.- Amidst the climate of violence and tension which Colombians are suffering, the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, gathered for its 82nd Plenary Assembly, issued a statement calling for reconciliation, “so that victims, victimizers and society in general might know the profound experience of forgiveness.”
In a message entitled, “The commitment of the Church in response to the challenges of the national reality,” the bishops indicated that reconciliation would lead to the establishing of “a peace scenario that would denote the ‘fullness of life,’ a life of dignity and abundance for all, rather than the simple absence of war.”
The bishops denounced lying as “one of the causes of all conflicts and main obstacle to any effort at political negotiation” and urged all parties to embark upon “the path of truth.” Only that way could the “cycle of anger, resentment and vengeance” be broken, they said.
They also stressed that reconciliation could only come about if those responsible for the violence acknowledge the sinfulness of their actions in attacking the lives of others. This is a “necessary step” for there to be peace, the bishops stated.
In their message the bishops also reiterated their commitment to speak out for those who have been “unjustly deprived of their freedom and subjected to kidnapping.” “We will not be silent, nor shall we cease in our efforts until both the government and the FARC reach an humanitarian accord granting freedom to all of them,” they stressed.
The bishops also denounced drug trafficking in their message, calling it “the fuel of corruption and armed confrontation and the cause of many ills in the country,” and they emphasized their commitment to “speaking out prophetically” “in the defense of life, from conception to natural death, of the dignity of persons, for equality of opportunities and honesty in order to build a country that is for all and that excludes no one.”