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Canadian Catholics and the East Timor struggle, 1975-99.

The former Portuguese colony of East Timor was occupied by the Indonesian armed forces from 1975 to 1999. During that time, a profound religious transformation saw the majority of the population become Catholics. Suffering massive human rights violations, they called on Catholics outside the country for support. Slowly at first, but with growing effect, many Canadian Catholics began to work in support of human rights in East Timor. Their efforts played a significant role in shifting the policies of the government of Canada from one of silence and complicity to one of acting in support of human rights and self-determination.

L'ancienne colonie portugaise du Timor-Est a ete occupee par les forces armees indonesiennes de 1975 a 1999. Pendant cette periode, une profonde transformation religieuse a eu lieu, et la majorite de la population est devenue catholique. Victime d'enormes violations des droits de la personne, ils ont fait appel au soutien des Catholiques hors du pays. Lentement au depart, mais avec un effet croissant, beaucoup de Canadiens catholiques ont commence a oeuvrer en faveur du soutien des droits de la personne au Timor-Oriental. Ces efforts ont joue un role considerable dans le changement de politique du gouvernement canadien, qui est passe d'une politique de silence et de complicite a celle d'action en faveur des droits de la personne et de l'autodetermination.


In many situations, Canadian churches carry out their own foreign policy that influences, responds to, and at times works in different directions from the Canadian government. * One such case was the response to the situation in East Timor during Indonesian military occupation from 1975 to 1999. The government of Canada quickly came to side with Indonesia rather than backing Timorese independence movements. Although Christianity and Islam cut across both countries, East Timor was eventually over 80% Catholic and Indonesia over 80% Muslim. This informed a transnational, church-based network that stood in solidarity with the East Timorese independence movement, and played a role in shifting the policy of governments including Canada's. The transnational movement also significantly influenced the language of human rights and redemption-through-suffering used by East Timorese activists, with church ties across borders proving crucial in this development.

East Timor's history as a Portuguese colony shaped its religious and Cultural character, but the lusophone Catholic presence affected mostly elite groups, existing as surface appearance alongside continued non-Catholic indigenous practices. That began to change after the Indonesian military invaded in 1975. The government of Canada was aware an invasion was likely, but saw Indonesia as a priority partner in Southeast Asia, and wished to do nothing to rock the boat. (1) With no history of Canadian missionary presence in East Timor, there was no Timor-linked missionary pressure on Ottawa to change its policies. Canadian Catholic networks did begin to operate, acting in solidarity with Timorese Catholics seen as threatened and in need of overseas succour.

In a quarter-century of Indonesian rule, Timorese adherence to the Catholic church rose from less than a third to account for the vast majority of the population. This was linked to its role as the carrier of a distinct Timorese identity. This article traces four phases. In the first, from 1975 to about 1983, there was minimal support from outside and Timorese complained of the "silence" of the global church. As Timorese bishops, priests, religious and lay people began to be heard internationally through the 1980s, a second phase saw the beginnings of international solidarity. Solidarity took hold in a third phase beginning with a Papal visit to East Timor and an appeal to the United Nations by East Timor's Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo in 1989. A fourth phase after the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Bishop Belo in 1996 saw active support that helped East Timor achieve its independence following the end of Indonesian rule in 1999.

East Timor appeared poised for independence following the end of Portugal's Salazar-Caetano regime in 1974 and the promise of independence to the colonies. Two main parties contended, with smaller groups including one that aimed at union with Indonesia. The UDT (Timorese Democratic Union) called for eventual independence with a continued link to Portugal, but did not challenge the basis of the existing social system. Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) sought speedier independence, rural reform and popular education on the model of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. The Portuguese Bishop of Dili diocese (covering the entire colony) opposed Fretilin's "materialistic and atheistic Communism and socialistic Marxism," despite the fact that most of its leaders were the product of Jesuit formation at the Dare seminary, East Timor's only place of higher education. When Indonesian forces invaded in 1975, however, Bishop. Ribeiro could see the Timorese suffering mass killings, arrests and torture. The death toll from war and war-induced famine eventually topped 200,000. By 1976, Bishop Ribeiro was calling the Indonesian army "a thousand times worse" than Fretilin. By 1977, a priest wrote, he could take no more. "He is tired. He sees everything reduced to ashes; all the values are shattered, and Christian family life is betrayed." (2)

With Bishop Ribeiro granted permission to retire, Timorese priests nominated Martinho da Costa Lopes to head up the Dili diocese. The appointment called for a delicate Vatican balancing act. Indonesia claimed to have integrated East Timor as its 27th province and the Indonesian bishops' conference asked that Dili be added to their purview, but the United Nations still saw East Timor as Portuguese territory with the fight to self-determination. Therefore the Pope named himself bishop of Dili, with the native-born Msgr. da Costa Lopes as "apostolic administrator." This middle course evaded the call of the Indonesian bishops without risking offence to Indonesia. Under the tenure of Msgr. da Costa Lopes, Timorese flocked to become Catholics. The church provided "a thread of continuity, a link with the past" and acted as "the repository and protector of the cultural values of the people [and] their servant and advocate." It became a voice for silenced Timorese, as one writer has said,
 [...] interpreting their aspirations and seeking to defend
 individuals against the persistent violation of their human rights,
 and the nation against its assimilation into, or suffocation by, a
 foreign culture.... Church membership has become a symbol of
 Timorese identity to such an extent that there has been a fusion of
 the religious and the secular, a merging of Catholicism and
 nationalism. The Church has offered to the Timorese people whatever
 consolation and fellowship it could in their time of grief, and a
 spiritual context for the experience of suffering. It has been able
 to articulate and express their pain. (3)

East Timor underwent a profound religious transformation in this period. Some Portuguese priests fled, but others--and the native Timorese priests remained with the people and shared their experience. Anyone could hear the anguish in the voice of Msgr. da Costa Lopes as he spoke later from exile about women being raped in front of their families, and recounted other horrors. Amidst death and routine daily violations of basic human rights, people came to identify with the Catholic church. The identification was extended with masses in traditional sacred (lulik) spaces. Of enormous significance, the church chose to develop a new liturgy in Tetun, one of the indigenous vernacular languages. Tetun thereby began to develop into a new national language for the Timorese, through its use in the mass and its role as the common language used by guerrilla members of Fretilin. The church meanwhile accepted a rapprochement with Fretilin, symbolized by a secret meeting between Msgr. da Costa Lopes and resistance leader Jose Xanana Gusmao, who insisted that the church's "prophetic mission ... is to support the people in their struggle for liberation." (4)

