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Friday, July 21, 2017

Colombia is waiting for Pope Francis

Bogotà, Colombia
Colombians are hoping that when Pope Francis visits there later this year, he will bring with him a word of encouragement for evangelization, for reconciliation and not to ever go back.  This was the advice of the President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, His Excellency, Oscar Urbina Ortega, in an interview with Vatican Radio.  He said this in regard to the Pontiff's forthcoming international trip, which is scheduled to take place from 6 to 11 September 2017.  After a half century of civil war and the Peace Agreement which was signed in 2016, that South American country is now attempting a difficult reconstruction and a process of reconciliation.

The ECC President said that Columbia is in a phase of giving birth, namely of undergoing a new birth.  I believe that it is this nascent creature that the Pope must find and encourage so that it can develop well in the light of the Gospel and of his witness.

According to the Archbishop of Villavicencio, where Pope Francis will proclaim the new Blesseds on 8 September, the Church has possibilities to contribute to the country's reconstruction because she has the Word of the Gospel, the word of papal teaching on all this aspect of reconciliation and peace and she has the instruments for reconciliation.  A person reconciled with God can reconcile himself with the other and can reconcile himself with Creation.

In a video-message published on the ECC's website, on the occasion of the 207th anniversary of Colombia's Independence, the Archbishop of Villavicencio exhorted his fellow countrymen to take the first step towards reconciliation with God, with our brothers and with Creation.

In the interview with Vatican Radio, the Colombian Bishop reflected briefly on the issue of safeguarding the environment in his country.  The Pope will also visit the centre of Colombia, a privileged scenario to develop the whole discourse on the common home.
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