Bogota (Fides Service) -"The Catholic Bishops, clergy and people of Colombia join the world to thank God for the life, example and spiritual legacy of Pope John Paul II who has gone to receive the crown of glory promised to those who love and serve God". These were the opening words of a statement issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Colombia and signed by Cardinal Rubiano Saenz, Archbishop of Bogota Conference president, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunja Vice president, and Mgr Fabián Marulanda Lopez, Secretary General. “The Pope travelled the world to preach the Gospel to all peoples. He reached out to the humble and the poor, he embraced children, he won the hearts of young people, he comforted the elderly and the sick. He will always be remembered for his courageous defence of human dignity, the right to life, truth, justice and freedom" the Bishops affirmed.
After recalling the Pope’s visit to Colombia in 1986 the Bishops said "the best way to show our affection and gratitude, besides our prayers will be to strive to remember and put into practice the message he left us”, when he called on children, young people, workers, priests, religious, families, intellectuals to be channels of peace and to make parishes communities of prayer and communion. And when he called Bishops to be teachers of the truth, examples of holiness and witnesses of hope.
The Bishops end the statement calling on the people to pray to the Holy Spirit to enlighten the Cardinals whose duty it is to choose the new Successor of Peter. (RG) (4/4/2005 Agenzia Fides; Righe:24; Parole:333)