DAILY CATHOLIC    ASCENSION THURSDAY     May 21, 1998     vol. 9, no. 99

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - Responding to a critical surge in violence, thousands of Colombians joined in a peace and reconciliation campaign on Tuesday organized by the Catholic Church and other non-governmental organizations.

          Archbishop Pedro Rubiano Saenz invited all Colombians to stop their activities at noon and publicly express their rejection of violence in the country. "Let us send a strong and moving message for peace, in the hope that it will move the heart of those who have chosen the dark path of violence and destruction," said Archbishop Rubiano. Most of the Catholic schools throughout Colombia joined the campaign with silent marches in the streets, while at noon, the bells of all Catholic churches and chapels chimed, marking a moment of silence and prayer for peace. At that time, main streets and squares in the largest Colombian cities were filled by people joining the campaign.

          "Each Colombian was invited to pause in their lives to reflect on the need for peace, and we are happy to see how many joined yesterday," said Father Jose Crisanto Ramos Pardo, one of the priests who promoted the event in the region of Apartado, regarded as the most violent in the country. Father Crisanto went door-to-door to invite his parishioners to go out into the streets.

          "It was simple but symbolic. We joined our hands, gave each other signs of peace, and prayed for reconciliation in the country," Father Crisanto concluded. The peace campaign was inspired by the murder of radio journalist Bernabe Cortez.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 21, 1998       volume 9, no. 99


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