Two of our bishops have joined faith leaders from across Europe in showing solidarity with the Colombian Church in light of recent social unrest in the South American country.
Two months ago, people took the streets to protest against the government’s new tax reforms. Protesters reportedly faced police brutality, enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture. Dozens have been killed.
Despite the withdrawal of the tax reform bill, Colombians have continued to protest to highlight widespread poverty and inequality as well as a lack of access to basic services, such as healthcare and education.
“We call for the path of dialogue to be chosen, for citizens’ demands to be listened to and for compromises to be found that contribute to reconciliation and peace,” say the faith leaders in the statement published by CIDSE – an international family of Catholic social justice organisations working for transformational change to end poverty and inequality.
Bishop Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton and Chair of the Bishops’ International Affairs Department, and Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford and Chair of CAFOD, have added their names to the statement:
“We recognise the pain and poverty being experienced in Colombia and express our solidarity with all victims of violence”.
CAFOD, the Catholic overseas aid and development charity, has a page on its website dedicated to Columbia.
You can read the statement from CIDSE signed by Bishop Lang and Bishop Arnold.