Recalling this period of trial, Bishop Belo would later compare the church to "a mother" who "deeply understands its children's pains, sorrows and suffering." The church grew partly because it accepted some synthesis with indigenous beliefs and carried Timorese identity in a time of trial, he said.
 You know, even as animists, the Timorese community have their
 vision, their beliefs, so that even as animists, we call them here
 'genteels,' they believe in one God. They believe also in the
 eternal life of the souls of their relatives. And when they are
 presented with the opportunity to become Catholics, I see that
 there is a similarity between the Catholic faith and the local
 religious beliefs. Many people feel that it is natural to become
 Catholics and we see that our people have a simple faith but are
 very, very profound in this faith. Not intellectual, not
 theoretical but a kind of emotional faith, a living faith. (5)

The major complaint of the church in East Timor in this period was that the church outside did not hear them or stand with them. During Msgr. da Costa Lopes' term, only one international message of support arrived. "Only one letter during 8 years, but it was good for us because this letter gave us comfort in our suffering," he recalled. In 1981, a letter from religious communities mourned being "suddenly thrown into emptiness and isolation.... We felt stunned by this silence which seemed to allow us to die deserted." Msgr. da Costa Lopes began to speak out publicly against Indonesian military actions "in accordance with the Church's prophetic mission" at a mass of 12,000 people in honour of Our Lady of Fatima. (6)

Vatican policy on Timor in this period was dictated by the needs and fears of the church in Indonesia, where it was a small and vulnerable minority. The Suharto dictatorship appeared as a shield against the Muslim majority. Delegates to an Asian bishops' conference noted that the dominant theme of Christian-Muslim tensions throughout the continent was fear: "fear of a minority group towards a majority." Indonesian Catholics often acted as their government's advocates in international forums, including church networks. They were, in the words of one dissident Catholic intellectual, "trapped in a minority complex." Calling East Timor a test case for the Indonesian church, one Jesuit wrote: "remember, we are not a heroic community. We are a cross section of society, weak and fearful like most people." Given this context, the nuncio in Jakarta consistently sought to downplay Timorese advocacy. In 1983, acting on pressure from Defence Minister Benny Murdani, a Catholic general, Nuncio Pablo Puentes orchestrated the removal of Msgr. da Costa Lopes from Dili in favour of a handpicked successor expected to be more docile. (7)

This context of silence and Jakarta-based manoeuvring sharply reduced the prospect of a strong response on East Timor from the church hierarchy. Solidarity groups formed in this period were mainly isolated secular organizations, their ties to church-based groups uneasy. Pope John Paul II embraced the oppositional role of the church in his Polish homeland, where communism threatened the church's survival, but his personal commitment to human rights did not always affect policy. As Portuguese Bishop Manuel Martins said, "the Pope is a prisoner of the Vatican." The Vatican had diplomatic imperatives that seemed important to its global diplomatic corps, with the protection of minority Catholics in non-Christian majority countries like Indonesia seeming to be the priority, and good relations with these governments vital to maintain. As a result, there were few public advocacy efforts from the Vatican. Church channels were most important not for exerting public pressure, but rather for the dissemination of information from East Timor while it was closed to the outside world. (8)

In distant Canada, there was no East Timorese community to make it an issue within the church, as it became in Portugal and Australia. Nor had any Canadian missionary society worked in East Timor--there was none of the missiological context that informed Canadian attitudes towards China, Japan or India. The Canadian government lined up with its allies to back the pro-Western Suharto regime and to seek trade and investment opportunities. Development aid in 1975-76 reached a record level of $36.7-million, placing Indonesia third among Canada's bilateral aid recipients. Officials in Ottawa saw East Timor as a "lost cause," meaning the best thing was to forget the whole issue. Visiting Jakarta in 1983, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said East Timor "raised the problem of self-determination of peoples" but that "on balance we decided that stability of the region should be the foremost concern and thus had supported Indon[esia]." The United States, Britain, Australia and Japan also became key backers of the Suharto regime. In each of these countries, the church was circumscribed by their country's foreign policy and by the relatively weak position of Catholics in the country from taking an oppositional position over East Timor. (9) Although Canadian government policy also supported the Indonesian government, the Canadian church was less circumscribed. In Quebec especially, it was willing to confront the government when necessary, with the 1949 Asbestos strike as a foundational event. "The bishops now played the role of societal goads rather than overlords," Terence Fay has noted. Canada's church appeared globally as relatively progressive, seeing "the potential of the church to be an expression of God's love, that is, a sacrament of human rights to build a more humane Canada." The Social Affairs Commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1983 reaffirmed the principle that labour came ahead of capital, with Bishop John Sherlock of London noting that the bishops "are moving to clear-cut condemnation of capitalism." Yet there were many louder calls on the thin social justice resources of the CCCB than East Timor, whether internal debates such as the position of women in the church, or the closer call of justice issues in Latin America or South Africa. (10)

Canadian Catholic support thus came mainly through the channel of global development agencies. The major channel here was the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), formed in response to Pope Paul VI's statement that "development is the new name for peace." The Suharto regime's main legitimizing factor was the promise of economic development (pembangunan) but the regime understood development to mean Channelling popular participation out of politics and into state-led development. This approach led to clashes in East Timor. Bishop Belo, once he took over as the head of Dili diocese in 1983, leaned on Catholic social teaching in seeking development that was "truly human in character." Development, he wrote, too often becomes "an ideology and justification for violating the basic rights of the people." The Asia Partnership for Human Development, a church-based agency formed in the early 1970s with D&P as a founding member, proved willing to call for international pressure for human rights in East Timor. Asian bishops in 1970 called for the church to be "more truly the Church of the poor," to work for "the total development of our peoples" and to "eradicate injustice." (11)

