- Jul 14, 2020
Catholic Church leaders are urging the Colombian government to protect community leaders who are being targeted by hired assassins.
The director of Caritas Colombia has called for dialogue between the country’s new president-elect and former leftist guerrillas to prevent the return of guerrilla warfare.
Inspired by Pope Francis’s message during his 2017 visit to the country, the Church in Colombia is preparing to celebrate the first National Day of Reconciliation on May 3.
At a national prayer for reconciliation, Pope Francis in Colombia said families torn apart by pain related to the country’s long-running civil war deserve to know what happened to missing relatives, because truth and reconciliation are “inseparable”. He said it also means confessing what happened to children who were recruited bu guerillas and paramilitaries, and recognizing the pain of female victims of violence and abuse.
Pope Francis heads off today for a five-day visit to Colombia, Latin America’s third most populous state and one of its most fervently Catholic countries. The pontiff will have to pull off a delicate balance, strongly endorsing a peace process to end a decades-long armed conflict but keeping some distance from controversial peace deals that Colombian critics believe give too much impunity to rebel groups for the violence.
Pope Francis heads to Colombia this week, Latin America’s third most populous nation after Brazil and Mexico, and one item above all looms on his to-do list — encouraging a process of reconciliation to end a bloody, decades-long civil war. A peace deal designed to do just that remains deeply controversial in Colombia, so Francis will have to walk a tightrope in getting his message across.