After the controversy over the reconstruction of the space where the Catholic prayer chapel was located at the Bogotá El Dorado airport, Former Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez referred to the event and expressed her opinion on her Twitter account.
“In the airports of the world there are places ready to pray. In Bogota ‘someone’ decided to go over everyone and have the chapel closed in El Dorado. Democracy is a guarantee of the freedoms of those who have faith in God and those who do not. This is going backwards in freedoms ”, reads the publication.
Through a statement on its Twitter profile, El Dorado Airport clarified that the chapel for the Catholic faith was not completely closed, but that a new space is being built so that people of all religions can reflect. “Thinking of all the passengers and their different beliefs, we are adapting the oratory to be a space for neutral reflection, as it works in many airports around the world”says the document.
Likewise, the entity explained that the Catholic mass will continue to be held, as usual, at 11:00 am, every day. “In the next few days it will be re-enabled as a space where all religions will be welcome,” the statement said.
People of Catholic faith can enter the oratory of Terminal 2, Puente Aéreo, which is open 24 hours a day for people, the airport notes.
What do the representatives of the Catholic Church think about this?
On the decision of the company in charge of the El Dorado airport (Opain), opinions are divided. While some talk about the importance of having spaces that include different beliefs (considering that Colombia is a secular country), some leaders and representatives of the Catholic faith are unhappy about this new oratory.
Some have sent forceful messages to Opain, as Monsignor Juan Vicente Córdoba and Father Ramón Zambrano, director of the Cristovisión Channel, have done. Both were dispatched against Opain, assuring that it is a “petty” decision and that the operator’s Board of Directors is “stingy”.
“Opening a multicultural lounge at El Dorado Airport only corresponds to a petty decision by Opain. An irresponsible manager and a stingy Board of Directors that must open more spaces to spirituality. The Airport has many spaces, Opain washes its hands”, said Zambrano.
For its part, Córdoba questioned Opain, because despite the fact that the request was made by the Government Secretariat, the operator was free to make the final decision.
“Opain could have left us, Opain is a private institution that manages the airport and has the autonomy to say yes or no. It was Opain that ended up taking out the Catholic Church. That they are going to give us an hour and the other religions, another hour, that is something different”, he commented.
Monsignor recounted details of how the Catholic Church left the terminal area. “We had to get everything out, they didn’t want to talk. We had a meeting and it was just to notify us. There was no dialogue. The contract says that until 2037, but since they are autonomous, they can stop it, Opain was the one that got us out, ”he said.
“The Secretary of Government asked Opain and the two have to do with the departure of the Catholic Church from the airport, we denounce this because they do not allow us to evangelize and serve people who want to approach the peace of God in an airport and not they can do it because there are those who said no. Those who said they do not have to answer to God, ”he pointed out.