Bishop Belo seeks Portuguese help in East Timor's "war of cultures"
The Indonesians "have retreated politically, but they continue to be there through the language and culture," according to Bishop Carlos Belo during his visit to Portugal last week.
He was appealing to Church leaders in Portugal to send priests, seminarians, deacons and other religious to East Timor.
"If there were someone to accompany the priest, teaching Portuguese, leading young people, and heading the scouts, it would be of enormous" value, he said, appealing to Bishop Jacinto Botelho of Lamego, who was in the audience.
Those that come "will have to get used to great sacrifices. There, we do not eat meat or drink wine," and our food is "very poor," Bishop Belo warned.
The Dili bishop considers the support of Portugal to be crucial in the areas of education and culture. "There is a war of influences" since the end of fighting, Bishop Belo said.
Some even spread "poison" against Portugal, reminding Timorese of the colonialist past, he said.
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)
East Timor battles questions of official lanuage (Radio Australia)
6 Nov 2002