At this time when we should be celebrating the coming of the Prince of Peace and when the Church is busier than ever with preparations for Christmas, we have received the sad news that the auxilliary bishop of Medellin Víctor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid (photo) has been forced to go into hiding as a result of having received a death threat. The threat came in the form of a "Christmas present" that included a picture of the bishop, bullets, and a threatening note that made reference to the assassination of another Colombian prelate, Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino of Cali back in 2002.
Mons. Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, the Archbishop of Medellin, asked for prayers for Bishop Ochoa and his family and said that "we reject these acts and call on the authors of this threat to correct their way of thinking and change their way of acting." He added that "we continue to pray that we might experience a peaceful Christmas, with a true sense of respect for the life of every one of the inhabitants of this area of Colombia."
Another article in Milenio about the case reports that in the last 25 years, 68 priests and two bishops have been assassinated by various parties in the ongoing armed conflict in that country.