On the second anniversary of the apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Colombia (6-11 September 6-11, 2017) the Bishops of the nation have renewed the appeal to all Colombian citizens to “assume and accelerate the path to definitive peace, personal and social reconciliation, the rejection of violence as a method to overcome inequalities, the consolidation of unity and institutionality”.
In the text sent to Agenzia Fides, entitled “The search for peace requires the commitment of all” and signed by the Presidency of the Bishops’ Conference, the Bishops recall the words of the Pope to Colombians, and stress: “This moment, more than ever, requires to overcome political, ideological, cultural and economic differences, leaving aside individualistic interests and intentions”. Since “the dignity of the human person and the defense of life are a fundamental pillar on which society is built” … “we must be united by the rejection of every form of violence, threat, murder or attacks like the one we are experiencing” … “We reiterate that all forms of violence must be excluded from political and social life”.
The Bishops call for support “for those who have left their arms to reincorporate themselves into political, economic and social life” and express their full support to those engaged in the peace process without weapons. They, therefore, call for the consolidation of Development Programs with a territorial approach (PDET), “as a response to the historical absence of the state in the areas involved in the armed conflict”, important to ensure social and community inclusion, recognize human dignity, and prevent that the atrocities of the past are repeated.
“Let us not forget – they continue – that in order to achieve peace it is necessary to guarantee justice and truth to the victims, respond to the research of people considered missing and provide for forms of reparation”. Finally, they recognize the work carried out by the national government to achieve these objectives and call “all citizens and institutions of the country to urgently take new steps to achieve unity, honesty, cooperation, social justice and respect for human rights, as an environment to establish an authentic and indestructible reconciliation among Colombians”.