[KASUS USKUP BELO] ‘What I want is apologies’

Investigation – Sexual abuse of children by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Belo

For years, Timor-Leste’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo has been sexually abusing boys, survivors and others claim. Meanwhile, the Catholic church imposed travel restrictions on Belo. ‘We have to talk about it, and shout it out louder to the world.’

It was Sunday morning. Paulo was standing among the other faithful listening attentively to the mass Bishop Belo was holding in the tropical garden at his residence in Dili, the capital city of Timor-Leste. After the mass, Belo walked up to Paulo, then a teenager of fifteen or sixteen years old. ‘He asked me to come to his place’, says Paulo, now 42, who wishes to stay anonymous for the privacy and safety of himself and his family.

It was an honour to be invited. ‘I was very happy,’ says Paulo. Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was not only the powerful head of the Roman Catholic church of Timor-Leste, but also a national hero and a beacon of hope for the people. He spoke up for his country, then suffering so terribly under the extreme and violent Indonesian occupation (1975-1999), and he demanded respect for human rights and self-determination.

In the late afternoon Paulo went unsuspectingly to the Bishop’s residence, on the coastal road of Dili with a magnificent view over the sea. That evening Belo took him to his bedroom. ‘The bishop took my pants off, started to sexually touch me and committed oral sex on me,’ Paulo says. Confused and shocked the teenager fell asleep. When he woke up, ‘he gave me some money,’ he remembers. ‘In the morning I ran away fast. I was a little scared. I felt so strange.’ Paulo felt ashamed, until he realised: ‘It is not my fault. He has invited me. He is the priest. He is a bishop. He gives us food, and talks nice to me. He is taking advantage of that situation.’ He adds: ‘I thought: this is disgusting. I won’t go there anymore.’


Selengkapnya bisa dibaca di artikel sumber DE GROENE AMSTERDAMMER berjudul “What I want is apologies’. Versi screenshoot artikel bisa diakses di SINI. Versi terjemahan ke bahasa Indonesia bisa diakses di HISTORIA.

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