DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     October 7, 1999     vol. 10, no. 191

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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BISHOP BELO RETURNS TO EAST TIMOR

        DILI, East Timor (CWNews.com) - Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili returned to East Timor on Wednesday, almost a month after being forced to flee the country by anti-independence militias that carried out a destructive campaign against the Timorese.

        Bishop Belo, who is revered as the territory's foremost spiritual leader, arrived in Dili and was met by priests and nuns and a strong security force. "I hope ... the international community can work hard to establish lasting peace in this land," he told reporters. "My priority is to be here with the people, to say Mass and to pray with them, to visit them. This is the only priority I can have."

        The bishop, a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, left East Timor in early September after militias attacked his residence, burning it to the ground, and forcing hundreds of refugees sheltering there to flee. Bishop Belo said he hoped his return encouraged the tens of thousands of refugees still hiding in the forests to return and start rebuilding their lives.

        "Why do they continue to live in the forest? This is not our life," Belo said before leaving Darwin, Australia, for Dili. "As human beings we must return to our villages, to our towns, to begin to rebuild."


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 7, 1999       volume 10, no. 191
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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