Church leaders in Colombia say they are eager to help in peace negotiations between the government and the FARC rebel group, which are slated to begin soon in Norway.
“What we would do in the process would be to facilitate the environment so that it works better,” Archbishop Ruben Salazar, head of the Colombian bishops' conference, told reporters Oct. 11.
“We cannot negotiate or mediate because we are not a political or humanitarian organization.”
He said the committee of negotiators between the government and the FARC has told him it would look to the bishops as facilitators at a certain point in the process.
Archbishop Salazar said the country would benefit if the National Liberation Army, the remnants of the United Self-Defenses of Colombia and criminal gangs also joined the peace process.
He noted that peace will not come to Colombia with the end of the conflict, but instead “when we heal our hearts, with ourselves, with our families and communities.”
“Peace is born from the rebuilding of the social fabric.”