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Bishop apologizes for riot, attack on mosque. (World).

EAST TIMOR: A bishop here has apologized to the country's Muslim community for the involvement of Catholics in an early December attack on a mosque. Bishop Basilio do Nascimento, apostolic administrator of Dill and Bacau, met with Muslim leaders Dec. 2,5 and also promised to promote interreligious initiatives.

"Following the example of the Holy Father, who repeatedly apologized for wrongdoings of Catholics all over the world, we must apologize for the wrongdoing of Catholics to other religions here," the bishop told five Muslim leaders who visited him Christmas Day. Do Nascimento became apostolic administrator of Dili Nov. 26, following the resignation of Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo (NCR, Dec.13).

During the Muslim leaders' visit, do Nascimento apologized for rioting in early December when a mob set fire to An'nur Mosque in Dili.

He said Catholics who took part in the burning of the mosque were still not ready to accept religious pluralism. The rioters also burned or damaged the parliament building, the Muslim prime minister's house, and shops and hotels in Dill, East Timor's capital. The two-day violence began after police on Dec. 3 shot and killed two students protesting excessive use of force by police during the arrest of another student at a school.
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Author:Donovan, Gill
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Jan 17, 2003
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