Church in Colombia reiterates willingness to facilitate dialogue

.- During his opening remarks for the 86th Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Ruben Salazar underscored that the Catholic Church is always open to “profound dialogue with all parties. We are willing to become involved as facilitators, to do our part to support peace.”

Speaking to reporters, the Archbishop of Barranquilla said he hoped “to understand fully the implications” of the proposals by the government and the FARC rebel group to move forward with a humanitarian agreement and attain the release of hostages.

For his part, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz of Bogota said, “We are willing to collaborate in any area related to peace. Everything that is done for peace and for the release of the hostages is important.”  However, he said, members of the FARC who are released should not return to the battlefield but rather should “go home to their families.”

Bishop Leonardo Gomez Serna agreed, saying that the members of FARC who are released should become “peacemakers.” “The humanitarian agreement ought to specify this, that the guerrillas should not return to crime.  If it is just for them to go back to the same thing, it’s not worth it,” he said.

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