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Pope expresses solidarity at meeting with East Timor bishops

Pope John Paul II yesterday received Bishops Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, and Basilio do Nascimento, apostolic administrators of Dili and Baucau, East Timor, who just completed their "ad limina" visit to the Vatican.

The Holy Father entrusted once again the victims of violence in the country to divine mercy and he expressed "profound solidarity with all those who suffer the consequences of the drama that has afflicted your people."

"Praised be God," he said, "because in His kindness and providence He has allowed us to see the return of freedom and peace to your country, permitting you to dedicate yourselves now with all your energies to the service of a promising harvest."

"While we recall the enormous tragedy we cannot help but ask ourselves this question: How was the outbreak of such cruel and irrational violence possible? ... It may be useful for your ecclesiastical communities," he emphasized," to perform an act of purification as was done in the Holy Year."

Speaking about young people and adults, the Holy Father affirmed that in order to discover "in an ever clearer way their vocation and an ever greater willingness to live it in fulfilling their mission, it is necessary that they take advantage of a complete catechesis on the truths of the faith and their concrete implications in life."

The Holy Father concluded by exhorting the people of East Timor to "commit themselves decidedly to building an ever more fraternal and united society, whose members share equally the virtue and responsibility of the new nation."

Vatican Information Service

31 Oct 2002