.- The secretary general of the Bishopsâ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, said this week the Catholic Church there is on stand-by awaiting the new administration of president-elect Juan Manuel Santos to take office in order to define the Churchâs role in mediation with the Marxist rebel group FARC.
Bishop Cordoba said the Church is available and awaiting an invitation from the government to serve as mediator or to facilitate new talks with FARC.
âThe efforts to secure the release of hostages are on âstand-byâ until the new government takes office. There is nothing official. Without the consent of the Government we cannot proceed,â the bishop explained.
Bishop Leonardo Gomez Serna said that while there has been no official progress, the Church continues to be committed to peace, to peace that is founded upon social justice, reconciliation and a coming together of all parties.â
Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz of Monteria noted that as pastors and Catholic prelates, âWe must dialogue with everyone.â âWe must take steps to offer the guerrillas and other groups the chance to be reincorporated into our democratic life,â he said.