- Dec 5, 2019
Pope Francis’s September 6-10 visit to Colombia will shed a spotlight on countless innocents who died throughout the country’s long civil war, including those within the church who “paid the price.” A bishop and a priest killed during the conflict will be beatified by the pope when he is in the country.
Colombian Vice President Oscar Naranjo said in an interview published June 23 in El Tiempo newspaper that that Pope Francis’ September trip comes at a time in the country “when the discussion stops being about how to win the war, but how to achieve peace.”
The Vatican confirmed on Friday that history’s first pope from Latin America will visit the country, in an attempt to help cement the peace process and the agreement signed by the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC rebel group.
Although Pope Francis hasn’t committed to a trip to Colombia until the peace process is complete, Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogotà said in an interview on Friday the pontiff is “for sure” coming in 2017, and he hopes during the first half of the year.
After Colombians shocked the world by voting against the peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerrillas, the country’s lead bishop in the talks has called for both sides to avoid reacting in ways that could re-open Colombia’s decades-old civil conflict.
Although Pope Francis has voiced his support for a peace deal to end Colombia’s long-running civil conflict, he balked at direct Vatican participation in a new truth commission, as criticism builds that the deal may be too generous to the country’s insurgents.