|East Timor||TROUBLED POPE URGES PRAYERS FOR EAST TIMOR|
Pope John Paul II is following events in East Timor with deep concern, the Vatican Secretary of State announced yesterday.
Catholic World News reports that during a telephone conversation with the Portuguese Prime Minister, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that the Pontiff has been deeply troubled by the outbreak of violence in East Timor in the aftermath of a referendum.
Cardinal Sodano said that the Holy See "is in contact with the governments involved" in the crisis, presumably including the governments of Indonesia and Portugal, as well as the United Nations. The cardinal said that Church leaders are seeking to find a way to stem the violence "at quickly as possible."
On Sunday the Pontiff had called upon the faithful to offer their prayers for the people of East Timor, saying that they have been "sorely tried" by the violence of the past week. The Pope deplored the "grave acts of intimidation" that followed the referendum, and said that a peaceful solution must respect "the will expressed in these recent days by the people of Timor."
CWN 12:09pm 7/9/99