Spanish bishop hopeful separatist group will abandon violence

.- Bishop Juan Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian, Spain recently reacted to a Basque separatist group's announcement that it would abandon violence. The bishop said he was hopeful the group would adhere to its promise.

Europa Press reported that in an interview with Punto Radio, Bishop Munilla discussed the announcement by ETA. He noted that on Oct. 23 he sent a letter to all parishes in the dioceses to encourage Catholics, “because our people have suffered and continue to suffer from the scourge of terrorism and every scourge that comes with it.”

ETA is a terrorist organization that has used violence in support of an independent Basque region in Spain and southern France.
 
The bishop also urged parishioners to pray that ETA would keep its word and that a positive conclusion to the four-decades-long conflict would be achieved.
 
The people are aware, he continued, that “even with the total disbanding of ETA, which we hope will happen, not everything will be over.” 

“We must then work to heal the very deep wounds and I believe here the Church has much to offer,” the bishop said. 
 
The Church “has to achieve the difficult balance of not getting involved in politics because obviously that is not our mission, but living together in society does have moral dimensions which are clear.”
 
“If the Church were to say nothing where hatred, confrontation and cruelty exist in society, she would not be preaching the gospel,” Bishop Munilla stated.

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