|East Timor||BISHOPS COMMEND HOWARD, MEDIA ON EAST TIMOR EFFORT|
Australia's Catholic bishops have commended the Prime Minister, the government, and the parliament, for their bi-partisan efforts to stop the killing in East Timor. They have also thanked the media for their "effective coverage and often careful reflection on this ongoing disaster".
The statement released yesterday by the Central Commission of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference observed: "No single event since the Second World War has so united all Australians in horror and dismay. We cannot even be sure that the worst is behind us, as difficulties still surround the deployment of a peace-keeping force and the air-drop of food to local inhabitants. The long-term future could be even more hazardous."
The bishops also aluded to our role in sheltering refugees: "We respectfully urge the Australian Government to continue in their generous hospitality to the East Timor refugees and promise our prayers for the safety of the peace-keeping forces, including our own Australian troops, if they are deployed."
On behalf of the Catholic community, they pledged the assistance of Catholics in doing what they can "to assist the refugees now among us, to support the efforts of our agency, Caritas Australia, and other agencies, to bring aid and relief to the suffering, and in the longer term to work for reconstruction in East Timor itself."
Aust Cath Bishops Conf (available soon) 12:11pm 16/9/99