This language, rooted in Catholic social teaching, lined up well with CCCB thinking embodied in such documents as "Northern Development: At What Cost?" issued in 1975 on the problems with "development" inside Canada. The vision of human-centred development formed the guiding vision of D&P. "We truly belong to Christ in as much as we share with compassion in the misery and the sufferings of the poor," the Canadian bishops wrote in their pastoral letter on the new agency in 1968. Forty years later, D&P remained "an effective means for the Catholic Church in Canada to express its preferential love for the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed." Indonesia barred foreign aid agencies from East Timor until 1989, but D&P backed such efforts as Arnold Kohen's East Timor Research Project founded in Washington in 1979. In Canada, the voice of East Timor was starting to be heard. (12)

When Carlos Belo replaced Msgr. da Costa Lopes as apostolic administrator in Dili, Vatican officials hoped he would prove a less confrontational figure. A Timorese-born Salesian priest, Belo had been at seminary in Portugal since before the invasion. He was not the choice of Timorese priests as his predecessor had been, and many of them boycotted his installation ceremony. Belo had the confidence of the Pope, however. His status was confirmed when he was subsequently named as titular bishop of the extinct see of Lorium, a move that gave him the full rank of bishop but avoided the issue of whether his real diocese, Dili, lay in Indonesian territory. He began with a low-profile pastoral approach, quietly doing what he could to protect those at risk of torture, arrest and other human rights violations. In an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, anything more was dangerous. Belo spoke out publicly in a pastoral letter to mark UN Human Rights Day on 10 December 1988. "We do not agree with this barbarous system and condemn the lying propaganda which claims there is no abuse of human rights in Timor," he wrote. Belo's credibility in church channels, access to the informal church-sponsored network based in Washington, and communications skills gave him excellent access to the world media for this and other statements. (13)

Bishop Belo was no fiery liberation theologian. His homilies, speeches and pastoral letters were very deliberately grounded in Papal encyclicals. His central message was that "the people are the church, the church is the people." The role of the church in East Timor, he said, was "to defend the human people, human dignity, justice." He later described his theology as "contextual, liberating, and characteristically Timorese." It preached unity of all Timorese, not an effort to level social class. In calling for inclusion of the laity, it accepted acculturation with pre-Christian traditions. The church was to avoid political involvement, standing above politics as a mediating and unifying voice. Belo laid special stress on the "sacred responsibility" to protect and promote human rights as a constitutive aspect of Catholic mission. Lacking a staff, Belo's pastoral letters and statements in this area drew on an informal international network of advisors working within Catholic organizations overseas, including the D&P networks. The vision was Belo's own, but the wording often drew on an unofficial social justice staff overseas. (14)

A major turning point came in February 1989 when Bishop Belo wrote to UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to request UN support for a referendum in East Timor. "For our part, we, the people of Timor, think that we must be consulted on the future of our land," he wrote. The world community, he said, had failed in its duty to seek peace and self-determination. Meanwhile, "we continue to die as a people and as a nation." The letter ended any remaining doubts in the Timorese church about Belo, drawing universal support from priests and religious in the country. In a follow-up letter appealing to Bishop Martins of Portugal to press the UN for a response, Belo reported he was under enormous criticism in Indonesia for his words.
 The Christian people pray, while hiding letters under the statues
 of the Saints, and hope that the happy day will come when they can
 freely express their aspirations as free men. Excellency, please
 pray for me because from one day to the next I may meet the same
 fate as Monsignor Romero. (15)

The letter risked Belo's life, but became in his biographer's words "a decisive document in recasting the terms of debate on the East Timor issue" that for years after "remained a benchmark of an acceptable solution." Bishop Belo never retracted this call for a referendum, and it shaped the future direction of East Timor's history significantly. In a telephone press conference six years later, his voice crackled over the line as he responded to a question on whether a referendum was still needed. "You should ask the people," he said. "Please ask them!" (16)

International church support for this initiative was ambiguous. The Pope offered periodic defences of Timorese cultural rights, and personal words of encouragement to Bishop Belo. On one of Belo's ad limina visits, the Pope told Belo to "work for the church, to fight the suffering of the people, and seek for a right solution for peace in Timor." (17) Vatican political structures, however, tried to balance the needs of the Timorese and Indonesian churches. The Jakarta nuncio dismissed Bishop Belo's UN letter as personal and unrepresentative of the church; the chair of the Indonesian Conference of Catholic Bishops urged "the wisdom of silence." When Bishop Martins in Portugal and Bishop Aloysius Nobuo Soma in Japan collected the signatures of 160 bishops from around the world on a letter of support for Belo's appeal, Vatican Secretary of State Casaroli forbade them from sending it to the UN. This was in keeping with an earlier directive to the Australian bishops to be "non-cooperative" with activism in support of East Timor and the early role of the US-run Catholic Relief Services in working with the Indonesian govemment in East Timor. Despite the official silence, however, the Vatican had allowed a protest to be registered, but not placed on the official record. Meanwhile some bishops simply sent individual letters to the UN on behalf of people in their dioceses--among them Bishop Remi De Roo of Victoria. The CCCB's human rights committee also backed the appeal. (18)

Vatican balancing was on full display when the Pope visited Indonesia in 1989, a tour that he insisted include East Timor. A vast open-air mass in Dili welcomed 100,000 people, a substantial proportion of the entire Timorese population. The Pope kissed the ground on arrival in Indonesia. All of John Paul's travels were weighted with strong symbolic power, and enormous symbolic weight went to whether he would kiss the ground on arriving in East Timor. In the event he kissed a cross placed on the altar, satisfying those in the Indonesian Catholic establishment who wanted him not to kiss the soil of East Timor on arrival, as well as East Timorese who saw the kiss of the Holy Cross as a symbolic kiss of the entire "Rai Santa Cruz" (land of the Holy Cross, East Timor). John Paul's homily struck a balance too, calling for respect for human rights but avoiding strong language. After the mass ended, a small group of young Timorese unfurled pro-independence banners. Indonesian soldiers waded into the crowd and beat them while the Pope and his retinue looked on. These events shocked many, and may have led to a shift in the Pope's personal interest in the East Timor cause. (19)

