DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     September 21, 1999     vol. 10, no. 179

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - The People's Liberation Army (EPL), Colombia's smallest guerrilla group, on Sunday released Bishop Jose de Jesus Quintero of Tibu to a commission headed by the President of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin.

        In his first statements to the press, the bishop gave thanks to his fellow bishops and to Pope John Paul II "for his prayers and intervention" and said: "I will keep being a bishop faithful to the Church and leading my people in the diocese of Tibu."

        The bishop said that he was treated well, but strongly criticized kidnapping as "an evil that has no excuse, not even for political or so-called social reasons." He added, "My mission as Bishop of Tibu will continue as usual, because my task is evangelization and evangelization is a process that cannot stop because of violence or other difficulties." The bishop was reportedly released with a warning from the rebels that he leave the region.

        On Saturday, the release of Bishop Quintero was suspended by the EPL, who accused the Colombian army of creating "an unstable situation" in the area. Francisco Caraballo, the EPL leader jailed at the Itagui penitentiary near the city of Medellin, said that the kidnapping of Bishop Quintero -- kidnapped for the second time in less that two years -- on August 15, near his diocese of Tibu, "was nothing personal against the bishop, but only a way to make an statement."

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 21, 1999       volume 10, no. 179


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