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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 03/20/2006
INDONESIA
Pope blesses three Catholics condemned to death
by Benteng Reges

Yesterday, the bishop of Manado, northern Sulawesi, visited Tibo and his friends in prison, as "special envoy" of the Vatican. Benedict XVI invited the three convicts, victims of an unfair trial, to pray the rosary with him during this difficult time.



Palu (AsiaNews) – The Pope is close to the three Catholics condemned to death and he has sent his blessing to them in prison. The Pontiff, through a local bishop, invited the convicts to pray the rosary together with him, so that through prayer, they may "bear" this difficult moment. This was revealed by Mgr Joseph Suwatan, bishop of Manado (northern Sulawesi), who met Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu in prison yesterday. The three men have been condemned to death for the massacre of Muslims during inter-religious clashes in Poso in 2000. The bishop said he had undertaken the visit to the Palu prison in the capacity of "special Vatican envoy". He said Benedict XVI wanted to share the men's pain and to express his solidarity for the legal injustice suffered by the three Catholics during their trial. Many Indonesians claim that the trial was controversial: its proceedings were marred by large-scale intimidation by Islamic fundamentalists.

Mgr Suwatan gave Tibo and his companions a cross and rosary beads; at the exit of the prison, he told journalists what his mission was: "The Holy See charged me with visiting these Catholic brothers, because the Pope wanted to express in person his deep closeness to the condemned men. Benedict XVI has asked the three Catholics to have patience in these difficult times, and to share their feelings with Our Lady and to recite the rosary together with him."

Tibo, speaking also in the name of da Silva and Riwu, said he was strongly moved by the considerable interest shown by the Vatican in their case. "This helps us to have courage in facing the death penalty," he said.

The parish priest of the Church of St Paul in Palu, Fr Melky Toreh, and some PADMA lawyers – who are presenting Tibo and his friends - accompanied Mgr Suwatan on the prison visit. PADMA recently appealed to the Supreme Court to review the case on the basis of new witnesses who would clear the three men. The group coordinator, Roy Stephen Rering, said if the Attorney General's Office of Central Sulwesi (AGO) did not review its decision, PADMA would ask that the case of Tibo be referred to an international court.

Meanwhile, on 17 March, after Friday prayers, the Central Sulawesi Police Chief, General Oegroseno, reiterated that all was ready for the execution of the three men, although the time and the place have not yet been announced. Rering said:

"If the sentence is carried out, the Poso conflict will remain a mystery and no one will ever know the truth."

Between 2000 and 2001, more than 1000 people died in clashes between Christians and Muslims in Poso. No Muslims have been tried for their part in the clashes as yet.


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See also
06/03/2006 INDONESIA
Support mounts for three Catholics on death row in Sulwesi
by Benteng Reges
04/18/2006 INDONESIA
Catholics get second chance to appeal death sentence
by Benteng Reges
09/25/2006 INDONESIA
Body of Dominggus da Silva returns to Flores after execution in Palu
09/20/2006 INDONESIA
"Shoot us in public" last wish of three death row Catholics
by Benteng Reges
04/01/2006 INDONESIA
Execution of three Catholics postponed amid Jakarta rallies
by Benteng Reges

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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