While Catholics in Europe and North America were increasingly willing to speak out on East Timor, Asian bishops sympathized on human rights grounds but preferred silence. The ambiguous position of the Dili diocese meant it was never part of the Asian bishops' conferences. The first words of support from the Indonesian bishops' conference came in 1983 after a meeting with Bishop Belo. The bishops expressed their "solidarity" with the Timorese, but cited "Indonesian-style prophetic action" as requiring avoidance of any sort of confrontation or criticism of the government. A typical example of the problems within Asia-wide bodies came in the ecumenical Christian Conference of Asia. When the CCA's New Delhi Assembly in 1984 expressed "solidarity with the church and the people of East Timor in their struggle for peace and justice," the Indonesian delegation walked out. When East Timor was discussed again at the 1985 CCA assembly in Seoul, the Indonesians withdrew from the organization's decision-making bodies in protest, denouncing the CCA's "leftist, revolutionary, radical and militant features." Indonesia's Communion of [Protestant] Churches criticized the CCA for preferring a vision of Christ as being on the side of the poor and marginalized, rather than one of all people saved and reconciled through Christ. (20)

On the other hand, the East Timorese church was increasingly able to win support outside Asia. With Msgr. da Costa Lopes in exile, Bishop Belo asked him to "pray for us, and launch an appeal to the free world to open its eyes to the barbarities of which the Indonesians are capable." This letter leant the full weight of the East Timorese church to the words of its former bishop. Msgr. da Costa Lopes kept up a busy schedule in the 1980s, touring Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States. He was able to spur the creation in 1985 of an international Christian Consultation on East Timor, and convince colleagues to write support letters to Bishop Belo of the sort he had never received himself. In international discourse on East Timor the voice of the church, with its message of human rights and deliverance from suffering, began to displace the voice of the guerrilla resistance, which had used the third-worldist language of liberation from colonialism. In place of the early Fretilin links to the People's Republic of China, the church inspired a turn to common identification with the cause of other suffering people, including those of Tibet. (21)

This sort of language was carried into Canada, where public interest was low. As one government official noted, "Indonesia is not a sufficiently flagrant violator to attract the attention of the public as some other countries do." Canadian awareness rose in 1985 when Amnesty International launched a campaign on human fights in East Timor to mark ten years of occupation. Amnesty's Canadian campaign in Canada was coordinated by members of the Nova Scotia East Timor Group, the first dedicated solidarity group in Canada. It included among other things the first Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops letter on East Timor to the Canadian government. The letter went privately and the CCCB declined requests to make the text public, but it still signalled the start of concern from the leadership of the Canadian church. Two new solidarity groups formed in the 1980s, both with funds from ecumenical church coalitions: the Indonesia East Timor Programme in Ontario, and the East Timor Alert Network in British Columbia. ETAN would in time become the national network of Canadians concerned with East Timor, always with core funding from the Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches. It worked closely with the Canada Asia Working Group, a Toronto-based ecumenical coalition, and with other coalitions such as Ten Days for World Development. (22)

These groups, while small, did begin to be noticed in Ottawa. To meet the growing volume of letters, the Department of External Affairs produced a background paper on East Timor, which acknowledged severe human rights issues in 1975-80, but argued the situation was improving. The best way to advance human fights was to increase Canadian engagement with Indonesia. Canada under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney continued to back Indonesia's rule of East Timor as "an accomplished and irreversible fact." However, church-driven lobbies in Canada were beginning to be heard by their government. (23)

By the 1990s, the Catholic church in East Timor was playing three key roles. It was a space for dissent, a shield against human rights violations, and an alternative voice for people-centred development. The role of churches as space outside state control has been evident in numerous repressive states, from communist Poland and East Germany to the Philippines under Marcos and South Africa under apartheid. As "an indigenous institutional and cultural expression against an outside occupying force," the church stands outside state control, offering one of the few independent spaces for civil society. Bishop Belo called protecting the church's flock a gospel calling, and worked hard to prevent reprisals against clandestine pro-independence activists. The ever-closer identification of church and Timorese nation led the Indonesian authorities to directly attack the church and Catholic religion for the first time starting in the mid-1990s. "Call on your Jesus to come down and save you," one torturer mocked a young activist. Another drew crosses on a woman's naked body as she was beaten. Indonesian soldiers entered a mass, took communion then spat out and trampled on the host, smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary, and otherwise targeted symbols of faith and identity. (24)

With the ground prepared by the Pope' s visit and Bishop Belo' s letter in 1989, East Timor hit world headlines on 12 November 1991 when Indonesian soldiers massacred more than 250 unarmed protesters at the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili. Tensions had been running high in the preceding weeks, prompting the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) to initiate an international bishops' letter stressing grave concern for the safety of Timorese people and calling for an international protection force. Twenty bishops including Jean-Guy Hamelin of Rouyn-Noranda for the CCCB signed the appeal. Days later, the feared massacre took place. For the first time, international journalists were there. Footage aired around the world, including on CBC. A flood of bishops' conference statements followed. Australian and American bishops in particular became more willing to go on the record, and the Japanese bishops made their first statement as a group. The Vatican' s observer at the UN reported that the news had "deeply touched the Holy See." As the Indonesian government tried to minimize the scale of the massacre, a fact-finding mission from the Indonesian bishops' conference reported the death toll was far higher than the government Would admit, and that troops had opened fire on defenceless protesters. (25) Solidarity also rose in Asia. A 1994 Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor opened in Manila with Cardinal Jaime Sin pointing to parallels with the role of the Philippine church during the years of the Marcos dictatorship. "Our faith tells us that it is Christ who suffers everytime human rights are trampled upon," he wrote in a letter to Bishop Belo. Bishop Soma of Japan spoke on the "long, terrible road of suffering" walked by the Timorese. A settlement, he said, could not be left to governments since they "have as their primary concern selfish goals that they refer to as their 'national interest,' goals which have little to do with justice, peace or love for one's fellow human beings." This assertion of a duty to independent foreign policymaking signalled the increasing influence on the East Timor issue exerted by non-governmental organizations, including transnational church-based networks. (26)

