Crowd prays rosary at Colombia’s El Dorado airport to demand reopening of Catholic chapel

rosary Daniel Ibáñez / ACI Press

A large group of people prayed the rosary inside the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, asking that the Catholic chapel located there be reopened.

The recitation of the Marian prayer took place Sept. 3 in the area next to the former chapel in a joyful atmosphere with white and light blue Colombian flags.

On Aug. 26, OPAIN, the private company that manages the airport, announced the closure of the Catholic chapel and said that it would become a “space for neutral reflection” for all religions.

The airport administration explained that in the coming days the chapel will be made over into “a space for worship and neutral reflection.” The Diocese of Fontibón, which served the chapel, was forced to remove all signs, symbols, icons, liturgical elements — even the pews — and vacate the place.

The Solidarity Social Research Institute called for a peaceful march that ended outside the El Dorado airport.

“We live in a time in which calamities overwhelm and afflict mankind, and Colombia is no exception,” said Samuel Ángel, president of the institute.

“This accumulation of evils has invaded the earth because the majority of men have distanced themselves from Jesus Christ and his most holy law,” he added.

“The religious discourse of the secular state, because it is religious but contrary to the faith and the reign of Christ, seeks to dismantle all traces of the presence of God. That’s the reason why we are here,” he continued.

“Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Fatima! Let us restore the Catholic oratory!” he concluded.

After Ángel spoke, those present also prayed the rosary, many on their knees.

In a previous statement at the time the chapel was closed, Ángel, who is also spokesman for the national movement Ejército Provida (Pro-life Army), said that the government of President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Claudia López “intends to extinguish the faith of the faithful” with “totalitarianism.”

The two were sworn into office Aug. 7. Petro founded the leftist political party Humane Colombia in 2011 and is a former guerrilla fighter.

The new administration “intends to end the religious practice that propagates and defends freedom,” Ángel said, promising to “mount strong opposition.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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