JOGJAR AWL A, JAVA.
With the Netherlands' Army about to evacuate Jogjakarta, capital-to-be of the new Republic of Indonesia, Bishop Alberto Soegyapranata, Vicar Apostolic of Semarang, has just disclosed the part which Catholics have been taking in the protracted struggle for freedom.
He explained the dilemma which fited the native Church when the nationalist movement began to show its influence :
" We took the decision to cooperate in the national aspirations of our nation towards autonomy, because sooner or later a dominated nation will achieve independence."
Bishop Soegyapranata then spoke of the welter of differing views and ideas which tried to shape the fight for independence, and added this warning : ABUSED "We Catholics cannot be indifferent and inactive onlookers whenever we notice that the national movement is abused by egotistic and nonnational tendencies. If our independence movement is dominated by totalitarian and materialistic thoughts. and ideas, there would be no place in a free Indonesia for spiritual and supernatural values. "We who have the truth feel therefore obliged to fertilise the national movement in our country by our Catholic ideas and principles. For this reason we join in the fight for real truth in the interest of our nation."
Referring to local suspicions aroused against the good faith of Indonesian Catholics because of the attitude to the problem of independence of the Catholic People's Party in the Netherlands, the Vicar Apostolic stated : " In their ignorance, they think that a Catholic political party is acting in the name of the Catholic Church,
" In order to refute this it is not sufficient to tell them that we have not been baptised in the name of the Queen, the Minister of the Colonies and the High Commissioner of the Crown.
We must demonstrate that our religion does no oppose the justified aspirations of our nation for freedom, but that our Faith is able to put nationalism on a better basis. That is why we have to prove by our acts to people around us that we Catholic Javanese are not second-rate patriots."