Tuesday the 13th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Marawi bishop says Church can’t negotiate with terrorists who hold priest

The Catholic bishop in the southern Philippine city of Marawi dismissed as “ridiculous” proposals to negotiate for the release of a priest held captive by terrorist gunmen.

Speaking before a gathering of church people in the northern province of Pangasinan, Bishop Edwin de la Pena of Marawi said “there is no way we can dialogue” with extremists, reported ucanews.com.

The bishop said that for the past four decades, the Catholic Church’s response to war and conflicts in the southern region of Mindanao has been dialogue.

“We can only dialogue with like-minded people,” he told the 29th June gathering at the Solidarity Congress for Persecuted Christians. The gathering was sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, a pontifical foundation that supports victims of persecution.

Ucanews.com reported Bishop de la Pena said the Church should ‘choose the kind of people that we will have a dialogue with’.

He said people who have fallen victim to extremism, those who “experience so much pain…are all the people who are open to have a dialogue with us.”

Picture: Smoke is seen following a Philippine Army airstrike on 29th June as government troops continue their assault against Islamic militants in Marawi. The Catholic bishop of Marawi dismissed as “ridiculous” proposals to negotiate for the release of a priest held captive by terrorist gunmen. (CNS photo/Jorge Silva, Reuters).