AMERICA/COLOMBIA - After the referendum, the Bishops encourage to promote a "culture of encounter"

Tuesday, 4 October 2016 politics   local churches   armed groups  

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - Following the results of the referendum on the peace Agreements held on October 2, with the victory of the "no" and with a very low turnout, (see Fides 10/03/2016) the Colombian episcopate have invited political leaders and the entire population to overcome polarization and divisions. The statement of the Bishops' Conference of Colombia (CEC), sent to Fides, was presented yesterday by His Exc. Mgr. Elkin Fernando Alvarez Botero, Auxiliary of Medellin, Secretary General of CEC. "We invite everyone to an objective analysis of the reality, to respectful and fraternal dialogue, unity, generosity. Let us try to promote a 'culture of encounter' that prepares us to forgiveness and reconciliation" reads the text signed by the President of Episcopal Conference, His Exc. Mgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, Archbishop of Tunja.
The Bishops also emphasize the disposition of the Government to convene a national dialogue committee in favor of peace. In this context they reaffirmed the willingness of the Catholic Church to participate, according to its pastoral mission, in the design and development of initiatives to help eradicate the roots of violence. Finally they ask the national government, political and social leaders of the country and FARC, to leave aside group interests, to calmly study the results of the referendum and to continue dialogue. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 04/10/2016)