2 Bishops Named in East Timor

DILI, East Timor, MARCH 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II has named Father Alberto Ricardo da Silva, rector of the major seminary of Dili, as bishop of the diocese.

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The diocese had been led by an apostolic administrator, Basilio do Nascimento, who was named bishop of the adjacent Baucau Diocese. He also had been apostolic administrator of Baucau.

Bishop Nascimento succeeded Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo when the latter resigned as apostolic administrator of Dili in November 2002, citing health reasons.

Bishop Belo, a co-winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, played a key role in East Timor’s independence from Indonesia.

Alberto da Silva was born in Aileu, in the Dili Diocese, in 1943. He studied in the minor seminary of Dili and was sent to Macao to study philosophy, and to Portugal to study theology in the major seminary of Leira. Later he received a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Father da Silva’s duties have included spiritual director and later rector at the Seminary of Dare, and vicar general of Dili. Since 2000, he has been rector of the Dili seminary.

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