.- Vatican Radio reported this week that former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt will meet with Pope Benedict XVI at Castelgandolfo on September 1. The news was announced in a statement from the family of Betancourt, who was recently rescued after six years as a hostage of the Marxist rebel group FARC.
Vatican Radio said the meeting with the Pope is “the fulfillment of a desire expressed by Betancourt herself in Bogota after she was freed on July 2.” The report also indicated that last February “the Holy Father met with Betancourt’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, at the Vatican, and that the Pontiff’s repeated pleas for the release of all hostages and their return to their families, as well as for a new dialogue of reconciliation in Colombia, are widely known.”
After her audience with the Pope, Ingrid Betancourt will meet with journalists. She will be in Italy until September 3.