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Discurso do Monsenhor Marco Sprizzi por ocasião da Receção Diplomática para o XI Aniversário da Eleição ao Pontificado do Papa Francisco

XI Aniversário da Eleição ao Pontificado do Papa Francisco

15 de Marco de 2024

Exmo. Sr. Presidente da República, Dr. José Ramos-Horta,

Exmo Sr. Primeiro Ministro, Maun-Boot Kai Rala Xanana Gusmão,

Emo. Sr. Cardeal Dom Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, Arcebispo Metropolita de Dili e Dom Norberto do Amaral, Bispo de Maliana, Presidente da Conferência Episcopal Timorense,

Exmo. Dr. Deolindo dos Santos, Presidente do Tribunal do Recurso,

Exmo senhor Vice-Primeiro Ministro Dr. Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, Ministros e demais Membros do Governo,

Senhores Deputados e Deputadas do Parlamento Nacional,

Exmos. Eis Titulares dos Órgãos de Soberania, General Taur Matam-Ruak, Dr. Aniceto Guterrez, Dr. Rui de Araujo,

Exmas Autoridades Militares e da Policia,

Exmos. colegas Embaixadores e demais membros do corpo diplomático,

Meus senhores e minhas senhoras,

I wish to thank all of you for your presence tonight as we celebrate the National Day of the Holy See, commemorating the 11th Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis.

A special word of gratitude let me address to His Excellency the President of Republic José Ramos-Horta for gracing us with his pleasant participation in our gathering as a true, long standing friend of this Apostolic Nunciature, as well as the Prime Minister, His Excellency Kai Rala Xanana Gusmão.

Hau hakarak hato’o agradecimento ba Ita bo’ot sira hotu nia presença iha kalan ida ne’e, nebé ita celebra Santa Sé nia loron Nacional, hodi comemora tinan sanulu-resin-ida eleição Amu Papa Francisco nian.

Hau hakarak hato’o agardecimento especial ida ba Sua Excelência Presidente José Ramos-Horta, nebé hahí ami ho ninia participação kmanek iha ita nia soru-mutuk, nudar Nunciatura Apostólica ida ne’e nia belun diak iha tempo naruk nia laran, no nunee mos ba Senhor Primeiro Ministro Maun-Boot Kai Rala Xanana Gusmão.

The Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste remount to the very first day of the independence of this noble Nation, the 20th of May of the year 2002.

However, as many of you well know, the intimate relations between this country, its people, and the Catholic Church have much more history, more than five centuries, a history – a family history, I would say–which innerves the inner and deep identity of the timorese people and the nation.

Since independence, the Holy See has made every commitment to assure that this special, not only friendly but, as I said, familiar relation is strengthened and safeguarded, both in the internal sphere of the Church’s engagement for the national welfare and holistic development of the country, with special attention to those who are most in need, as well as in the international forums in which the Holy See is actively involved.

As it is well known, the Holy See, in its diplomatic activity, has no commercial, or political, or military interests to promote. Its goal and main concern is the authentic well being of the people, both materially and spiritually, promoting peace and reconciliation at every level of society, human rights, social justice, human fraternity, support for the most fragile, sustainable development for all and protection of mother nature, created by God as a reflex of His own beauty and magnificence.

In Timor-Leste we pursue these objectives mainly supporting and strengthening the capillary presence of the local Church in the entire territory, close to the simple people all along its troubled history and struggles, including in the most remote and pour areas, and the tireless work of thousands of men and women, not only priests and religious, but mostly lay faithful, women and men, who devoted themselves to the service of neighbors and to witness God’s love for everyone. This happens particularly in the field of education, social services, moral and spiritual guidance… avoiding any form of proselytism towards believers of other religions or philosophies of life, with which we cultivate respectful dialogue and sincere companionship.

Pope John Paul II, on his historical Visit in Timor-Leste in 1989, 35 years ago, said: “From the very beginning of my Pontificate, I have followed your situation with deep concern.  It has long been my wish to express to you that the whole Church, and the Pope in particular way, holds you in great esteem and deep affection.” That Visit strengthened the national identity of “povo Maubere” and – as the Timorese love to say – put Timor in the map of the world and catalyzed the attention of the international community on its aspirations towards freedom and national independence.

