Thousands pay tribute to deceased bishop in Colombia

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Before a crowd of more than 5,000, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Ruben Salazar, celebrated the funeral Mass of Bishop Jaime Prieto Amaya of Cucuta, a strong promoter of human dignity in Colombia.

“Jaime found the face of Christ in each and every person, especially in those stripped of everything because of suffering and human misery,” the archbishop told the more than 5,000 faithful and 250 priests gathered for the Mass.

Speaking later to reporters, Archbishop Salazar underscored Bishop Prieto’s life-long work to “contribute to the construction of a better world.”  He also called the late-bishop a great promoter of peace, of respect for human rights and of the development of the human person.

For his part, Bishop Leonardo Gomez Serna of Magangue reiterated that the bishop “was a great defender of human rights and life. For this reason, we entrust ourselves to his prayers so that from heaven, through the intercession of the Virgin, he may grant us peace in social justice with comprehensive human development.”

During the ceremony, the Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia, Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, read a message of condolence from Pope Benedict XVI, who pledged his prayers for the eternal repose of Bishop Prieto.

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