EU Urged to Aid in Release of Kidnapped Prelate

BRUSSELS, Belgium, NOV. 12, 2002 ( European bishops appealed to the continent’s leaders to help ensure the immediate release of Bishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, who was kidnapped in Colombia on Monday.

The secretary-general of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Communtiy today asked European Union leaders to do whatever they can to help secure the safe release of Bishop Jiménez, who is the president of the Latin American bishops’ council (CELAM), and Father Desiderio Orjuela, who was abducted with him.

In letters to Javier Solana and Per Stig Moller of the Council of the European Union; Romano Prodi and Chris Patten of the European Commission; and Pat Cox and Elmar Brok of the European Parliament, Monsignor Noël Treanor said that Bishop Jiménez “has campaigned relentlessly for justice and peace both in his own country and in the wider world.”

Bishop Jiménez and Father Orjuela were kidnapped on Monday morning, apparently by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

In May, CELAM and COMECE co-organized a Social Congress on “Latin America and the European Union: Together for the Global Common Good — The Contribution of the Church” in El Escorial, Spain. Bishop Jiménez was co-president of that congress.