Bogotá, Colombia, Jun 1, 2021 / 18:01 pm
The Archbishop of Bogotá, Luis José Rueda Aparicio, has encouraged Colombians to overcome their fratricidal "visceral hatred" with the authentic love that comes from the Triune God.
The archbishop made this appeal in his homily on May 30, just over a month after the start of a national strike called by leftist organizations April 28. An outbreak of violence and vandalism May 28 left 13 dead and dozens injured in Cali alone.
Other cities hit by vandalism by protesters include Medellín; Popayán, where firebombs were thrown at the mayor's office; Pereira; and the Bogotá area, where demonstrators attacked a police station in the town of Facatativá, northwest of the capital.
According to the archdiocesan office of communications, Archbishop Rueda said that “sometimes we move towards true love and life is beautiful and we are artisans and builders of a culture of mercy, but there can be times when we let ourselves be carried away by visceral hatred that destroys us, hurts families, filling them with mourning and sadness.”
This hatred, the archbishop warned, "is destroying the relationships between us citizens and puts in our hearts anguish and fear of what may happen in the city, in the countryside and in the regions."
The archbishop urged Colombians to live in fraternity and respect as brothers so that “true dialogue may be born. Otherwise we relate to each other like Cain and Abel where one tries to destroy the other out of envy.”
The archbishop encouraged "finding a path to consensus to solve problems," taking into consideration two important values: respect for each person's life and dignity.
“We must respect the lives of others, that is the supreme gift. Without life we can do nothing. That's why we reject all forms of violence because it’s fratricidal.”