Cardinal Rueda: With trust placed in Jesus, you can face the most adverse situations

Rueda Archbishop Luis José Rueda Aparicio | Credit: Archdiocese of Bogotá

Cardinal Luis José Rueda Aparicio, the president of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference (CEC) and archbishop of Bogotá, opened the 117th Plenary Assembly of the conference on July 1 in Bogotá with a reflection on the role of a bishop.

The Christian, and even more so the bishop, who places his trust in the cross and resurrection of Christ can face the most adverse situations, Rueda said.

Referring to the beatitudes, the cardinal applied them to the mission of a bishop: “Blessed are the bishops who strive to live austerity,” he said, emphasizing that an austere life is “a powerful message and a great contribution to peace in Colombia,” as it is an example of the fight against corruption and greed.

The archbishop exhorted the prelates to live poverty and detachment, being “humble servants who do not live to have a good image but who, in their own conscience, know with sincerity who they are and put their hearts in the true treasure that is “Christ crucified and resurrected, alive and close to us every day.”

In his reflection, the cardinal also called on his brothers of the episcopate to encourage with their lives the mission that has been entrusted to them, being grateful “for the small step that was able to be taken” and remaining calm despite the fact that “the wolf is on the prowl.”

Be “bishops who trust in the action of the Holy Spirit and who kneel down in silence to give thanks before the tabernacle after a day of apparent failures,” he counseled.

The main item on the agenda of the plenary assembly taking place through July 5 is to elect the CEC board of directors for the 2024–2027 term.

Rueda also expressed his gratitude for the support he received during the three years that he served as president of the bishops’ conference along with Archbishop Omar Alberto Sánchez Cubillos as vice president and with Bishop Luis Manuel Alí Herrera as secretary-general.

In addition, he thanked Father Jorge Bustamante Mora, who became secretary-general after Herrera was appointed secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in March.

The CEC website said that the first day of the 117th Plenary Assembly also included a Mass celebrated by Sánchez, who in his homily “recalled the leading role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and the need to invoke his presence to discern, guide, and project, in unity, the decisions that will be made” during this week.

In addition to electing the presidency of the conference, the nearly 90 prelates present will also elect others to 40 leadership positions.

The archbishop emeritus of Bogotá, Cardinal Rubén Salazar, recalled that as pastors they must put themselves at the service of the infinite love of God, discern the signs of the times, and keep in mind that the Church is a witness and instrument of salvation.

To examine the state of society in Colombia, the prelates divided the country by regions for consideration.

The CEC explained that three questions guided the discussion: “What is the most deeply rooted social problem in the region? What are the characteristics of the country you want to help build? What are the main lines of action to deal with the identified social problem?”

The closing of the plenary assembly will coincide with the opening of the 13th National Missionary Congress, which will take place from July 5–7 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

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

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.