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Colombian bishop responds to cathedral vandalism

Ibagué Cathedral / Protest Ibagué Cathedral / Protest/ Ibajaime (CC BY-SA 4.0) / Pixabay.

A Colombian archbishop condemned an attack against a local cathedral March 8 by a group of radical pro-abortion feminists.

Archbishop Orlando Roa Barbosa of Ibagué said in a statement that the Church “will carry on with a prophetic voice, denouncing everything that, with the appearance of law, really goes against the integrity, nature and dignity of women.”

On International Women's Day, which takes place March 8 and is also known as “8M,” a group of radical feminists vandalized the cathedral. They tagged the walls with slogans such as “8M,” “rapists,” and “we want each other alive,” an apparent reference to violence against women.

Among other things, the demonstrators were opposing the Church’s view on abortion, according to local media. Many of the protestors have called for legalized abortion-on-demand without any government regulation.

The women also vandalized public monuments in downtown Ibagué, the capital of the department of Tolima.

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“The Church of Ibagué laments and mourns the vandalism against its cathedral, a sacred place that is devoted to an encounter with God and that has witnessed the development of the Tolima people, a cultural heritage that must be valued, preserved and guarded,” the archdiocese wrote in a March 9 statement posted on its Facebook page.

The Archdiocese of Ibagué noted that “canon law considers this type of attack the desecration of a sacred place and indicates that reparation must be made with a penitential act.”

“Accordingly, with the entire Tolima Catholic community, appealing to the patronage of the Immaculate Virgin, patroness of the cathedral, a model for women and our advocate, we will pray to the Lord to have mercy on his People, grant the conversion of arrogant hearts and show us the way to continue defending the dignity of women according to the law of Christ, which is the law of freedom and love,” said the statement, signed by Archbishop Roa Barbosa.

The statement recognized that “it has not been easy for women to break through to become essential actors in social life.” However, it added, “the hostility and aggression manifested last Monday promoted violence and the violation not only of architectural structures but also of the very dignity of women.”

Thus, it said, “following the example of Jesus, who always knew how to surround himself with women who closely collaborated with him in his evangelizing mission,” the Church will continue “to defend the dignity of women,” recognizing “their important role in the life of the Church.”

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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