MONDAY
February 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 36
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

EAST TIMOR: PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION MUST RESPECT RELIGIOUS VALUES, SAYS BISHOP BELO

    LISBON, 19 (NE) The people in East Timor "are living crucial moments in their history", and it "is necessary that the correct choices are made," said Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, Apostolic Administrator of Dili, in a recent message regarding the process of national reconstruction taking place in the island. Expressing the Church's concern for East Timor's current political, social, and economic situation, the Prelate emphasized that "the problems that the people of East Timor find in their pilgrimage as a free and independent nation are also the problems of the Church."

    In his message, Bishop Belo pointed out seven problems that need urgent attention for "the construction of a new society as a nation, free and independent." In the first place, the document mentioned "the creation and application of a new educational system, modernized, keeping in mind the identity of the people of Timor acquired along its history."

    The Bishop also pointed out the necessity of creating a health care and a judicial system, a structure of public administration, as well as a solid economy based on justice, with a new unit of currency. The agricultural development must be adequate to supply for all the people in the island, Bishop Belo further said. Finally he pointed out the necessity of infrastructure to support the process of national reconstruction.

    Referring to this process, Bishop Belo insisted that it must be done taking in consideration that most of the population in East Timor is Catholic. Regarding this, he stressed that all effort "made by the UN's Transition Administration for East Timor must consider the people's tradition, that is their cultural, ethical and religious values." If these elements are not sufficiently considered -he warned- the people of Timor "will feel betrayed, and the work would run the risk of being a total frustration."

          

February 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 36
NEWS & VIEWS

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