I can say without hesitation that Pope Francis, too, has these very same sentiments, as President Ramos-Horta could personally verify less than two months ago on the occasion of his Official Visit to the Vatican, with a long personal Audience with His Holiness, as well as the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, who had been received as well with great honor by the Pope on August 2022.

 Mentioning only a few of the many evidences of Pope Francis’ particular closeness to this country, let me briefly recall as in 2015 he sent to Dili his “Prime Minister”, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, as his special Legate for the 500 years’ anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel in this land.  On that occasion, His Eminence affirmed that “it is no secret that the Holy See and Timor-Leste hold a great deal in common with regard to the values of justice, solidarity and fraternity … This commonality is rooted in a unique convergence of faith and culture as a result of a “long – very long- historical link.

Also on that occasion Cardinal Parolin and the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste signed a comprehensive Agreement concerning various aspects of the Catholic Church’s life and service in the country, ratified by the Parliament few months later with an unanimous vote by all parties.  

Equally meaningful has been, just one and a half year ago, the decision of the Pope to appoint the Archbishop of Díli, Dom Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, as a member of the worldwide College of Cardinals, the first Timorese Cardinal in the nation’s history, followed by the Official Visit of the Vice-Prime Minister of the Holy See, H.E. Archbishop Peña Parra, for the inauguration of this new building of the Apostolic Nunciature.

And now, this year, as probably all of you are already aware, we are preparing for a true epochal event, which is not yet officially announced and formally determined in its date, but which we can already consider “more than possible” in the second half of this year, a three days Visit of Pope Francis in Timor-Leste!

Allow me to take this occasion to thank the Government for the extraordinary efforts that it is performing since the beginning of its complex preparation for assuring the success of this momentous Visit.

Let me also express my sincere appreciation and heartfelt gratitude for all those who have offered their generous collaboration for the organization of the reception of tonight: Mrs. Rosália de Jesus Belo, who has volunteered for coordinating all protocollar arrangements of tonight; Mr. João José Fernandes with his team ULFA, who offered the beautiful tent who protects us from possible rain; Mr. Filomeno da Conceição Pinto and his team, who realized the gorgeous decoration; Mr. Ijin Filipe and Wife, who contributed for the food and beverage; Mr. Francedes e Mrs. Paula, MC; Mr. Jorge Serrano, who offered the sound system; the delightful Choir of St. Cecilia and the group of dancers “Lejoval” of Balide Parish, with Rev. Fr. Angelo Salsinha, the Parish Priest of Balide, who coordinated all their generous efforts. Last but not least my small but great staff of the Apostolic Nunciature, with special mention for Fr. Mariano Quintão do Rego and the Carmelite Sisters Hermínia, Balbina and Fatima.

Hau mos hakarak hato’o ho neon no laran hau nia apereciação no agradecimento ba hotu-hotu nebé oferce ona sira nia colaboração generosa hodi organiza receção kalan ida ne’e: Sra. Rosália de Jesus Belo, nebé saran-an hodi coordena arranjo protocolar sira hotu kalan ida ne’e; Sr. João José Fernandes ho ninia equipa ULFA, nebé oferece ona tenda hodi hamahan ita, karik udan mai; Sr. Filomeno da Conceição Pinto ho ninia equipa nebé halo ona decoração furak tebes; Ba Sra. Maria Fernanda Oliveira ho nia Kaben Sr. Ijin Filipe nebé oferece ona iha parte balun ai-han nian; Sr. Francedes e Sra. Paula MC; Sr. Jorge Serrano ho oferece sistema de som; Coro murak Santa Cecília no Grupo Dança Lejoval husi Paróquia Balide, ho sira nia pároco Pe. Angelo Salsinha nudar coordenador ba sira nia esforsu laran-luak hirak ne’e hotu.  

Ikus, maibe laos la importante hau nia empregado oituan iha Nunciatura Apostólica nebé halo servisu makas, liu-liu Pe. Mariano Quintão do Rego no Irmã Carmelita sira, Hermínia, Balbina no Fátima.

And finally, once more, many thanks to all and each of you for your friendly participation tonight, which I invite you now to fully enjoy. Obrigado barak!

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