Bishops keep alive memory of Dili Massacre
Two Australian bishops have encouraged Australians celebrating the memory of their own countrymen who died in wars to spare a thought for the 270 innocent East Timorese who were gunned down at the Santa Cruz Cemetery in Dili on 12 November 1991.
Broome's Bishop Christopher Saunders, a member of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, said: "These people became part of the probably 200,000 men, women and children who died violent deaths after the invasion of their country in 1975 through to the granting of independence last year."
In Adelaide, Archbishop Leonard Faulkner said that while most Australians had responded generously to the plight of the East Timorese as the UN peacekeeping force has restored order to the country after the bloodshed that followed last year's 30 August popular consultation on independence, it is important now to realise the nation still faced a long and difficult process of rebuilding.
The people of East Timor were remembered during a special mass on Sunday at Adelaide's St Francis Xavier's Cathedral.
Archbishop Faulkner said the Adelaide archdiocese would continue to pray and offer practical support for the continuing work of East Timor's Catholic Bishop Carlos Belo and his people.
Broome Diocese/Cath Comm (Adel)