Opinion: Catholics shocked by sexual abuse revelations

Catholic Sexual Abuse Revelations

Title:  Opinion: Catholics shocked by sexual abuse revelations
Author: Len Port
Publisher: Portuguese American Journal
Date: 02OCT2022

With the approach of the 105th anniversary of The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima in central Portugal, Catholics have been shocked by yet another revelation about the sexual abuse of children within the church.

The Vatican has at long last acknowledged that in 2020 a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Catholic bishop received “disciplinary restrictions” and was banned from “contact with minors” because of allegations that he raped and abused teenage boys.

Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo is accused of carrying out these crimes decades ago in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor. The Vatican first became involved in the case in 2019 if not before, but information about its disciplinary action only came last week, a day after a Dutch magazine, De Groene Amsterdammer, published the accusations in explicit accounts by two of the priest’s alleged victims.

Bishop Belo, 74, shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize with his friend José Ramos-Horta for their efforts in bringing peace and independence to East Timor after years of war with neighbouring Indonesia that killed hundreds of thousands of citizens. Since learning of the Vatican’s secret sanctioning of Belo, East Timor citizens have rallied to his side.

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