At the conclusion of their 87th Plenary Assembly, the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia issued a final statement reiterating and encouraging unconditional defense of human life from conception to natural death.
In the final document signed by conference president Archbishop Ruben Salazar, the bishops draw attention to some of the attacks on human life in Colombia today, such as abortion and kidnapping. They note that the country’s Constitution states that "life is an inviolable right and that in Colombia there shall be no death penalty." The bishops continue: "However, all of the facts we have pointed out go against this fundamental right and have given rise to the grave crisis that Pope John Paul II called an eclipse of the value of life."
"Life, and above all human life, cannot be fully understood except in the measure in which we become aware that its origin, development and goal is found in God as the only Master and Lord," the bishops explain.
After recognizing the work of those who promote human rights in the country, the bishops express their "faith and trust in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, who will help us to keep the commitments that have been made at this Plenary Assembly, commitments that we will make known later on together with the working documents and the criteria that should inspire pastoral plans in relation to the promotion and defense of human life."
"The Gospel of Life is at the center of the message of Jesus," the bishops add. "Life is a fundamental right of each human being and in recognizing this right the foundation is laid for human coexistence and for political life.
They conclud by calling on health care works, those who administer justice, the armed forces, teachers and parents, to be clear in their daily and professional work in respecting life from the moment of conception, through all its stages until natural death."