Meanwhile secular solidarity groups in Canada saw an influx of support. The Mulroney government, stung by public concern over the Santa Cruz massacre just weeks after the prime minister had declared at a Commonwealth conference "we shall no longer subsidize repression and the stifling of democracy," suspended three future aid projects for Indonesia. Indonesia remained a trade priority, however, with two-way trade up 47% over the course of 1992. Without announcing it (again to avoid offending Jakarta), External Affairs Minister Barbara McDougall imposed an informal embargo on arms exports to Indonesia and instructed the embassy in Jakarta to highlight "rising public concern" in Canada over East Timor. The government began to look for aid projects that could be opened inside East Timor, as a means to demonstrate concern without opposing Indonesian rule. The Canadian International Development Agency offered Development and Peace funds to open a project, but withdrew the offer when D&P insisted that Canada offer protection for Timorese partners. "We weighed, we discussed, we cried over it," one D&P staffer recalled. In the end, the demands of solidarity won out over the demands of development. (27)

From 1989, D&P began looking at projects inside East Timor. Two major projects allowed the Dili diocese to function more effectively, reaching and involving more lay people in its work. First was a radio station that "enabled it to keep in touch with its parishioners and inform them of events in ways which were not possible before." Second was a diocesan peace and justice commission that provided "the means of documenting the ongoing human rights abuses and liasing more effectively with human rights groups outside East Timor." Both projects opened in the mid-1990s and were possible only with D&P's ongoing support. The group went on to fund a wide range of civil society organizations, some clandestinely to avoid Indonesian government detection. This support continues after independence, primarily directed at women's organizations. D&P also sponsored Bishop Belo's 1993 visit to Canada, continuing the development of "a personal, real relationship." Belo was able to convince the Canadian government to provide a small grant for a new seminary, a key independent educational institution outside Indonesian government control. Direct lobbying was left to the secular groups like ETAN, backed by an annual D&P grant, and the Toronto-based ecumenical Canada Asia Working Group. (28)

The CCCB, too, became more willing to speak on East Timor. There had been letters of support to Bishop Belo from the CCCB human rights committee in 1990 and from CCCB president Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa in 1992, but Belo's visit established a personal connection. Until 1994, the social affairs office at the CCCB concentrated on advocacy work on economic justice within Canada; after that it was more willing to address international human rights causes rather than delegating the bulk of that work to D&P and CAWG. The commitment born of justice work within Canada translated well to international solidarity; In 1996, the CCCB social affairs commission issued a statement offering strong support for Bishop Belo and the Timorese church, calling on Indonesian troops to withdraw, and asking the Canadian government to work for a negotiated solution and impose an arms embargo on Indonesia. This last demand, spelled out in an ETAN campaign that gained CCCB support, signalled a more supportive working relationship with the secular solidarity movement. (29)

A similar phenomenon was seen in the East Timor Hope Foundation, a joint project by ETAN members and committed local Catholics in Windsor, Ontario that aimed to "foster a spirit of hope, financial and material assistance, and an offering of partnership between Canadians and East Timorese." It also forged a link between Saint Vincent de Paul parish in Windsor and the parish of Suai in East Timor, including bringing Suai's priest Fr. Hilario Madeira to Windsor for a three-month pastoral exchange in 1995. "Father Larry," as locals called him, died in 1999 at the hands of pro-Indonesia militias as he tried to prevent the massacre of people taking shelter in his church. "[H]e died doing what he was supposed to be doing, protecting his flock," a Windsor priest said. "The blood of martyrs is the seedbed of the church, but it's not supposed to happen to people you know. It's supposed to happen to those nameless people over there." (30) The issue increasingly became a concern for other Canadian churches. The ecumenical Canada Asia Working Group, which called for human rights to "form the core of Canadian foreign policy," always kept East Timor on its agenda. CAWG also developed a close link with the small East Timor [Protestant] .Church (GKTT). Solidarity links were strengthening and broadening. (31)

In 1996, Bishop Belo became the first Catholic bishop to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Because of concerns he would not be able to speak freely, the Nobel committee added resistance diplomat Jose Ramos Horta as co-laureate. In Oslo, the dual award allowed Bishop Belo to concentrate on his preferred themes of social justice and human rights, leaving conflict resolution proposals to Ramos Horta. Belo's Nobel speech drew together the strands of twenty years: Catholic social teachings, human rights; beating witness to suffering by giving voice to the voiceless. "As a member of the Church, I take on myself the mission of enlightening and denouncing all human situations that are in disagreement with Christian concepts and contrary to the teachings of the Church," he said. The prize honoured not a man, but the message "that the Catholic Church has developed over the centuries in defence and promotion of the rights of human beings." It was "the recognition of pleas for an end to suffering." Belo was there as "a spokesman of the voiceless people of East Timor" who sought only respect for their human dignity, seeking to "bear witness to what I have seen and heard, to keep the flame of hope alive, to do what is possible to warm the earth for still another day." Church support shifted from the early years of breaking silence, to a new phase of working for change. Bishop Belo was able to attend an Asian bishops' synod at the Vatican, where he was the only one to raise human rights. Indonesian bishops issued a Lenten pastoral call for "profound introspection as to why, after 20 years of integration, some Timorese have yet to live it." (32)


In this period, church and solidarity group pressure within Canada contributed to a reversal of government policy on East Timor. Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government focussed foreign policy on trade promotion. His first foreign minister, Andre Ouellet, had "strongly held views" against any action on East Timor. Officials cast about for ways to "get ETAN off our back," but efforts to retain Indonesian friendship continued. By raising the political cost of doing business with Indonesia, solidarity groups helped to shift Canadian government foreign policy. (33) Church support was important here. CAWG organized a 1998 Canadian church mission to East Timor that included CCCB general secretary Msgr. Peter Schonenbach (who concelebrated mass at Dili's cathedral) and Rt. Rev. Bill Phipps, moderator of the United Church. Where D&P forged direct ties in development work and a tie of solidarity between Catholics in Canada and East Timor, CAWG facilitated a political tie between Canadian church leaderships and the Timorese political leadership that echoed its earlier work connecting church and secular solidarity groups within Canada. The ecumenical mission returned to Ottawa and pressed Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy for international human rights monitoring, the release of political prisoners, an international protection force and a transition period leading up to a referendum. This hewed closely to Ramos Horta's own requests to Ottawa, reflecting the close working relations that had been established between church, solidarity movement and the Timorese resistance. At the end of 1998, Canadian policy finally shifted to include a call for Timorese self-determination and for the UN Security Council to pay more attention to preventing violence in East Timor. (34)

