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Pope Francis asks the bishops of Colombia to support peace


The Supreme Pontiff meets in the Vatican with a group of prelates whom he urges to work tirelessly for reconciliation

Pope Francis poses with the bishops of Colombia in the Holy See.VATICAN MEDIA / HANDOUT (EFE)

Pope Francis has asked the Colombian bishops to patiently support the path of peace and reconciliation in the country, and to any leader who seeks it, regardless of the political current to which he belongs.

He did so by meeting this Friday for almost two hours in the Vatican with a group of 38 prelates that included those from Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Florencia, Ibagué, Nueva Pamplona, ​​Tunja and Villavicencio.

"The pontiff has asked us to work for peace without giving up," Monsignor Luis José Rueda, archbishop of Bogotá and president of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, told the press after the meeting.

"In the first place, the father has asked us to never give up our efforts for peace," agreed Monsignor Luis Manuel Alí, secretary general of the Colombian episcopate, in statements to the newspaper El



"He reminded us that it is a slow, handmade process, of comings and goings, in which one can easily get discouraged, but he told us that as pastors we could not at any time stop having peace in Colombia as a pastoral and evangelizing priority."

The Pope also asked them to "surround the leaders who seek peace, whoever they are, whatever they are from," the Bishop of Nueva Pamplona, ​​Jorge Alberto Ossa Soto, explained after the meeting, according to the Efe news agency.

“The Pope told us that we have to be very patient in peace processes, that sometimes we want everything to come out quickly, but when there has been a process of so much violence, we have to be patient and acclimatize peace,” he explained.

Colombia, anxious to turn the page on violence, has not been able to finish extinguishing an armed conflict of more than half a century that has involved guerrillas, paramilitary groups and state forces.

Pope Francis already visited the country, in September 2017, with the purpose of supporting the reconciliation process of society and the political class, very divided after the signing of the peace agreement between the Government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerrilla, today disarmed and converted into a political party with a bench in Congress.

After the parenthesis that Iván Duque's four-year period in peace efforts meant, the Government of Gustavo Petro intends to return to negotiations with different armed groups as part of total peace, one of the axes of his mandate.

The president of Colombia – who visited Francis a year ago in the Holy See in the middle of the campaign – intends to implement the agreement with the extinct FARC with greater determination, dialogue with the ELN, the last guerrilla in arms, and at least with a part of the dissidences that distanced themselves from the peace process, in addition to advancing a policy of submission to other criminal groups, such as the Clan del Golfo, the largest drug trafficking gang.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-26

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