.- During the celebration of the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Bishop Ricardo Blazquez of Bilbao, said Spain’s hope for lasting peace “would certainly be strengthened if the terrorists (of ETA) recognized the harm they have caused to people, families and the nation.”
The Spanish bishop said that the ceasefire agreed to by the Basque separatists “meant the beginning of a new hope, without eliminating, however, all of the sentiments of precaution and prudence.” He prayed that through the intercession of Mary, the Lord would grant the members of ETA “courage to ask forgiveness of those who have been victims of their actions.”
In San Sebastian, Bishop Juan Maria Uriate said those “responsible for peace” should express a willingness to come together in dialogue and mutual rapprochement in order to keep hopes alive in society for a lasting peaceful solution. He called on all parties to make positive gestures, to put “the good of peace” above their own political interests, and to be flexible in negotiations.
Bishop Uriarte also expressed his hope that the media would treat the issue with greater equanimity rather than fueling confrontations. The media “should broadcast messages that help to keep hope alive,” he said.