President of Colombian bishops: 'The guerrillas have lost touch with reality'


In an interview with the Colombian magazine Cambio, the new president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Ruben Salazar, said the guerrilla rebels in the country “have lost touch with reality.” The bishop encouraged the rebels to free all of the hostages and to sit down for negotiations.


“The world has changed substantially during recent years and the guerillas have remained stuck in the past. They have lost touch with reality. Violence can never be the path for achieving a profound renewal of society in justice and peace.  The guerillas must recognize that the moment has come to free all of the hostages and to sit down at the negotiating table. In this way they can still make a contribution to the future of the country,” the archbishop said.


He also noted that the Church neither supports nor opposes the government.  “The task of the Church is to be ‘salt and light.’ And she should help clearly to discover concrete paths that lead to what is good. We all need to act with a greater sense of the common good.  To do this one needs to be able to renounce personal or group interests.  This should be a part of any decision,” the archbishop stressed.


“One of the tragedies of the human being,” he went on, “is that he does not live according to how he thinks, and therefore he ends up thinking according to how he lives. Without the strong experience of a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus, it is ease to choose the wrong path.  The coherence between faith and daily life is the fundamental condition for being a Christian,” he said.

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