Bogota (Fides Service) – “The Bishops of Colombia lament and deplore the assassination of Reverend Father Saulo Carreño Hernández, parish priest at Christ the King Parish Saravena (Arauca) and Reverend Father Henry Humberto López Cruz, parish priest of St Joachim and Anna at Villavicencio (Meta), victims of violence and intolerance which afflict the people of Colombia so heavily”. This was said in a statement issued by the vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunja. The statement, a copy of which was sent to Fides, bears the date of November 7, 2003.
After expressing sympathy to the bishops, clergy, faithful and families of the priests, the statement says: “we share the suffering of the people of Arauca and Meta who are living a Via Crucis of violence and terrorism. These priests join the long list of men and women cowardly murdered... The Church has paid a high price with twenty priests killed in three years, but we will continue to call for reconciliation and forgiveness as conditions for lasting peace”
On behalf of all the Bishops of Colombia, Archbishop Castro Quiroga presents condolences to the family of the young Maritza Isabel Linares, murdered in Saravena with the priest, and to the families of the victims of a terrorist attack at Florencia. The statement concludes: “We will not cease to invoke respect for life and to pray to to the Lord that he may touch the hearts of those who despise his commandment “do not kill”, reminding them that “blood shed cries from the soil to God”. (S.L.) (Fides Service 8/11/2003; lines 20 – words 268)