Pope Benedict XVI asked Colombia’s Catholic Church Sunday to promote peace during the negotiation process initiated by the government and largest guerrilla group FARC.
According to newscast CM&, the Pope addressed Colombian bishops in the Vatican during the “ad limina apostolorum” visit (“to the thresholds of the apostles”), a meeting that began September 1 of this year in which prelates from around the world meet with the Pope every five years to give a report on their diocese.
The Bishop of Rome insisted again on Monday the necessity of reaching peace, one day after voicing his desires that the dialogue between the Colombian government and representatives of the FARC “be guided by the will of forgiveness and reconciliation.”
“Despite some hopeful signs, violence continues bringing pain, solitude, death and injustice to many people of Colombia. At the same time that I recognize and appreciate the pastoral mission that many times in places full of difficulty and danger is being realized in favor of people that wickedly suffer in their beloved nation, I also encourage them to continue contributing to the guardianship of human life and the cultivation of peace,” said the Pope.
The Pope encouraged church officials to be “inspired by Christ, humbly beseeching his grace.”
“Sow the gospel and reap reconciliation, knowing that, where Christ arrives, the concord opens the path, hatred gives way to forgiveness and rivalry transforms into brotherhood,” said the Benedict in his speech that may not have said it directly, but had undertones of referring to the initiated peace dialogues of Colombia that he had spoke of the day before.
On Sunday, Pope Ratzinger wished that people would take part in the dialogue “to try to bring an end to the conflict that for decades has afflicted the beloved country,” for the people are guided by “the will of forgiveness and reconciliation and the sincere search of the common good.”
Benedict XVI has received a total of 37 Colombian bishops, and as he addressed the prelates headed by Archbishop of Medellin Ricardo Tobon Restrepo, he manifested that content and training methods should be revised so that new priests could respond to the current challenges of the world and the needs of the “people of God.”