DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     October 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 188

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
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18 TIMOR SEMINARIANS ARE MISSING AS SALESIANS VOW TO RETURN AND REBUILD

Church in Indonesia Shelters Refugees from East Timor; Bishop Belo will not run for office in new government but remain with his flock

        SURABAYA, OCT 1 (ZENIT).- The Catholic Church in Indonesia is preparing to assist and protect refugees from East Timor dispersed all over the archipelago. The Don Bosco Orphanage in Surabaya -- the main city in East Java, run by the Sisters of Charity, has been caring for a group of 50 refugees from East Timor since September 9. Nationalist fever is growing among some sectors of Indonesia's population. Theo Sumardjo, a volunteer who works at the Don Bosco Orphanage, told the international agency "Fides" that, although most of the displaced persons are not directly involved in Timor's political unrest, as refugees they are in danger.

        The Sisters are afraid that the people they have sheltered might be targeted by Indonesian nationalists who are opposed to the "invasion" of foreign forces, led by Australia. The refugees knocked on the door of the Don Bosco residence because it is well-known in East Timor, as is the work of many Salesian priests and Sisters. One mother arrived with only three of her six children; the others were lost -- and feared dead -- in the turbulent post-referendum uprisings.

        Since August 30, 18 seminarians are missing in Malang, another town in East Java. A group of 23 seminarians went to Timor to vote in the referendum, but only five returned, bringing with them horrifying stories of massacres and all kinds of violence perpetrated by the militias.

        The five seminarians who returned are in a state of shock, having seen relatives and companions tortured and killed. One saw his sister being raped; another saw his parents being killed, the Seminary chaplain told "Fides." ZE99100131

        Meanwhile in Rome, the Salesian General Direction confirmed that Bishop Carlos Belo, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said in Germany that he will not hold public office in his country, which is now recognized as independent.

        Bishop Belo, who requested a special "Marshall Plan" of aid for Timor, is traveling to Darwin, Australia, and will return to Dili as soon as possible.

        According to the Indonesian news agency ANTARA, the European Union proposed the Vatican as mediator between the conflicting parties in East Timor, in order to accelerate the peace process on the Island.

        ANTARA reported that Lars Backstrom, director of humanitarian aid for refugees, believes the Vatican would be an "excellent" mediator to begin the process of reconciliation, since a neutral institution is necessary to reconcile the pro-Indonesia militias with the pro-independence groups. ZE99100102

        The Salesians in Timor are all well, and are able to return to their houses. It would seem that only "Los Palos" orphanage has been destroyed. Some buildings in the center of Dili, are nothing but heaps of rubble.

        This is the first direct information that the General Direction has received from Fr. Wong, superior of the Jakarta province, who has just returned from Timor. The buildings of the Dili house are currently occupied by French military of the Peace Force, who use them as a hospital and for the distribution of urgently needed goods.

        "The latest tragic events that happened last Saturday and Sunday, have confirmed the ferocity and cruelty against religious and the Catholic Church, VID explained -- the Information Service of Religious Communities. We hope that the sacrifice of the two Canossian Sisters, the two deacons, the seminarians, the reporter and other lay volunteers will truly be the tail end of an insanity now under control, and of a tragedy that has gone beyond all measure of atrocity and suffering." ZE99100115


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.

October 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 188
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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October 4, 1999 NEWS & VIEWS: (oct4nv1.htm)

DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     October 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 188

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

       

       


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.

October 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 188
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us