Page 2, 21st December 1973

21st December 1973
Page 2
Page 2, 21st December 1973 — UN INQUIRY

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People: Leon


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In New York the United Nations General Assembly has voted to set up an investigation into alleged Portuguese atrocities in Mozambique. Four countries — the United States, Portugal, Spain and South Africa — voted against the proposal.

Among the 12 countries which abstained were Britain, France and the Soviet Union. British officials said the United Nations should not interfere in the internal affairs of a member country, and felt that the investigating commission could not be effective without Portuguese co-operation.

The archbishop rejected accusations that the Church in Mozambique was "sold to the Portuguese Government" and declared that its liberty was "total and absolute."

The article began by stating that the basic question was the position of Mozambique as belonging to the Portuguese nation. Accusations voiced both within and outside the country implied that the Church was shackled to the Government and was not free to promote independence and denounce injustices and atrocities.

"Some would like the Mozambique hierarchy to condemn the Portuguese Government for its policy of integration, and place itself on the side of the so-called liberation movements," Archbishop Pereira wrote.

This attitude "has been taken up by various foreign priests and a few Portuguese, and has earned for some expulsion from Mozambique and even prison." The archbishop was obviously referring to the imprisonment and suhequent expulsion under amnesty of two Spanish Burgos Fathers, Fr. Robles and Fr. Leon, who were accused of acting subversively against the interests of Portugal in Mozambique. People who approved of revolutionary ideas must take the consequences, he said.

He went on: "Independent of the personal position of each priest, the Church cannot show itself against or in favour of the independence of any territory."

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