Colombian Cardinal to Press On for Peace

BOGOTA, Colombia, FEB. 3, 2004 ( The president of the Colombian episcopate promises to continue his efforts to negotiate a national peace despite the high price in lives the Church is paying.

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Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Sáenz of Bogota confirmed his commitment at the opening of the episcopate’s monthlong plenary assembly on Monday.

At least 57 Catholic representatives, including bishops, priests, women religious, and seminarians, have been killed in Colombia in the last decade.

The cardinal said he believes that Colombia’s violence must be addressed by studying the causes, and he acknowledged, as did the episcopate before, that the country is «morally sick.»

«The Church reiterates its decision to continue to support and facilitate with the bishops and the National Conciliation Commission the processes of political negotiation between the government and the assorted insurgent organizations and groups outside the law,» he added.

«To go forward on the path of reconciliation in the building of peace, it is indispensable that those responsible for abuses against life, freedom, and the dignity of the person, acknowledge the evil they have done and give signs, with deeds, of reparation,» the cardinal said.

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