catholic sanctity.
Whatever the consequence of the case for the perpetrator, there’s concern that the occasion has put the popularity of the native Catholic Church below the highlight. This displays a profound disaster that shakes the foundations of the Church to its core. Clearly, the Church must do extra within the wake of this shameful tragedy.
The sense of disgrace appears to be demonstrated within the reluctant protection by some media retailers in Catholic-majority areas of Indonesia. Some stories didn’t even disclose the non secular and priestly identification of the killer. This was not purely for authorized issues. Understandably, this may be seen additionally as an try to keep away from additional injury to the popularity of the native Catholic Church.
There’s robust suspicion that some Catholic clergy knew concerning the suspected killing a number of years again. But attributable to concern and the secrecy of the sacrament of confession or reconciliation, the crime was stored below wraps. The prison walked free throughout the neighborhood and was even effectively protected and fed by the Church. The killer was then nonetheless an lively priest finishing up all his sacramental duties.
Clearly, this isn’t solely a person crime however might prolong to the accountability and sense of morality held by church authorities, notably if they’ve been concerned in a cover-up. In any occasion, the Church must take motion to restrict any injury to public confidence and belief of their ethical authority on account of this case.
This shameful and tragic previous stays a problem to the Catholic Church institutionally.
Justin Wejak studied philosophy in Indonesia, theology and anthropology in Australia and at present teaches on the College of Melbourne. The views expressed on this article are these of the creator and don’t essentially replicate the official editorial place of UCA Information.