BOGOTA, Colombia, JULY 8, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Colombian Episcopal Conference is reiterating the Church’s appeal for an end to armed conflict in the country.
Archbishop Jesús Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogata stated Monday that the military operations against “Alfonso Cano,” the supreme leader of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla group, wasn’t an ideal situation.
“Unfortunately these types of actions happen in the logic of an armed conflict,” he said in a statement on the conference’s Web page. “The ideal would be that it didn’t happen in our homeland; the ideal would be that we truly live in peace.” “Our message has always been that the conflict, please, cease. I think Colombia has evolved sufficiently in the last years so that there can be a real consensus, a dialogue, in which all really participate in the construction of a better country,” the archbishop added.
The comments of Archbishop Salazar Gómez were made in the context of the XCI Plenary Assembly of the Colombian episcopate, which ended today.
In his opening address to the plenary, the archbishop of Bogota noted the efforts made in recent years “to try to understand the fundamental challenges posed to the Church’s evangelizing endeavor.”
He noted that the task is difficult due to the “chronic evils” afflicting the country.
The conference president, however, praised the progress of pro-life work in the nation, and the way it “has fostered the defense and promotion of life not only in the evangelizing actions proper to the ecclesiastical jurisdictions but also the numerous and varied institutions that fight for life.”
Archbishop Salazar Gómez said that thanks to the coordinated efforts of the pro-life movement, the “it has been possible to intervene appropriately in the debates carried out in the Congress of the Republic on different occasions in the discussion of some laws.”
“As culmination of this work,” he added, “we have begun to focus on the subject of peace, understood not only as an end to the armed conflict but also as the fruit of the building of social justice in the country.”