Timor Newsline, May 17, 2010 - The Justice Minister Lucia Lobato has signed an agreement with the Bishop for Maliana Diocese Monsignor Lucio Norberto de Deus on an official residence for the bishop.
The ceremony for the signing of the agreement was attended bythe Justice Minister and the Director of the National Directorate of Land and Property (an administrative unit within the Justice Department) (DNTPSC).
A press release stated that the Justice Ministry had reviewed a contract based on the request of the diocese, adding that actually the contract had been signed before the Episcopal ordination of Monsignor de Deus.
Minister Lobato added that whoever would replace her in the future should not fix the contract otherwise it would affect on the contract signed.
Meanwhile, Bishop for Maliana Diocese, Monsignor Lucio Norberto de Deus, said they were pleased with the Government’s contribution to provide residence for the bishop.
ETLJB Editor Note: Hopefully, the land was not granted to the Church at less than market value! The Catholic Church is one of the biggest land owners in East Timor. It should also be recalled that the Church was one of the severest critics of the Alkatiri-led Fretilin government, staging long and large protests when that Government tried to exclude religious indoctrination from the public school curriculum and thereby contributing to the conflicts that gave rise to the collapse of the rule of law in East Timor in 2006 and the eventual displacement of the Fretilin government. It has also meddled in social policy issues such as abortion and HIV-AIDS.