Subject: Coverage on the Differences between the Church and the Government

[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list have been removed.]

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Thursday, 28 April 2005

Coverage on the Differences between the Church and the Government

28 April, Dili ­ The Bishops of Dili and Baucau Dioceses, Mgr Ricardo Alberto and Basilio Nascimento met with President Gusmão to discuss options in addressing the differences between the church and Timor-Leste Government. After the meeting, Bishop Ricardo told the media that the church does not close the door to the government and that it is looking for the best exact way to settle the differences with the government. He also denied that it is incorrect to argue that the church is closing the door in order not to have the possibilities of dialogue with the government. Timor Post also reported in a separate article by running a headline which states that “despite the PM’s meeting with the two bishops, the differences between the church and the Government still exist.” Meanwhile, in relation to the protests by the Church against the Government, Timor-Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Ramos Horta stressed that the church holds an important role in the future. Therefore, a solution should be sought since both institutions would rely on each other. Timor Post reported that Minister Horta made the above statement following his meeting with Bishop Basilio do Nascimento to look at the possibilities to find a solution to the protest and demands made by the protesters which could lead further to a dialogue. Minister Horta also stated that he has reminded the Bishop(s) and some priests including President Gusmão to look at the position of the church since it represents a very strong force in Timor-Leste. (TP, STL)

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