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Organiser of Christology forum to check if speaker actually a nun

 | November 23, 2017

Indonesian Irene Handono is scheduled to speak at a forum on Christology at the Selangor International Islamic University College next month but news has surfaced on social media claiming she is not a nun.


News has been circulating that Handono (pix) is not a former nun.

KUALA LUMPUR: The organiser of a forum on Christology here is trying to ascertain the authenticity of the credentials of a “former nun”.

A promotional flyer on the forum, titled “Mengenali Kristologi” (Knowing Christology), to be held on Dec 9 and 10 at the Selangor International Islamic University College, states that the speaker, Ibu Irene Handono, is a former nun.

However, news has been circulating that Handono is not a former nun, but a failed candidate and that she had also not completed the required programme at the formation house.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the organiser of the forum, a Muslim NGO called Nur Fitrah, said they were still “trying to confirm” it.

“We are trying to get feedback from the Sister (on this matter). That is all I can tell you right now,” the spokesperson told FMT.

Handono’s claim had previously been debunked by the Bishops Conference of Indonesia executive secretary Father Edy Purwanto, who said Handono had not completed her “education”.

Purwanto had reportedly said three years ago that checks done by the Indonesian church revealed that Handono was only briefly with the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters as a novice.

This is not the first time organisers of such religion-related talks appear to have inadequately checked the credentials of their invited speakers.

Last year, Ayub Abdul Rahman, a Muslim preacher who claimed to be a former Christian priest from a church in Germany, had been scheduled to speak at SIDMA College Sabah for the ‘Mahrajan Ilmu Al-Quran Sabah 2016’ convention.

In a promotional poster posted on the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department’s Facebook page, Ayub was described as a former priest at the Church of St Augustine of Canterbury in “Frankfurter” in Germany.

At the last minute, his name was removed from the lineup, and a new promotional poster, with Ayub’s name omitted, was uploaded on the page hours before the scheduled talk.

This followed a letter dated Jan 15, 2016, that surfaced on social media, debunking his claim. The letter was addressed to Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Bishop of West Malaysia and Archbishop Elect from Reverend Pierre W Whalon, and appeared to confirm speculation that Ayub was probably an impostor.



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