oh The Vatican He admitted Thursday (29) to secretly punishing East Timorese bishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Carlos Ximenes Belo two years ago for allegedly sexually abusing children decades ago.
oh The Vatican He admitted to punishing the bishop after a story in the Dutch magazine De Groen Amsterdam this week.
In the report, De Groene Amsterdammer quoted two men, identified only by pseudonyms, as saying that Belo raped them when they were 14 and 15 and then paid them.
The publication quoted two men as saying they believed Bello had sexually abused other boys in Timor-Leste. Some irregularities are said to have taken place at the bishop’s residence in the country’s capital, Dili.
De Kroon Amsterdamer said he had proof that Belo sexually abused boys in the 1990s when he was a priest.
Reuters could not locate Belo. De Groene Amsterdammer said he hung up when contacted for comment on the allegations.
Nobel laureate in 1996
Bello, 74, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 alongside Timor-Leste’s current president, José Ramos-Horta, for their work to end the conflict in the country.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Bello’s courage in the 1991 massacre of East Timor by the Indonesian military.
The former Portuguese colony gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a bloody occupation that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
In the same year of East Timor’s independence, Bello was given the post of Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dili by Pope John Paul II, citing health reasons caused by stress and exhaustion. The then Pope accepted.
Bellow was then just 54, 21 years below the normal retirement age for a bishop.
After stepping down as bishop of Dili, Bello worked as a missionary in Mozambique and later settled in Portugal, where he still lives.
In a statement, the spokesperson said, The VaticanMatteo Bruni said that the doctrinal office The VaticanThe commission, which handles sex abuse cases, first became involved in the case in 2019 “in light of allegations received about the bishop’s conduct.”
In 2020, the body imposed “disciplinary restrictions” on Timor-Leste, including “bans on their movement and activities of their ministry, voluntary contact, interviews and contacts with minors”.
In 2021, measures were “revised and strengthened,” Bruni said. Spokesperson The Vatican Bishop said he “formally accepted” the restrictions twice.
Bello is a member of the Salesian religious order, which traditionally specializes in the education of children.
The order’s branch in Portugal said on its website that it had heard of Belo’s “suspected” sexual abuse of minors with deep “sadness and confusion”.
From the moment he arrived in Portugal, Belo had no “educational or pastoral responsibilities,” he said.
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