Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
Overview
 
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo SDB
Salesians of Don Bosco
The Salesians of Don Bosco is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the late nineteenth century by Saint John Bosco in an attempt, through works of charity, to care for the young and poor children of the industrial revolution...

, GCL
Order of the Freedom
Order of the Freedom can refer to:*Order of Freedom - Yugoslavian military decoration*Order of Liberty - Portuguese honorific civil order...

 (born 3 February 1948) is an East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

ese Roman Catholic bishop. Along with José Ramos-Horta, he received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 for work "towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor."
The fifth child of Domingos Vaz Filipe and Ermelinda Baptista Filipe, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was born in the village of Wailakama, near Vemasse, on the north coast of East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

.
Encyclopedia
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo SDB
Salesians of Don Bosco
The Salesians of Don Bosco is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the late nineteenth century by Saint John Bosco in an attempt, through works of charity, to care for the young and poor children of the industrial revolution...

, GCL
Order of the Freedom
Order of the Freedom can refer to:*Order of Freedom - Yugoslavian military decoration*Order of Liberty - Portuguese honorific civil order...

 (born 3 February 1948) is an East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

ese Roman Catholic bishop. Along with José Ramos-Horta, he received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 for work "towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor."

Early life and religious vocation

The fifth child of Domingos Vaz Filipe and Ermelinda Baptista Filipe, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was born in the village of Wailakama, near Vemasse, on the north coast of East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

. His father, a schoolteacher, died two years later. His childhood years were spent in Catholic schools at Baucau
Baucau
Baucau is the second-largest city in East Timor, after Dili, the capital, which lies 122 km east of Dili.Baucau has about 16,000 inhabitants, and is the capital of Baucau, located in the eastern part of the country...

 and Ossu, before he proceeded to the Dare minor seminary outside Dili
Dili
Dili, spelled Díli in Portuguese, is the capital, largest city, chief port and commercial centre of East Timor.-Geography and Administration:Dili lies on the northern coast of Timor island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands....

, from which he graduated in 1968. From 1969 until 1981, apart from periods of practical training (1974–1976) in East Timor and in Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, he was in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Rome where, having become a member of the Salesian Society, he studied philosophy and theology before being ordained a priest in 1980.

Returning to East Timor in July 1981 he became a teacher for 20 months, then director for two months, at the Salesian College
Salesian College
Salesian College is a Roman Catholic Independent school for boys located in the Melbourne suburb of Chadstone. Founded on the philosophies of Saint John Bosco, the college aims to offer a Salesian ideal of education....

at Fatumaca.

Pastoral leadership

On the resignation of Martinho da Costa Lopes
Martinho da Costa Lopes
Martinho da Costa Lopes , East Timorese religious and political leader. Msgr da Costa Lopes, who was a Timorese priest of many years experience, was also a member of the National Assembly in Lisbon. By 1975, when the Indonesian troops landed in Timor, he had become the assistant to the Portuguese...

 in 1983, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Dili diocese, becoming head of the East Timor church and directly responsible to the Pope. In 1988, he was consecrated a Bishop (of Lorium, Italy).

Father Belo was the choice of the Vatican's Pro Nuncio
Nuncio
Nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin word, Nuntius, meaning "envoy." This article addresses this title as well as derived similar titles, all within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church...

 in Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 and the Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n leaders because of his supposed submissiveness, but he was not the choice of the Timorese priests who did not attend his inauguration. However within only five months of his assuming office, he protested vehemently, in a sermon in the cathedral, against the brutalities of the Kraras massacre (1983) and condemned the many Indonesian arrests. The church was the only institution capable of communicating with the outside world, so with this in mind the new Apostolic Administrator started writing letters and building up overseas contacts, in spite of the isolation arising from the opposition of the Indonesians and the disinterest of most of the world.

In February 1989 he wrote to the President of Portugal, the Pope, and the UN Secretary-General, calling for a UN referendum on the future of East Timor and for international help for the East Timorese, who were "dying as a people and a nation", but when the UN letter became public in April, he became even more of a target of the Indonesians. This precariousness increased when Bishop Belo gave sanctuary in his own home, as he did on various occasions, to youths escaping the Santa Cruz massacre (1991), and endeavoured to expose the numbers of victims killed.

Bishop Belo's labours on behalf of the East Timorese and in pursuit of peace and reconciliation were internationally recognised when, along with José Ramos-Horta, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1996. Bishop Belo capitalised upon this honour through meetings with Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 of the United States and Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 of South Africa. In 1995, he also won the John Humphrey Freedom Award
John Humphrey Freedom Award
The John Humphrey Freedom Award is presented annually by the Canadian human rights group Rights & Democracy to an organization or individual from any country or region of the world for exceptional achievement in the promotion of human rights and democratic development...

 from the Canadian human rights group Rights & Democracy.

Resignation as Apostolic Administrator and new pastoral activity

In the aftermath of East Timorese independence on 20 May 2002, the pressure of events and the ongoing stress he endured began to show their effects on Bishop Belo's health. Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 accepted his resignation as Apostolic Administrator
Apostolic Administrator
An apostolic administrator in the Roman Catholic Church is a prelate appointed by the Pope to serve as the ordinary for an apostolic administration...

 of Dili on November 26, 2002.

