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Caritas Australia extends its admiration to Bishop Belo

Caritas Australia's National Director, Jack de Groot has extended his admiration and gratitude to East Timor's Bishop Carlos Belo for his contribution to peace and freedom in East Timor.

"Bishop Belo has guided and inspired the struggle of the East Timorese people for self-determination," he said. "He consistently calls his people to the values that inspired their struggle for independence: human rights, peace, reconciliation, justice and development."

Mr de Groot said Bishop Belo has "laid a strong social foundation to build a truly just, democratic, peaceful and sustainable society".

Bishop Belo said in a statement this week that he has asked Pope John Paul II to accept his resignation after 19 years as the Bishop of Dili because of health reasons.

Caritas Australia is the Catholic agency for overseas aid and development in Australia. With the invitation of Bishop Belo, Caritas Australia has had a significant presence in East Timor since 1999, promoting human rights and providing emergency assistance in the areas of shelter and food relief.

"Bishop Belo has worked closely with Caritas Australia in East Timor," said Mr de Groot.

Last year Caritas Australia launched The Road to Freedom, a collection of writings by Bishop Belo. The collection is a record of the Bishop's important contribution to an independent East Timor. This collection of speeches and pastoral letters is a moving commentary on the transition of East Timor to freedom and independence

Bishop Belo, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dili since 1983, has been instrumental to the process of achieving East Timorese independence. He is most noted for his many attempts to avert violence and to protect the young East Timorese who campaigned for independence from violence.

Caritas Australia

Caritas Australia
Belo resignation stuns East Timorese Catholics (28/11/02)
News Of Bishop Belo's Resignation Surprises East Timorese (UCAN News)
East Timor's Bishop Belo, 54, Resigns for Health Reasons
Bishop Belo steps down for health reasons (27/11/02)
East Timor: heroic bishop steps down (Independent Catholic News)
East Timor's Bishop Belo steps down (BBC)
Pope accepts office renunciation of Monsignor Belo (MISNA)
Health issues force Timor's spiritual leader Belo to step down
Timor Bishop, Nobel Winner Resigns
E Timor bishop resigns with excessive fatigue
E. Timor Bishop, Nobel Winner Resigns (AP)
Bishop Belo resigns (Sydney Morning Herald)
Bishop Belo seeks Portuguese help in East Timor's "war of cultures" (6/11/02)
Timorese bishop reflects on challenges of new country (Catholic World News)
Pope expresses solidarity at meeting with East Timor bishops (31/10/02)
No amnesty for crimes against humanity, says East Timorese bishop (10/7/02)

29 Nov 2002