Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has opened a new church in St. Joseph Parish in Denpasar, the provincial capital.
The new church, which is named Jesus the Good Shepherd and located in Ubung Kaja, was built because the old church building could no longer meet the needs of more than 2,500 parishioners.
Both church buildings, however, will still be used for Sunday Masses.
In his speech during the formal opening ceremony on September 12, the 76th anniversary of the parish’s establishment, Pastika stressed the importance of promoting inclusiveness in the predominantly Hindu province.
“Modernism has created a new way of thinking within our social, cultural and religious environment, which has resulted in behavioral changes that threaten togetherness. One of them is exclusiveness,” he said.
Exclusiveness prevents people working with others and may also create conflict, he added, referring to sectarian clashes at the weekend in Ambon, capital of Maluku province.
“Thus, I ask all of you to resist exclusiveness. Let us build inclusiveness and adapt it into the philosophy of Balinese culture, such as promoting brotherhood,” Pastika asserted.
Referring to the new church, he said it will serve as a place where people can pray and also a medium for people to promote brotherhood, peace and social welfare in the Island of Gods.
Earlier, Bishop Silvester San of Denpasar blessed the new church building during Sunday Mass, which included traditional dances.