Colombian Prelate Honored on Anniversary of His Murder

BOGOTA, Colombia, MARCH 18, 2003 ( The Church last weekend commemorated Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of Cali, the murdered prelate who raised his voice against drug trafficking, guerrillas and paramilitary groups.

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The archbishop was killed March 16, 2002, as he left Good Shepherd Church in a poor neighborhood of Cali.

Vatican Radio reported that the faithful were invited to a ceremony last Saturday in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Cali, where they joined civil, military and religious authorities in praying for national peace.

The main commemorative event took place in the cathedral of Medellin, where the deceased had been a bishop for six years.

Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin addressed his brothers in the episcopate and said that the anniversary represented “a very important moment of grace so that we will ask ourselves about the value and the clarity needed to speak about the appropriate things in the present situation of the country.”

“And Archbishop Isaias was a prophet who spoke with great clarity,” he said.

Ibague Archbishop Flavio Calle Zapata, whose own life has been threatened, called the murdered prelate a modern martyr of the Church and a martyr of the fundamental rights of the human person.

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