The Silent Scream of a Silenced History:Part Two: Church Responses

In: Exchange
John Mansford Prior Candraditya Research Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture Maumere, Flores Indonesia, Email:

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Part One of this paper looked at local Church responses to the massacre in the Maumere district of central Flores, Indonesia, during the months of February to April 1966. Instigated by the Indonesian army, the slaughter of from 800 to 2,000 people was implemented by local Catholics against victims who were also Catholic. Responses of the local clergy, Archbishop and Dean are studied together with an account by one of the perpetrators, and the memoirs of three Dutch missioners written 40 years after the event. In Part Two these responses are examined in the light of two analyses of the Indonesian Church, one using an ‘integration’ frame, the other a Volkskirche model. When combined these studies allow us to begin to comprehend how the massacre could happen and why the clergy responded as they did. Honesty and transparency would allow us to move forward in mission with ‘bold humility’.

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