Following his resignation Bishop Belo traveled to Portugal for medical treatment. By the beginning of 2004, there were repeated calls for him to return to East Timor and to run for the office of president. However, in May 2004 he told Portuguese state-run television RTP, that he would not allow his name to be put up for nomination. "I have decided to leave politics to politicians," he stated. One month later, on 7 June 2004, Pascuál Chavez, rector major of the Salesian Society, announced from Rome that Bishop Belo, returned to health, would take up a new assignment. In agreement with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, he would go to Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 as a missionary, and live as a member of the Salesian Society in that country.

In a statement released on 8 June, Bishop Belo explained: "Following two meetings in 2003 and in 2004 with His Eminence the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for missionary work and related activities...

, I am offering myself to serve the Kingdom of God on the Missions, outside East Timor, in Mozambique, more precisely in the Diocese of Maputo
Maputo
Maputo, also known as Lourenço Marques, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. It is known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was famous for the inscription "This is Portugal" on the walkway of its...

. To go on the missions was a dream that I always had during the years of my youth. Also during the 19 years of my episcopal ministry in Dili (1983–2002), one of the subjects I spoke about most was that of the missions and the need to be missionaries. Today has come the time to put into practice what I said to the Christians of East Timor."

In July 2004, Bishop Belo took up missionary work in Maputo
Maputo
Maputo, also known as Lourenço Marques, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. It is known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. It was famous for the inscription "This is Portugal" on the walkway of its...

, the capital of Mozambique.

In February 2011 Belo received the Prize for Lusophonic Personality of the Year, given by MIL: Movimento Internacional Lusófono in the Lisbon Academy of Sciences.

Primary sources

  • Belo, Carlos Filipe Ximenes. “The Nobel Lecture,” given by The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1996, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Titular bishop of Lorium and Apostolic Administrator of Dili (East Timor): Oslo, December 10, 1996. ANS Mag: A Periodical for the Salesian Community, year 3, no. 25 (December 1996).

Studies

  • Colombo, Ferdinando. “Timor Anno Zero,” in Bollettino Salesiano 124.4 (April 2000): 18–20.
  • Cristalis, Irena. Bitter Dawn: East Timor: A People’s Story. London: Zed Books, 2002.
  • De Vanna, Umberto. “Il mondo ha scelto Timor,” in Bollettino Salesiano 121.2 (February 1997): 4–5.
  • De Vanna, Umberto. “Il nobel per la pace: La forza della non-violenza a Timor Est,” in Bollettino Salesiano 120.11 (December 1997): 4–5.
  • Garulo, Carlos. “The Nobel Prize for Peace: who is Bishop Belo?” ANS Mag: A Periodical for the Salesian Community, year 3, no. 23 (November 1996): 6–8. English language edition.
  • Hainsworth, Paul, and Stephen McCloskey, eds. The East Timor Question: The Struggle for Independence from Indonesia. Forward by John Pilger; Preface by José Ramos-Horta. London: I. B. Tauris, 2000.
  • Jardine, Matthew. East Timor: Genocide in Paradise. Introduction by Noam Chomsky; Real Story Series, 2nd ed. Monroe, ME: Odonian Press, 1999.
  • Kohen, Arnold. From the Place of the Dead: the epic struggles of Bishop Belo of East Timor. Introduction by the Dalai Lama. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  • Lennox, Rowena. Fighting Spirit of East Timor: The Life of Martinho da Costa Lopes. London: Zed Books, 2000.
  • Marker, Jamsheed; East Timor: a Memoir of the Negotiations of Independence. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003.
  • Nicol, Bill. Timor, A Nation Reborn. Jakarta: Equinox, 2002.
  • Orlando, Vito. “Timor… più che paura!” in Bollettino Salesiano 124.1 (January 2000): 18–20.
  • Pinto, Constâncio, and Matthew Jardine. East Timor’s Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance: A Testimony. Preface by José António Ramos-Horta. Forward by Allan Nairn. Boston: South End Press, 1996.
  • Puthenkadam, Peter, ed. Iingreja iha Timor Loro Sa’e – Tinan. Dili: Kendiaman Uskup, 1997.
  • Smith, Michael G. Peacekeeping in East Timor, The Path to Independence, by Michael G. Smith, with Moreen Dee. International Peace Academy: Occasional Paper Series. 1st U.S. ed. Boulder, Col.: Lynne Rienner, 2003.
  • Stracca, Silvano. “Un vescovo e il suo popolo,” in Bollettino Salesiano 120.1 (January 1996): 10–12
  • Subroto, Hendro. Eyewitness to Integration of East Timor. Jatkarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 1997.
  • Taylor, John G. East Timor The Price of Freedom. London: Zed Books, 1999.
  • Taylor, John G. Indonesia’s Forgotten War, The Hidden History of East Timor. London: Zed Books, 1991.
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