Jakarta (ANTARA) - Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta, called on Indonesian Catholics to not waste their voices in the upcoming 2024 elections and to choose national leaders with conscience.

"Choose leaders wisely with conscience. Whoever is elected and announced by the electoral institutions, we must accept them," he said during a press conference on the Christmas mass at the Jakarta Cathedral on Monday.

He pointed out that caring for others, the environment, and the life of the nation is inherent to humans as creatures of God.

One form of caring for the life of the nation is participating in the elections to choose national leaders, the cardinal emphasized.

He stressed that despite differing choices, Catholics should not sacrifice unity and brotherhood. They should not be divided by misleading issues.

"We must preserve this strong unity under any circumstances. Never sacrifice unity and brotherhood," Suharyo said.

He also urged Catholics to monitor the newly elected government, so that the aspirations of Indonesia's proclamation of independence could be realized.

"After accepting the elected leader, our duty, as responsible Indonesians, is not finished. We must critically monitor the elected leader to realize the aspirations of Indonesia's proclamation of independence," he said.

The preamble of the 1945 Constitution states that the aspirations of Indonesia's proclamation of independence are to form a "free, united, sovereign, just, and prosperous Indonesian state."

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Translator: Anton Santoso
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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