Alberto Ricardo da Silva

Alberto Ricardo da Silva
Bishop of the Diocese of Dili
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Diocese of Dili
In office 2004 –
Ordination December 21, 1947
Personal details

(1972-08-15) August 15, 1972 (age 41)
Aileu, East Timor

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Alberto Ricardo da Silva is the Roman Catholic bishop of Dili, East Timor.

Early life

He was born in Aileu, on 24 April 1943 in East Timor when it was still a Portuguese colony. He studied in the minor seminary of Dili and was sent to Macao to study philosophy, and to Portugal to study theology in the major seminary of Leiria.


He was ordained a priest on 15 August 1972 in Portugal and served as vicar general of Dili 1980-1992. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Father da Silva's duties have included spiritual director and later rector at the Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima in Dare. He was rector of the Major Seminary of SS Peter and Paul in Dili at the time of his episcopal appointment.[2]

Pope John Paul II named him as bishop of Dili on 27 February 2004 and he was ordained bishop on May 2. The Bishop's took for his new motto "Servus Verbi Domini" (Servant of the Word of God).

He was ordained by Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Baucau, East Timor, in the presence of 7 bishops from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, and Portugal. Nearly 30,000 people attended the ordination at Immaculate Conception cathedral, including Secretary of the Apostolic Nuniature in Indonesia, Msgr. Novatus Rugambwa, the President of East Timor Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, along with Cabinet members and foreign envoys.[3]

Recent Events

On 5 December 2005, he wrote to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reiterate the importance of justice to the people East Timor. He was concerned that politicians want to bury the truth to ensure that there is no accountability for those responsible for the atrocities committed from 1975 to 1999. He strongly urged the Secretary General to recommend that the Security Council adopt a Resolution under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter to create an international tribunal for East Timor.[4]

On April 1, 2007 the Bishop told some 2,000 young Catholics during Mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Dili to commemorate the 22nd World Youth Day, to forgive each other, reconcile and forge ahead in rebuilding their violence-racked country.[5]

On February 21, 2012, Bishop da Silva led a peace walk from Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora Church in Komoro to the bishop’s residence in Lecidere. Around 5,000 people took part, including priests, nuns, seminarians, laypeople, government officials and foreign ambassadors. The Bishop called on the people participate in the upcoming presidential election peacefully.[6]


External links

  • Santa Cruz Massacre Freedom Collection interview
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