ASIA/EAST TIMOR - A chapel and monument dedicated to John Paul II are erected in commemoration of his visit to Timor
Dili (Agenzia Fides) – On the site where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass with crowds of young people of East Timor, on October 12, 1989, bringing them a message of joy and hope, today there now stand a chapel and statue dedicated in his honor. The new structure, in the suburb of Tasi-Tolu, on the outskirts of the capital city of Dili, were inaugurated and blessed by the Apostolic Nuncio of Indonesia and East Timor, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, during his recent visit to the island. The suburb of Tasi-Tolu is a symbol of suffering for the people of East Timor. When the Pope visited the island in 1989, East Timor was under Indonesian rule and was struggling for independence, which it later obtained in 1999. On this occasion, Pope John Paul II kissed a cross on the ground, showing his love and closeness to the suffering of the people.
The erection of the monument and the chapel hope to serve as a means of perpetuating the memory of John Paul II’s visit... “ad sempiternam memoriam.” “This monument seeks to offer a sign of hope for a better future for the people of East Timor, where all citizens can find a worthy place. Justice is a key factor in this future and the people of Timor are fighting for justice,” Agenzia Fides was told by Fr. Filomeno Jacob, a priest in the area and Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in East Timor.
The Apostolic Nuncio was also clear in his speech: “We should not forget past suffering, but instead, learn from history, so as not to repeat the errors that have caused so much pain and suffering for the people of Timor. That is why we cannot forget justice: for Christians, forgiveness does not equal impunity. Forgiveness implies justice. Justice is a priority everywhere in the world, especially in the beloved country of East Timor.”
He continued, saying, “justice implies the realization of all judicial procedures. It implies respecting the fundamental rights of each person. However, justice cannot be separated from love, fraternity, and solidarity, which are factors that promote reconciliation. For this reason, today in the world justice and reconciliation go hand in hand. We cannot have authentic and lasting peace without justice.” (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/6/2008)
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