Subject: Future of Catholic Church Will Mainly Be Pastoral: Belo

From UNMISET Daily Media Review

Future of Catholic Church Will Mainly Be Pastoral: Belo

The former Bishop of Dili, Ximenes Belo considered that the role of the Catholic Church in Timor would have to be different in the future. Speaking at a lecture on peace in the city of Horta in Portugal, Belo said the church should assume a more pastoral than political function. "During the Indonesian occupation, the church was the voice of the Timorese, but now Timor-Leste has political parties, a Parliament and a President, therefore the church must exercise its dynamic role more in the moral aspect than politics," said the former Bishop o f Dili who added that his role as bishop in the defence of his people will be among the international community in appealing to solidarity for the reconstruction of Timor-Leste. Ximenes Belo admitted that the alteration on the role of the Timorese church was one of the motives that led him to abandon his functions. (Lusa)

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