Indonesia's economic collapse in 1998, part of a wider Asian financial crisis, created an opening for the growing democracy movement in Indonesia to topple the Suharto regime. The new "reform" government decided to cut its losses and offer East Timor a UN-run referendum. The Indonesian army felt differently, however. It began to establish and arm pro-Indonesia militia groups. Indonesian officials had been predicting "civil war" for some years and now set about manufacturing one. Violence included a massacre inside a church that prompted the CCCB, in a joint letter with the United Church, to call for an international force to keep the peace. The appeal, coordinated by CAWG, was echoed and amplified in a letter from fifteen church, labour and activist groups a month later. The Canadian government repeated that call at the UN Security Council to no avail. (35)

When the UN announced the vote result--almost 80% for independence, on a turnout of more than 98%--militia groups went into action, burning infrastructure, killing and forcibly moving hundreds of thousands of people. There was no longer any church effort at "balance." The Pope wrote that he was "profoundly saddened that the glimmers of hope born of the recent popular consultation have been transformed into the terror of today, which nothing and no one can justify." Indonesian bishops denounced the "systematic massacre and forced removal of people." Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte, president of the CCCB, called for a novena for East Timor leading up to the feast of the Canadian martyrs on 26 September, calling it "fitting for Canadian Catholics to remember East Timor on a day when they are already recalling the significance of Christian witness and solidarity." (36)

International pressure finally forced Indonesia's army to leave East Timor, in favour of an interim UN administration that oversaw East Timor's transition to independence in 2002. Attention shifted to reconstruction from a state comparable to "Year Zero in Cambodia" in one aid worker's words, and to a fight for the perpetrators of violence to be held accountable.

Several themes run through the story of transnational solidarity for East Timor and its church. They include a vision of human rights, redemption through suffering, Timorese Catholic identity, breaking silence to bear witness, and two-way solidarity that also sees East Timor's church as an example from which to learn. The church in East Timor always highlighted human rights, with that language displacing the early language of anti-colonialism in representations of East Timor. The Timorese cause became one rooted within an evolving global human rights movement in which economic and social rights took their place alongside civil and political rights. This global human rights movement did much to shape East Timorese identity during the independence struggle, so that the new state almost immediately and as a matter of pride ratified every UN human rights treaty and covenant.


The Timorese nation was born amidst suffering well before independence. Bishop Belo portrayed the occupation as a crucifixion, its ending as a resurrection, and human rights as compassion for those who suffer. "Suffering, for the people of East Timor, is not distinct from their vision of God," one author wrote. "It is, in fact, integral to their identity as Timorese." Timorese identity by 1999 was almost indistinguishable from their identity as Catholics. "The Catholic faith of the people is a kind of symbol to unite them, it is a way of expressing the fact that they are Timorese," Bishop Belo said. This hybrid Timorese-Catholic identity implicitly asserted a demand for support from Catholics outside East Timor. "What grieved us most was the silence of the world and of the church," one priest wrote. (37)

Slowly at first, but with growing effect, the global church moved from silence to solidarity. First as a transnational network spreading information and bearing witness, then as a voice of active solidarity, overseas Catholics made increasing efforts to support a political change in East Timor, one in keeping with the will of its people. A model of people-centred development and social activism within the Canadian church proved open to similar currents within the Timorese church. Starting with groups like Development and Peace, and diffusing upwards, Canadian Catholics leant their voices to those pressing the Canadian government to make human rights more central in its relations With Indonesia. This pressure, at certain key moments, contributed to shifts in Canadian government policy. Catholic efforts did not transform the basis of Canadian foreign policy into one based on principles of social justice, but they affected government policy on the specific issue of East Timor.

The solidarity movement's role was to stand with the Timorese in bearing witness, to break the silence and make the world hear about East Timor. The East Timor cause inspired many because the Timorese church seemed to be truly living as a prophetic church that stood with its people amidst suffering, an example to others. In one publication, the Melbourne Archdiocese Peace and Justice Commission wrote: "In times of great isolation and the destruction of their families and land, they emerged stronger in faith and commitment to the Gospel values. We have much to learn from them." (38) Solidarity, in the end, ran in two directions.

* Much of the information in this paper comes from interviews and private collections. Thanks for assistance go to Jess Agustin of Development and Peace, Hanadi Loubani and Connie Sorio of KAIROS, Elaine Briere, Maggie Helwig and Kerry Pither, all formerly of the East Timor Alert Network, Joe Gunn, formerly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bern Jagunos and Daisy Francis, formerly of the Canada Asia Working Group, and others including many Timorese who have been willing to share their experience, especially the late Fr. Hilario Madeira.

(1) Sharon Scharfe, Complicity: Human Rights and Canadian Foreign Policy, the Case of East Timor (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1996); David Webster, Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and Indonesia in a Decolonizing World (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009).

(2) Jill Jolliffe, East Timor: Nationalism and Colonialism (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1978); John Taylor, Indonesia's Forgotten War: The Hidden History of East Timor (London: Zed Books, 1991); Juan Federer, "The Catholic Church in East Timor: Its Lone Struggle for Justice" (unpublished paper, 1994), 27; Peter Carey, "The Catholic Church, Religious Revival and the Nationalist Movement in East Timor, 1975-98," Indonesia and the Malay Word 77: 77-95; letter from a Timorese priest, 13 Oct. 1977, in Torben Retboll, (ed.), East Timor, Indonesia and the Western Democracies: A Collection of Documents (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1980).

(3) Pat Smythe, "The Catholic Church in East Timor," in Torben Retboll, (ed.), East Timor: Occupation and Resistance (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1998), 154-8.

(4) Audiotape of Msgr. da Costa Lopes interview in author's possession; East Timor: An International Responsibility (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 1992), 16; Carey, "The Catholic Church"; Arnold Kohen, "The Catholic Church and the Independence of East Timor," in Richard Tanter, Mark Selden and Stephen R. Shalom, Bitter Flowers, Sweet Flowers: East Timor, Indonesia and the World Community (Sydney: Pluto Press Australia, 2001), 49 Xanana letter to a priest, 27 June 1986, in East Timor News Dossier (Hong Kong) 1 #4 (Sept. 1987) Elaine Briere papers (private collection, Vancouver); Rowena Lennox, Fighting Spirit of East Timor: The Life of Martinho da Costa Lopes (Annandale NSW: Pluto Press Australia, 2000), 190.

