Day: January 23, 2008

Church Aiding East-Timor Development

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Benedict XVI and the president of Timor-Leste discussed the role of the Church in education and the fight against poverty on that island nation.

José Ramos-Horta visited the Pope today in the Vatican. He then met with the Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and the secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

The Vatican press office reported: “During the discussions, mention was made of the cordial relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of East Timor, and of the cooperation between the Catholic Church and the state in the fields of education, health care, and the struggle against poverty.

“The political and social situation of the country was also examined, with particular emphasis given to the process of national reconciliation and to the support of the international community for the consolidation of democratic institutions”

Timor-Leste has a population of just over 1 million, some 98% of whom are Catholic.

Ramos-Horta won the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.