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Less heaven and more earth

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Church can get all caught up in the heavenly hereafter, totally losing its focus on the matter at hand, which is what is actually going on here on this earth.

Father Peter C. Aman, the director of the Franciscan Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, said that liturgy is not the only thing that matters in Church life, especially when the people around your parish are living near or below subsistence level.

The Church in the poverty stricken area of East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia has come under fire for its lack of social involvement among the papulation, 50 per cent of which is Christian, 20 per cent of whom live below the poverty line and the remaining 80 per cent mostly not far above it.

It is one of the poorest parts of Indonesia and Boni Hargens, a former seminarian and political commentator, said on March 20 that the Church has not done enough.

“The situation is a failure of the Church’s mission to bring forth the kingdom of God,” he commented, adding, “The Church should feel called to fight the rotten practices and change things for the better.”

Apart from its poverty, the province is best known for corruption at a government level, but the coordinator of the Democracy Defence Team, Petrus Selestinus, says that part of the problem is that few public officials have ever been jailed.

“The province is known for corruption, but few officials have been jailed,” he said.

Father Aman is calling for a bit more “here on earth” and a bit less “as it is in heaven.”


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