(5) Belo, cited in Timor Link #33 (June 1995); text of video interview with Belo, 1994, East Timor Alert Network (hereafter ETAN) papers (private collection, Toronto).

(6) Msgr. da Costa Lopes cited in Pat Walsh, "Timor Prelate Visits Australia," in Torben Retboll, (ed.), East Timor: The Struggle Continues (Copenhagen: IWGIA document collection, 1984); letter from the Religious of East Timor, 1981, in The Church and East Timor: A Collection of Documents by National and International Catholic Church Agencies (Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace, Melbourne Archdiocese, 1993), 13-15; Robert Archer, "The Catholic Church in East Timor," in Peter Carey & G. Carter Bentley, East Timor at the Crossroads: The Forging of a Nation (London: Cassell, 1995), 122-3; Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor," 29.

(7) Statement of the second bishops institute on inter-religious affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, Kuala Lumpur, 20 Nov. 1979, in For All the Peoples of Asia: The Church in Asia, Asian Bishops' Statements on Mission, Community and Ministry, 1970-1983 (Manila: IMC Publications, 1984); Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor"; Patrick A. Smythe, "The Heaviest Blow": The Catholic Church and the East Timor Issue (Miinster: LIT Verlag, 2004), 69, 38 and passim; David Webster, "New Bishop Joins Nobel Prize Winner in Work for Timorese Independence," Catholic New Times, 20 April 1997, 14; interview with Msgr. da Costa Lopes, TAPOL Bulletin 69 (Sept. 1983).

(8) Arnold Kohen & Stephen Baranyi, "East Timor: Keeping the Issue Alive, Working with the Timorese and Beginning to Shift Policy," in Making Solidarity Effective: Northern Voluntary Organizations, Policy Advocacy and the Promotion of Peace in Angola and East Timor (London: CIIR discussion paper, 1997), 36; Arnold S. Kohen, From the Place of the Dead: The Epic Struggles of Bishop Belo of East Timor (New York: St Martin's Press, 1999), 96, 113; Smythe, Heaviest Blow, 20, 196; interviews.

(9) Geoffrey B. Hainsworth, Innocents Abroad or Partners in Development: An Evaluation of Canada-Indonesia Aid, Trade and Investment Relations (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1986); David Morrison, "The Choice of Bilateral Aid Recipients," in Cranford Pratt, (ed.), Canadian Development Assistance Policies: An Appraisal (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994), 132; Library and Archives Canada (hereafter LAC), External Affairs departmental memorandum by W.T. Delworth, 9 Oct. 1979, RG25, vol. 8664, file 20-TIMOR [6]; "Twenty Years in East Timor: A Chronological Overview" [1994], Department of Foreign Affairs file 20-TIMOR, obtained through access to information.

(10) Terence J. Fay, A History of Canadian Catholics: Gallicanism, Romanism and Canadianism (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002), 250-1,282, 301; Eric O. Hanson, The Catholic Church in World Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), 113, 411; Renate Pratt, In Good Faith: Canadian Churches Against Apartheid (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997); interviews.

(11) Joe Gunn, "Did a Pope's Letter Change Canada's church?" Catholic Register, 26 Oct. 2007; All Murtopo, The Acceleration and Modernization of 25 Years' Development (Jakarta: Yayasan Proklomasi, 1973); Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, The Road to Freedom: A Collection of Speeches, Pastoral Letters and Articles (Sydney: Caritas Australia, 2001), 15-16, 35; "East Timor and Self-Determination," Asia Partnership for Human Development newsletter #22 (July-August 1983); Smythe, Heaviest Blow, 27; East Timor: A Christian Reflection (London: CIIR, 1987), 9; Christians in Solidarity with East Timor, "East Timor's Struggle: The Church Responds" (Melbourne, n.d.).

(12) Fay, History of Canadian Catholics, 270; "Letter on the Mission of Development and Peace," October 2007, D&P theology committee; CCCB pastoral letter on 40th anniversary of Development and Peace, 6 May 2007; interviews.

(13) Interviews; Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor"; Archer, "Catholic Church in East Timor"; Belo pastoral letter, 10 Dec. 1988, Canada-Asia Working Group (hereafter CAWG) Currents 11 #2 (July 1989), 2; Kohen, Place of the Dead, 135.

(14) Interviews; Belo, "Making peace through reconciliation: the contribution of the churches to the peace process in East Timor," address to the Katholische Akademie, Munich, Oct. 2001, courtesy Development & Peace.

(15) Belo letter to Manuel Martins, bishop of Setubal, 27 June 1989, Briere papers.

(16) Kohen, Place of the Dead, 138; telephone press conference with Bishop Belo, Dec. 1995.

(17) East Timor: An International Responsibility (London: CIIR, 1992); East Timor: A Christian Reflection (London: CIIR, 1987); interviews.

(18) Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor," 31; Smythe, Heaviest Blow, 60-1, 94; Lennox, Fighting Spirit, 147; CAWG Currents 11 #3 (Sept 1989); Soma letter to Asia-Pacific bishops, 1989, in The Church and East Timor, 35-6; Remi De Roo to Javier Perez de Ceullar, 29 June 1990, Briere papers; CCCB human rights committee statement on East Timor, 4 July 1990, in The Church and East Timor, 39.

(19) Interviews; CAWG Currents 11 #2 (July 1989); Agostino Bono, "Measuring the Political Dimensions of a Papal Kiss," Catholic New Times, 5 Nov. 1989; Hanson 5-6; Pope's homily in Dili, 12 Oct. 1989, paul_ii/ homilies/1989/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19891012_dili_en.html, accessed 17 April 2008; TimorLink #20-21 (Jan-Feb. 1990); Kohen, Place of the Dead, 145-6; Belo, "Penetrating the Darkness of Hatred," speech delivered to Pio Manzu International Research Center, Remini, Italy, 29 October 2000.

