The bishop issued a statement expressing concern that the FARC has taken Fr. PeÃ±a away from his parishioners and calling him âan exemplary priest in his actions and in his judgment in every circumstance in which he has worked; he has spent 15 years working tirelessly in rural areas.â.- Bishop Jairo Jaramillo Monsalve of Santa Rosa de Osos, Colombia, is calling on the leaders of FARC (the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia)âone of the main rebel militias in the countryâs ongoing civil conflictâto release Fr. Cesar Dario PeÃ±a Garcia, who was kidnapped by the group on March 15.
Bishop Jaramillo asked the FARC âto allow Fr. Cesar to continue serving his parishioners, because his silence and his absence causes much grief in me as his bishop, and in all of the priests of the dioceses, as well as in his beloved parents and family members.â
The bishop added that the Fr. PeÃ±a must surely feel âhurt very deeply that he cannot be with his community,â and his parishioners feel âtheir rights are violated by the forced absence of their shepherd.â
The town of Raudal, where he is pastor, is preparing to organize demonstrations for the release of Fr. PeÃ±a.
Fr. PeÃ±a was born on June 12, 1961, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1988.