Father Pascual Chavez, rector major of the Salesians, confirmed the news in a note sent to ZENIT today.
Bishop Ximenes Belo, 56, a Salesian, played a key part in the independence of East Timor. In November 2002, he asked the Pope to release him from the responsibility of Dili for reasons of health.
With the agreement of the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of the Salesians’ rector major, “being recovered and wishing to continue offering his apostolic service, [Bishop Ximenes Belo] has chosen to go as a missionary to Mozambique” where “he will work pastorally in the Diocese of Maputo, integrating himself in a Salesian community of that city,” Father Chavez’s note said.
In a statement, Bishop Ximenes Belo said that to “go to missions has been the dream that I have always had since my first years of adolescence.”