Baucau, November 4th, 2021 – His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, gave his testimony, stating that the late Bishop Basílio do Nascimento was an exemplary protagonist of the Catholic Church in the struggle for national liberation.
“Bishop Basílio do Nascimento was chosen by destiny and by History as an exemplary protagonist of the Catholic Church in the struggle for national liberation. As a wise person, he knew how to use his powers as Vicar, as Apostolic Administrator and also as Bishop of Septimunicia, to influence the course of events, in a difficult period of our history, which came moments before the Popular Consultation, in which the independence of our esteemed land, Timor Lorosa’e, was referendum”, pointed out the Head of Government in his speech, during the funeral ceremonies of the Bishop of Baucau, the late Bishop Basílio do Nascimento, that took place this Thursday, in the Baucau Cathedral, Municipality of Baucau.
The Head of Government added that the now deceased Dom Basílio: “Had also assumed an important role in the clandestine front, promoting links between the armed resistance and the international community, at a time when it was important to coordinate efforts and mobilise willingness in the world in favour of our people and our land. I remember that, since returning to Timor-Leste, he never stopped making efforts to meet with the Armed Front. There were attempts in 1994, but he did not succeed. In 1995, he met with Commander Daitula. It was former Member of Parliament, Abeto Espírito Santo, who took him on a motorbike to the meeting to talk about his candidacy as bishop and also about the situation in Baucau”.
The Prime Minister also recalled that Bishop Basílio: “also played an important role in the moments after the announcement of the referendum results, which gave victory to the independence option, making an effort to save the lives of the people and also trying to avoid the destruction of the Baucau Diocese, of which he himself was Bishop. I also remember that Commander Xanana ordered a satellite phone to be sent to Bishop Basílio, to coordinate all the activities with the international community and the Armed Resistance, and another satellite phone to Father Jovito, in Dili, to share information with the international community”.
Therefore, the Head of Government believes that the late Bishop Basílio do Nascimento represents and symbolizes the spirit and willingness of the Timorese to fight for rightful causes, facing challenges and difficulties, seeking dialogue and understanding, and seeking solutions to conflicts, without fear and without running away from the risks and consequences even to his own life.
All these acts and efforts are the reason for the State of Timor-Leste to show its gratitude and recognition, valuing the different phases of a heroic and altruistic life, as a Church pastor, as a religious leader, as a member of the resistance, and as a national symbol of the liberation of all Timorese people, awarding Bishop Basílio do Nascimento, posthumously, with the highest distinction of appreciation and recognition, the Order of Timor-Leste.
May God our Lord grant him Peace and keep him forever in his divine light.
Farewell, farewell, Bishop Basílio do Nascimento, a great friend of all Timorese. Thank you very much.END