Pope Francis allegedly told Colombia’s ambassador to the Vatican Thursday he would visit the South American country if and when peace is signed with rebel group FARC.
The Catholic Church’s highest clergy showed enthusiasm about the idea of traveling to Colombia and said that the peace process is a subject that concerns the Vatican, according to Colombia’s ambassador to the Vatican, German Cardona, who had a private audience with the pope.
“I insisted on the idea that at some point Pope Francis could visit our country, which is what we’ve been saying to President Juan Manual Santos over the last two long years. The Pope graciously listened and said that on the signing of a bilateral truce, then he would undoubtedly come to Colombia,” said Cardona in an interview with Blu Radio.
The ambassador also revealed that Pope Francis sent a message to Santos in which he expressed his confidence that peace would be achieved.
The Pope reportedly said to“tell President Santos to insist on the peace process, I know he will bring peace to Colombia.”
Cardona continued on Blu Radio to say that he “feels that when the head of the Catholic Church says that, we must have great faith and we must continue in the process.”
Pope Francis has sent several messages of support to Colombia during the peace process; encouraging and praising the efforts of the delegations.
The Latin American pontiff, who is aware of the complexity of the Colombian conflict, recently sent a message of encouragement to the government during the annual address at the Vatican before the diplomatic corps.
The Pope Francis had already announced a tour of South America where he plans to visit countries like Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador, in the coming months.
The Colombian government has been engaged in peace talks with the country’s largest rebel group, FARC, since November 19, 2012.
In January 2015, President Juan Manuel Santos announced that he had given orders to government negotiators to prioritize talks with rebel group FARC over a bilateral and indefinite ceasefire.