AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Archbishop Castro: "We must participate in the referendum in a responsible manner and with a conscious vote"

Saturday, 10 September 2016 politics   armed groups   street children   violence  

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - Following the signing of the agreements reached between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas in Havana, the President of the Colombian Bishops Luis Augusto Castro, Archbishop of Tunja, during a press conference held on Friday 9 said that Colombians must participate in the referendum "in a responsible manner and with a conscious vote". "The Bishops of Colombia", added the Archbishop "are called to respect the sanctuary of the conscience of every person. Personal opinion is an inalienable right and, therefore, one must make a free choice thinking about the good of all".
Colombia is heading towards the referendum to be held on 2 October to ratify peace: after 52 years of civil war, the people will decide whether to accept or reject the agreements between the government and FARC.
Archbishop Castro took the opportunity to refer to the release of children recruited by FARC and who today, Saturday, September 10, according to the agreements should return to normal life: "We welcome the return of the children. But we realize - added the President of the Colombian Bishops - that it cannot be a simple re-integration. We need to address the fundamental problem".
For Archbishop Castro, the role of priests will be crucial when guerrilla groups show up. "We will also have a meeting with all the priests to prepare them on how to treat the ex-guerrillas", added Mgr. Castro. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 10/09/2016)