Colombian bishops condemn murder of two priests
The Colombian bishops Conference has issued a statement condemning the "sacrilegious" ambush murder by anti-Government rebels of two priests and two labourers who were accompanying them while driving on a highway in a province in the country's north-east.
"These incidents attack the yearnings for reconciliation and peace which the Church has been preaching," said Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the episcopal conference, in a communiqué to the media quoted by Zenit on Wednesday.
Fr Vicente Rozo Bayona, 49, and Fr Jesús Emilio Mora, 60, were killed Monday when travelling on the highway between Convencion and Teorama, about 260 miles from Bogota, in the province of North Santander, in northeastern Colombia. The two priests were from the Ocana Diocese.
The national police stated that the car in which the priests were traveling was attacked with explosives and gunfire. Authorities blamed it on rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Archbishop Castro, 63, said in the communiqué: "It is an atrocious crime that plunges the Church of Colombia in mourning, in particular the relatives and faithful of the parishes of St. Joseph of Convencion and of Mount Carmel, where they carried out their pastoral ministry as exemplary parish priests cherished by their parishioners."
He added: "Whoever were the masterminds and perpetrators of this violent and sacrilegious act, must know that we condemn it as a crime that dishonors those who committed it and attacks the yearnings for reconciliation and peace which the Church has been preaching."
Colombian Bishops Condemn Murder of 2 Priests (Zenit 17/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Bishops Conference of Colombia | Obispo de Ocaña Rechaza Asesinato de dos Sacerdotes
Two guilty for murdering Colombian Archbishop (CathNews 21/1/05)
Pope urges release of Colombian bishop kidnapped by rebels (CathNews 28/7/04)
Two priests die in Colombian ambush (One News/TVNZ 16/8/05)
Bishops confirm the assassination of two priests in Colombia (Catholic News Agency 16/8/05)
19 Aug 2005