|National||National||BISHOP LAUNCHES PRAYER CAMPAIGN FOR EAST TIMOR||1:16pm 14/4/99|
Bishop Kevin Manning of Parramatta has launched a prayer campaign for the people of East Timor. The campaign, Call to Prayer for East Timor, is in response to frequent requests for prayers made by Bishop Carlo Belo of East Timor on his recent trip to Australia.
Bishop Manning said: "With the announcement by Indonesia that East Timor is to be offered at least autonomy, the situation in East Timor seems to have become more violent and unsettled. At the same time, both government and non-government organisations in many countries, including Australia, are planning developmental aid for East Timor.
The campaign asks people to pray for the people of East Timor and those engaged in planning its future development, and for a peaceful resolution to the current turmoil.
"The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council will plan and publicise as widely as possible this invitation to pray for East Timor," Bishop Manning said. "Appropriate prayers and support materials will be distributed to all interested. I invite all people of good will to join in this prayer campaign."
Bishop Manning pointed out that the Catholic Church in Australia had often voiced its concern for the people of East Timor, "The strength of the Catholic community's feeling of solidarity with the people of East Timor is evident in the strong support for annual commemorative Masses held in cathedrals, and other churches around the country, on the anniversary of the Dili massacre," Bishop Manning said.
"Through its agencies, the Catholic Church has offered spiritual and practical support to the East Timorese people, both within their own country, and in Australia."
|1:13pm 14/4/99 / Catholic Communications Adelaide|