McCarrick of the East?

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by Nicholas Wylie  •  •  October 4, 2022   

Assessing accusations against Bp. Belo

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A major world power is calling for a former Nobel Prize winner to be investigated for sexual abuse.
Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the dark allegations tainting the legacy of a once lauded bishop. 

Bishop Carlos Belo, former apostolic administrator of Dili, East Timor: "My priority now is to be here among the people, to say Mass, to pray with them, to visit them. This is the only priority I can have."

The United Nations is one of several organizations calling on Pope Francis to launch a full investigation into the former East Timor bishop Carlos Belo. 

The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been accused of sexually abusing numerous then-teenage boys, dating back to the 1980s.

Critics are comparing Belo to disgraced ex-cleric Theodore McCarrick and demanding a McCarrick-esque Vatican inquiry.

Stéphane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesman, told the Associated Press, "These allegations are truly shocking and need to be fully investigated."

The Vatican revealed that it first learned of allegations against Belo in 2019 and later placed restrictions on him in 2020. The director of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni, issued a statement describing the restrictions, which included limits on travel and access to minors. 

But critics are suspicious of the bishop's early retirement at the age of only 54 in 2002. Normally, the mandatory retirement age for a bishop is 75.

Belo claims he retired for health issues, leaving East Timor for Portugal in 2003 before becoming a missionary priest in Mozambique in 2004, where he taught catechism to children and led retreats for young people. 

Bp. Carlos Belo, former apostolic administrator of Dili, East Timor: "The main objective of our work is how to respect the people, to tell others to respect the human dignity." 

Faithful Catholics are questioning why the Vatican has yet to fully investigate Belo after knowing about allegations for at least three years.

Bishop Belo was seen as a hero for standing up against the human rights violations of the Indonesian regime in the 1990s.

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