Presiding at the opening of the General Assembly of the Bishops Conference of Colombia, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz, Archbishop of Bogota and President of the body, issued an explicit appeal to lawmakers, “that in the consideration of proposals such as abortion, euthanasia and making same-sex unions equivalent to marriage, common sense and respect for life might prevail.”
The cardinal reiterated that the defense of life ought be the choice of a majority Catholic population. “We must reject all kinds of acts of massacres, terrorism and murders. But in legislative terms, we must be very careful. Nobody has the right to decide if a person should live or die, even from the mother’s womb, that is, from the moment of conception,” he insisted.
Likewise he also reiterated the Church’s rejection of any effort to redefine marriage, and he said that too many resources are being used for genetic manipulation, “while there are so many serious and well-known deficiencies in the area of health care. Hospitals are being closed and a large percentage of Colombians do not have access to social security.”
Peace negotiations must move forward
During his remarks the cardinal also called on the government and on the rebel leaders of FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) to renew efforts to achieve the peace agreement that has been on the table for the past two years.
“It’s time to achieve an humanitarian accord, so that the negotiations and peace process between the government and FARC can begin, and this endeavor should not be delayed,” the cardinal said.
“The world has seen great and profound changes which we will able to assimilate and confront only inasmuch as the unity of our Episcopate is given priority in a spirit of collegiality, and we prepare ourselves with a vision for the future, with the responsibility that the Gospel requires of us,” Cardinal Rubiano added.
He said it was up to the Bishops Conference to come up with ideas and concrete ways to help bishops in the particular churches to respond to and adequately guide the faithful.”