(20) Indonesian bishops conference letter to Bishop Belo and the priests and religious of Dili diocese, 17 November 1983, in Retboll, The Struggle Continues, 183; Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor," 37; Pat Smythe, "Bishop Belo: Advocate for Justice," in Retboll, Occupation and Resistance, 164; Yokoyama Masaki, "The Asian Ecumenical Youth Movement andthe ET Issue," (unpublished paper, n.d.); "Resolution of the Central Board of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia regarding our participation in the CCA", 20 June 1986, Briere papers.

(21) Belo to da Costa Lopes, 1983, in The Church and East Timor, 16; Lennox, Fighting Spirit, 209; Kohen & Baranyi, 37; David Webster, "Non-State Diplomacy: East Timor 1975-99," Portuguese Studies Review 11 #1 (Fall-Winter 2003): 1-28.

(22) International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development record of meeting with Canadian delegation to Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia, The Hague, 17-18 June 1988, Briere papers; interviews; William J. Ryan, general secretary of CCCB, to Julia Morrigan, 17 Dec 1985, Indonesia East Timor Programme (IETP) papers (private collection, Toronto); Amnesty International Canadian Bulletin, March 1986; "East Timor Campaign Update," by Audrey Samson & Bill Owen," 26 June 1985; "'Ten Days' Helping Publicize Timor Tragedy," Arrowsmith Star, 3 February 1987.

(23) LAC, External Affairs to Jakarta, 8 Nov. 1984, RG25, file 20-INDON-2-2; "East Timor," External Affairs and International Trade backgrounder, Jan. 1986; Joe Clark to Christine Stewart MP, 13 Oct. 1989; Jakarta telegram 242, 28 April 1987, all in ETAN papers.

(24) Carey, "The Catholic Church," 90; Pratt 205; Paul Christopher Manuel, Lawrence C. Reardon and Clyde Wilcox, (eds)., The Catholic Church and the Nation-State (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2006), 101; "Report on Torture in East Timor" (Toronto: ETAN, 1991); torture photos in ETAN papers.

(25) Bishops' appeal, 6 Nov. 1991, author's files; Federer, "Catholic Church in East Timor," 41; Smythe, Heaviest Blow, 136, 154; Indonesian bishops statement on fact-finding mission, 1991, in The Church and East Timor, 52-3; ,Church Group: 100 Die in East Timor Massacre," Montreal Gazette, 30 Nov. 1991; Tracy Early, "East Timor in Spotlight," Prairie Messenger, 9 Dec. 1991.

(26) Interviews; Sin letter to Belo, Timor Link #7 (Oct. 1986); Soma and Sin statements from APCET Report and Proceedings (Manila, 1994).

(27) Mulroney speech at Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 Oct. 1991; Chris Dagg, "Linking Aid to Human Rights in Indonesia: A Canadian Perspective," Issues 7 #1 (Winter 1993); David Webster, "Canada Expands Export of Military Goods to Indonesia," Catholic New Times, 25 June 1995, 13; Jakarta telegram, 20 Nov. 1991, DFAIT file 20-TIMOR; interviews.

(28) Carey 91; interviews; D&P 2006-11 program, Program of Support for Civil Society in Asia, ENG.pdf, accessed 17 August 2008.

(29) Archbishop Marcel Gervais to Belo, 20 Jan. 1992, in The Church and East Timor, 58; interviews; CCCB Episcopal Commission on Social Affairs message, 18 July 1996; Foreign Affairs e-mail to Canadian embassy Jakarta, 2 Nov. 1998, DFAIT file 20-TIMOR; Belo, Road, 17.

(30) East Timor Hope Foundation leaflet, ETAN papers; David Webster, "E. Timor Haunts Vancouverites," BC Catholic, 20 Sept. 1999, 1; Fr. Jim Roche cited in David Webster, "East Timorese: Destroy Their Religion, Destroy Their Identity," Catholic New Times, 3Oct. 1999, 1.

(31) United Church of Canada Ottawa presbytery resolution on East Timor, 26 Nov. 1991; CAWG submission to parliamentary committee on Canadian foreign policy, 4 June 1994; interviews.

(32) Interviews; Belo Nobel speech, 10 Dec. 1996; Belo, Road, 28; Timor Link 39 (April 1997).

(33) Marginal note on Jakarta e-mail, 21 Feb. 1995; Marius Grinius, DFAIT, to Ambassador Gary Smith in Jakarta, 27 Feb 1995; DFAIT telegram to New York, 15 March 1995, DFAIT file 20-TIMOR.

(34) "Canadian Church Leaders Witness East Timor Unrest," CCCB news release, 16 Oct. 1998; "Report on the Ecumenical Visit to East Timor, 6-15 Oct. 1998"; CAWG minutes of ecumenical delegation meeting with Axworthy, 3 Nov. 1998; Art Babych, "Church Leaders Meet Foreign Affairs Minister," Prairie Messenger, 11 Nov. 1998; draft record of Axworthy-Ramos Horta meeting, 29 Oct 1998, DFAIT file 20-TIMOR.

(35) David Webster, "The Big Family: Shadowy Forces in Indonesia were behind September's East Timor Massacre," Canadian Forum Nov. 1999, 16; Schonenbach and Phipps letter to Axworthy, 12 April 1999; joint letter to Axworthy, 31 May 1999, signed by Anglican Church of Canada, CAWG, Canadian Action for Indonesia and East Timor, CCCB Social Affairs Office, Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Canadian Federation of Students, Canadian Labour Congress, Development and Peace, CUSO, ETAN, International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development; National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Parliamentarians for East Timor, United Church of Canada, USC Canada; draft of Axworthy letter to Ottawa Citizen, n.d [August 1999], DFAIT file 20-TIMOR.

(36) Papal message to Timorese bishops, 9 Sept. 1999, holy_father/john_paul_iillettersldocumentsihfjp-ii let 09091999_east-timor_en.html, accessed 17 Aug. 2008; Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte, president of CCCB, circular letter to Canadian bishops, 15 Sept. 1999, CCCB.

(37) Belo, Road, 3, 9, 36; Archer, "Catholic Church in East Timor," 120; Belo interview, CAWG Currents 15 #4 (Dec. 1993); Smythe, Heaviest Blow, 46.

(38) The Catholic Church and East Timor, editorial conclusion, 62.
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