.- Colombia's new ambassador to the Holy See has asked Pope Benedict to give his blessing to the peace talks begun in October between the Colombian government and the Marxist rebel group FARC.
“In the name of our President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian people, I ask for your Apostolic Blessing upon Colombian for the peace talks,” Ambassador German Cardona Gutierrez Cardona said to the Pope during an official ceremony which took place Monday at the pontiff's private library.
In a private audience, he thanked the Pope for the efforts made by Cardinal Ruben Salazar, president of the Bishops' Conference of Colombia, and Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, the Apostolic Nuncio to the country, to maintain a strong relationship with the Vatican.
“I wish to underscore the interest and prudence shown by the Church and her prelates in the peace process that has begun,” he said. “I wish to express the full confidence of the Government in your actions and support through your prayers.”
Cardona also expressed joy for “the creation of a new Colombian cardinal, which is a gesture of immense love for Colombia on the part of the Holy Father.”
He reiterated the invitation made to the Pope by President Santos and the bishops to visit Colombia next year when he travels to Brazil for World Youth Day.
“We desire to receive from the Most High and from his vicar on earth, the Holy Father, the graces of the faith and the hope for a future filled with peace and prosperity,” he said.