AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


East Timor: a privilege and an opportunity

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Sep 2000AD2000 September 2000 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: East Timor: a privilege and an opportunity - Peter Westmore
Rome calls for new emphasis on the sacred at Mass - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Rome's International Eucharistic Congress: 'an unforgettable week' - Christine McCarthy
Why singles should not have access to IVF - Peter Westmore
The 'Statement of Conclusions' and liturgy: what needs to be done - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Ensuring our schools are truly Catholic - Br John Moylan CFC
Reflection: Religious life: death or re-birth? - Fr Benedict Groeschel

For Australian Christians, East Timor represents a particular challenge. To assist in the creation of a new nation in our immediate neighbourhood, and in the birth of a new Christian nation in Asia, is both an opportunity and a responsibility.

The establishment of an independent East Timor has come at a difficult time. As the Timorese Salesian Brother, Marcal Lopes, has observed during his current visit to Australia, the overwhelmingly Catholic people of East Timor continue to suffer the effects of the destruction perpetrated by Indonesian- backed militias after the people voted overwhelmingly for independence just a year ago.

Despite the billions of dollars which have gone into East Timor - including almost $2 billion from Australia alone - the capital, Dili still has blocks of burnt-out, uninhabitable buildings. Some villages were wiped out. Many schools were torched. One of the finest centres of education, the Polytechnic in Dili, was totally destroyed.

Throughout East Timor today, malaria is common, as are dengue fever, polio, TB, malnutrition, mosquitoes, bad food and water. The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, UNTAET, with the stated objective of laying the foundations for sustainable institutions in an independent East Timor, has made only slow progress in getting the country up and running, and there is growing discontent among many of the locals regarding their inability to get jobs. About 80 per cent remain unemployed.

Apart from the ever-present threat from pro-Indonesian militias, there are additional problems arising from divisions between supporters of the old political parties, and radically different perspectives between the majority of the population, who are under 35, and have only known Indonesian occupation, and the older group who remain nostalgic for Portugal.

The hope of the country is the Church, with hundreds of missionaries running schools (primary, secondary, technical and agricultural), churches, community health centres, orphanages, parishes and youth centres. They have much to teach us as we help them.

Peter Westmore: Publisher (E-mail -

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 13 No 8 (September 2000), p. 2

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004