The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, publicly forgave those who attacked him last week for his homily in which he said human rights are not the property “of a small ideological group.”
“When I made these comments in honor of the institutions of the country, when I made these comments to stress the importance that the entire body of human rights has and not just those of a single group or in a particular place, I found myself surprised and even now still a little confused, I listened to three or four responses. It was like venom that was being held in,” he said during his radio program Dialogue of Faith.
“We need to forgive and they are forgiven,” Cardinal Cipriani said. “Thanks be to God, I have prayed for them these last few days. Thanks be to God, I have turned the page. I only want to say to them, let’s just keep to the basic message of St. Rose of Lima, the first saint of America,” he added.
Cardinal Cipriani was referring to the reactions of those who questioned his statements about human rights which he made during his homily on the feast of St. Rose of Lima and those who criticized his pastoral work when he was the Archbishop of Ayacucho, which suffered under the terrorism of the Luminous Way. Most of the criticism came from members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Bishop Emeritus of Chimbote, Luis Bambaren.
During his radio program, the cardinal recalled some of the remarks from his homily. “I thought it was important and I say it again, to pay homage to the institutions of our country, such as the Armed Forces and the Police without any desire for controversy. And if not, then today I can pay homage to the Armed Forces and to the Police like any Peruvian can about an institution,” the cardinal said.
“The country has institutions at different levels, some liked more than others, but what we cannot do is continuously attack them. I issued a call to care more for human rights in order to say: We cannot leave human rights—I said verbatim—in the hands of a small ideological group,” he added.
“Human rights do not spring forth from a bunch of ideas, from a group of persons, neither mine, nor anybody else’s. Human rights come from that which is the person, a free human, a human who knows how to love, how to forgive, who has the dignity to be able to have a house, a home, to be able to express himself, with religious freedom, among other rights.”