Vatican opens new embassy in Timor-Leste

The Vatican has opened a new embassy in Timor-Leste capital Dili in an effort to strengthen ties with the Catholic-majority tiny Southeast Asian nation.

Sep 30, 2022

The inauguration ceremony of the new Vatican embassy in Timor-Leste on September 20, 2022.


By Ryan Dagur
The Vatican has opened a new embassy in Timor-Leste capital Dili in an effort to strengthen ties with the Catholic-majority tiny Southeast Asian nation.

Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, inaugurated the new embassy in Dili on September 20 along with President José Ramos-Horta.

Archbishop Pena Parra said the new embassy is a “spiritual gift” from Pope Francis to the nation.

The nunciature is “another concrete sign of solicitude, care, and love that the supreme pontiffs have always demonstrated for the people of this noble island nation Timor-Leste,” the Venezuelan prelate said during the inauguration ceremony.

He left a message of “cordial greetings and spiritual closeness from Pope Francis.”

The Pope’s new home in Timor-Leste, which is a green building, he said, reflects the “excellent bilateral relationship between Timor-Leste and the Holy See” which has lasted for 20 years along with the age of restoration of independence.

He also stated that he hoped the nunciature would be a source of encouragement for the Church in Timor-Leste to continue working to serve marginalised groups.

“It serves as a source of encouragement and renewal for the Catholic faith and for people of goodwill to continue to serve the poorest and most vulnerable in this land,” he said.

He asserted that the Catholic faith has been important for national identity in the nation, in the past and present, and added that the faith has served “as a source of strength and comfort to people through good times and bad” for over its 500-year history of evangelisation.

President Ramos-Horta said he expects the new embassy to open the door for the appointment of the first resident nuncio in the country.

Currently, the Vatican has a charge d’affaires based in Dili. Nuncios based in Indonesia or Malaysia have been overseeing Timor-Leste since the nation gained independence from Indonesia and established formal diplomatic ties with the Vatican.

Dignitaries from the Church, state, and diplomats along with priests and nuns attended the inauguration programme including Cardinal Virgilio Cardinal do Carmo da Silva of Dili. --ucanews.com

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