Catholic organizations joined the chorus of condemnation of the Wednesday night attack by abortion militants on the Bogotá cathedral and demanded that the Colombian authorities arrest those involved in this act of “terrorism.”

The night of Sept. 28, a group of feminists with their faces covered tried to burn down the main doors of the Bogotá cathedral while others tagged the wall with pro-abortion graffiti to the astonishment of passers-by and the inaction of the officials present from the Bogotá Mayor’s Office.

The attackers were part of demonstration for the Day for the Decriminalization and Legalization of Abortion. In their speeches, the feminists demanded that “legal and safe” abortion be allowed in Colombia.

Abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy was decriminalized by the Constitutional Court in February.

In a Sept. 29 statement, the Archdiocese of Bogotá said: “We reject all forms of violence in actions and words, we demand civility on the part of the promoters and participants of marches and protests, we ask the authorities to guarantee the life, honor, and property of citizens.”

The newly formed Pro-Life Caucus of the Colombian Congress stated Sept. 29: “We reject the acts of violence and intolerance that occurred yesterday by a group of marchers in defense of abortion. The attacks against believers and the attempted incineration of the doors of the Primatial Cathedral of Colombia are unacceptable.”

The citizen platform United for Life and the Catholic Solidarity Movement joined pro-life members of Congress and the Archdiocese of Bogotá in condemning the arson and vandalism. 

In a statement issued Sept. 29, the Catholic Solidarity Movement accused the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, of having “dismantled the reaction capacity of the police,” which allowed the attack to take place.

“When a crime such as murder by abortion, which is in the Penal Code, is legitimized, these young women believe that they can commit any other crime,” the group said in reference to the feminists.

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The president of the Catholic Solidarity Movement, Samuel Ángel, announced that they will file a complain against “these terrorists” so that they take responsibility “for the alleged crimes of damage to the property of others, rioting, damage to the public good, disrespect for beliefs, vandalism, terrorism, attempted murder, [and] conspiracy to commit a crime.”

The United for Life platform demanded that the National Prosecutor’s Office locate and capture “this group of abortionists.”

“We demand disciplinary sanctions from the mayor’s office of the city of Bogotá for the officers of the peace who did nothing to prevent this aggression by the abortionist advocates,” the organization stated.

United for Life said “it is not possible for the homicidal violence of the abortion movement to turn into terrorist actions that attack churches and people and institutions that do not want to be part of the genocidal crime of abortion.”

Not only have abortion proponents worked for “the decriminalization of abortion by prevaricating judges of the Constitutional Court, but now these abortion advocates intend to terrorize anyone who doesn’t actively cooperate to carry out this crime against Colombian unborn babies and their parents,” the platform said.

The people’s ombudsman, Carlos Camargo Assis, also condemned the attack and pointed out that “freedom of expression or the right to peaceful public demonstration cannot be understood as letters of marque to attack the exercise of worship by citizens” or to destroy the religious heritage, “which is considered sacred by millions of people.”

Camargo noted in an official statement posted online that freedom of worship is a fundamental right recognized by the Constitution and Statutory Law 133 of 1994, which impose on the authorities the obligation to guarantee it.

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The ombudsman called for investigations to be conducted “that allow punishing, if appropriate, those who may have committed crimes against this fundamental right.”

The director of the National Police, General Henry Sanabria, told a local radio station that four women involved in this incident have been taken into custody.

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