Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pontiff Denounces Attack on Bolivian Cardinal

Benedict XVI is expressing his support for a Bolivian cardinal whose house was attacked with explosives last week.

In a note sent by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and president of the Bolivian bishops' conference, the Holy Father expressed his "vigorous condemnation" of the April 15 bombing.

The cardinal was not home at the time.

The note said the Pontiff was united in prayer with the bishops of Bolivia's episcopal conference, who are gathered in their ordinary assembly, as well as with "the priests, religious communities and the faithful of that dear nation, to express my vigorous condemnation of what has happened."

"Any act of violence, committed with the sole intention of damaging, harming or intimidating others, is always reproachable and unworthy of the human person and profoundly contrary to the Christian values of love, communion and mutual respect," the papal message stated. The apostolic nuncio in Bolivia, Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, read it to the Bolivian prelates.

Cardinal Bertone expressed in the Pope's name "my closeness and support," and urged authorities to "make every necessary effort to clear up this deplorable event."

The message implores God for "a seeking of paths of reconciliation and sincere harmony, to consolidate fraternity and solidarity, which are the solid bases for reaching just progress and building stable peace in the nation."

The vice president of the Bolivian episcopal conference, Archbishop Edmundo Abastoflor of La Paz, said the attack is a result of the tense political climate reigning in Bolivia.

The Church and President Evo Morales have been at odds on various issues. Cardinal Terrazas Sandoval just denounced Thursday at the opening of the bishops' assembly the "open corruption, the boundless increase in the commercialization of drugs, and events that point to organized terrorism" that are afflicting the country under the current administration.
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