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Nobel Peace Prize Winning Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo Accused Of Child Abuse

Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo

The Vatican said on Thursday that it had censured a bishop who was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and was accused of sexually assaulting young boys in East Timor over a 20-year span.

Bishop Carlos Filipe, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, was the subject of the Vatican’s initial investigation in 2019, according to spokesperson Matteo Bruni, following reports that he had abused children and obtained their cooperation.

“In the light of the accusations it received… (the Vatican) imposed certain disciplinary restrictions upon him” in September 2020, he said.

“These included limitations to his movements and to the exercise of his ministry, the prohibition of voluntary contact with minors, of interviews and contacts with” East Timor, Bruni added.

In 2021, Carlos Filipe “accepted formally” the “modified and reinforced” versions of those proposals.

The declaration was made a day after the Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer published an investigation in which Carlos Filipe was charged with abusing teenagers between the years of 1980 and 2000.

“The bishop raped and sexually abused me that night”, one alleged victim, now 45, is quoted as saying. “He also left money for me. That was meant so that I would keep my mouth shut”, he said.

Belo, a well-known individual in East Timor, received the Nobel Prize for his contribution to the defense of human rights in the nation under the Indonesian occupation.

Carlos Filipe cited health concerns as his reason for leaving office in 2002.

According to De Groene Amsterdammer, which also identifies other victims, it has spoken to roughly 20 persons who were aware of the accusations against Belo, including local politicians and churchgoers.



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