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The accidental killing of two priests shows that the Catholic Church’s determination to minister to the people of Colombia suffering from the long-standing civil war sometimes exacts a heavy price.

The Guardian

By Juan Pablo Toro, Associated Press Writer

AP – A leftist rebel group acknowledged Saturday that its fighters killed two Catholic priests earlier this week, but said the killing was a mistake and promised to punish those responsible. The two priests, Vicente Rosso Bayona and Jesus Emilio Mora, were killed Monday along with two construction workers when gunmen ambushed their car on a remote country road in northeast Colombia. A third priest was killed in a separate incident on Thursday. “We are aware of the irreparable damage that this act has caused,” the National Liberation Army, known by its Spanish acronym ELN, said in a statement. “We regret it deeply and ask for forgiveness.”…But a church leader, Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao, said the rebel apology was insufficient. “I think the ELN should pay for their mistake not just by asking for forgiveness, but by opening a peace dialogue,” Henao, who often mediated in peace efforts during Colombia’s 41-year-old civil war, told The Associated Press…Roman Catholic clergy regularly put themselves in harm’s way to try to ease the suffering linked to the conflict, but have paid a heavy price: an archbishop, a bishop, 60 priests and three nuns have been killed in the past 20 years in Colombia, according to the church…[Go To Full Story]