On Sunday September 10, the Pope concluded his trip to the country of Colombia. He aimed to encourage the continuing peace efforts that ended half a century of war between a string of governments and the Guerilla Group ‘FARC’.
Despite the conflict ending, it has still left the South American country deeply divided. According to the Vatican, Pope Francis spent five days in Colombia visiting the capital Bogota, and the cities of Medellin Cartagena and Villavicencio. The Pope, of Argentine descent, previously declined invitations to visit the country until an official peace process had begun.
His final day started with a mishap with Pope Francis bumping his head on the pope-mobile leaving him with a bruised cheek and a cut eyebrow. However, after first aid, the Pope continued to visit the bones of a saint who had devoted his life to helping slaves and the defense of the poor.
The city of Cartagena has become a seat of human rights advocacy. The Pope called an end to all types of human right violations citing human trafficking, abuses against minors and slavery from his peace message in 2014. He used this visit to urge the country’s Catholics to forgive the persecution inflicted on them during the war.
Furthermore, Pope Francis called for a rejection of all forms of political violence about the crisis in Venezuela. He further called for a solution to the ongoing crisis, pointing out that it mostly affected the poor and disadvantaged in society. He also visited a housing project for the homeless where he laid the cornerstone.
The leader of the Guerilla Group ‘FARC’ in an open letter to Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on behalf of the group for the harm they had inflicted on the Colombian people. The pope crowned his visit to the country, pointing to the significance of his visit as making the love of God visible each day.