Bombing at Colombian Club Condemned by Pope

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2003 ( John Paul II sent a message condemning the car bombing at a social club in Bogota, Colombia, which killed 33 and wounded 200.

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In a weekend telegram sent to Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Sáenz, archbishop of Bogota and president of the Colombian episcopal conference, the Pope expressed «energetic condemnation of these actions against peaceful coexistence and the life and dignity of persons.»

The message, signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, assures prayers «for the eternal rest of the deceased,» and transmits the Holy Father’s «most profound sympathy to the families who weep for their loved ones, victims of such unjustifiable violence.»

John Paul II trusts that «different public entities and the citizenry, so sensitive to the value of life and to the rights of the person, will reject this institutionalized form of violence, which offends the human and Christian conscience.»

Colombia and the United States attributed the Friday attack to the guerrilla group Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).

«I do not have the least doubt that it was the FARC,» Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos said of the attack, considered the most serious committed in Bogota in over a decade.

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