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Colombian bishops: Church ready to facilitate peace process

.- Bishop Ruben Salazar Gomez, the president of the Colombian bishops' conference, said the Church will act as a facilitator between the government and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) as soon negotiations become serious.

The bishop added that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos “is completely convinced” this will take place.

“We are always willing to provide guidance based on the Social Doctrine of the Church so Colombia can take steps towards peace and progress,” the bishop said in a statement released on Feb. 10.

Bishop Salazar Gomez also expressed his confidence during the bishops' 90th assembly that President Santos sees peace “not only as sitting down for negotiations with the guerrillas but also as creating all of the necessary conditions in the country to put an end to the conflict.”

“It’s not only the armed conflict, it is the entire social conflict: the problem of poverty, the redistribution of wealth, of land, etc.

“The country’s problems are very complex, diverse and widespread, and therefore (President Santos) understands clearly that these problems must be addressed in all of their complexity in order to create the conditions for peace,” the bishop added.

Recently, Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz of Monteria, Colombia spoke out, saying he is confident the Catholic Church can help bring about the eventual surrender of the criminal organization, Bandas Criminales.


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