The Vatican on Thursday acknowledged that it had secretly disciplined East Timor bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carlos Ximenes Belo two years in the past, responding to allegations that he sexually abused boys in East Timor many years earlier than.
The Vatican’s acknowledgment got here in response to reporters’ questions following an article this week in Dutch journal De Groene Amsterdammer.
In its report, De Groene Amsterdammer quoted two males, recognized with pseudonyms, as saying Belo raped them once they have been 14 and 15 after which later gave them cash.
The publication quoted each males as saying that they believed that Belo had sexually abused different boys in East Timor. Among the alleged abuse befell within the bishop’s residence in capital Dili.
De Groene Amsterdammer stated it had proof that Belo had additionally sexually abused boys within the Nineteen Nineties, when he was a priest.
Reuters couldn’t instantly find the whereabouts of Belo. De Groene Amsterdammer stated he had hung up the telephone when it reached him for touch upon the allegations.
Belo, 74, gained the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 together with now President Jose Ramos-Horta for his or her work in ending the battle in East Timor. The Norwegian Nobel committee cited Belo’s braveness in serving to make clear a 1991 bloodbath of East Timorese by Indonesian army.
The previous Portuguese colony gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a bloody occupation through which lots of of hundreds have been killed.
The identical yr East Timor gained independence Belo, citing well being causes introduced on by stress and burnout, tendered his resignation as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Dili to Pope John Paul II, who accepted it.
He was solely 54 on the time, 21 years in need of the standard retirement age for a bishop.
After stepping down as bishop of Dili, Belo labored as a missionary in Mozambique and later settled in Portugal, the place he nonetheless lives.
In his assertion, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni stated the Vatican’s doctrinal workplace, which handles intercourse abuse circumstances, first turned concerned within the case in 2019 in “gentle of the accusations it obtained regarding the bishop’s behaviour”.
In 2020, it imposed “disciplinary restrictions” together with “limitations to his actions and to the train of his ministry, the prohibition of voluntary contact with minors, of interviews and contacts” with East Timor.
Bruni stated that in 2021, the measures have been “modified and strengthened,” with out giving particulars. The Vatican spokesman stated the bishop “formally accepted” the restrictions each instances.
Belo is a member of the Salesian spiritual order, which historically specializes within the training of kids.
The order’s department in Portugal stated on its web site that it had heard of the “suspicion” of Belo’s sexual abuse of minors with deep “unhappiness and perplexity”.
It stated that because the time he had arrived in Portugal, Belo has had “no instructional or pastoral duties” with the order.