Persecuted Bishops

Colombian court temporarily suspends arrest order against archbishop

.- A Colombian court in the city of Manizales has temporarily suspended an arrest order against Archbishop Fabio Betancourt Tirado, who thanked God and said the decision was the “fruit of a prayer crusade” in the archdiocese.

“This decision is proof that God is not sleeping or dead.  It is the fruit of a prayer crusade in Manizales, which has resulted in the Church coming out victorious and the country great,” the archbishop said in an interview on Colombian radio. He said he received the news when he was preparing his belongings to leave for jail.

Archbishop Betancourt said that in recent days he has received messages of support from the faithful in France, Germany, the United States, Ecuador, Costa Rica and other countries.  He also received phone calls from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos and Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo.

An arrest order was issued against Archbishop Betancourt on April 20 for refusing to comply with a lawsuit filed by an ex-seminarian, who was dismissed by the archbishop for robbery and homosexual conduct.  The former seminarian, who is now a Protestant seminarian, is alleging that he was discriminated against due to his homosexual actions while in seminary.  The archbishop has refused the court’s demand to explain his decision to let the seminarian go.

The court in Manizales now has ten days to decide if the arrest order against the archbishop will be carried out or revoked.

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