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Portugal abuse cases mount amid questions over Nobel bishop

October 04, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: A lay committee examining historic cases of the sexual abuse of minors has identified 400 cases, according to the report. Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fátima, the president of the bishops’ conference, is under investigation for covering up abuse in Mozambique, where he once served as a missionary.

Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his work on behalf of human rights in East Timor and resigned from his post in the Dili diocese in 2002, at the age of 54, citing health reasons. Following a report that Bishop Belo had sexually abused minors, a Vatican spokesman said that the Vatican learned of allegations in 2019 and imposed secret sanctions on him in 2020. He has been living in Portugal in a Salesian community, but was reportedly whisked away last week to an undisclosed location.

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