.- In welcoming Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez to the Vatican today, Pope John Paul II told him he hopes for the moral and material reconstruction of the South American country troubled by political violence.
Speaking in Spanish with a clear voice, the Pontiff said he was âpleased at the collaboration that exists between the Church and leaders in your country.â
âColombia is very present in my thoughts and my prayers,â the Pope told Uribe, âas I pray that its people might walk without losing heart towards an authentic social peace, rejecting any form of violence, generating new forms of coexistence for a sure and firm path of justice, and promoting in a capillary fashion from every corner of the nation unity, fraternity and respect for each other. It is time to establish firm foundations for the moral and material rebuilding of your national community in order to reestablish a society that is just, responsible, peaceful and marked by solidarity.â
âI thank you for your visit,â said the Holy Father, âand I renew my wishes for the spiritual and material progress of Colombians, for their coexistence in harmony and freedom.â
He concluded by asking for Godâs blessings âon the beloved sons and daughters of Colombia, on families, ecclesial communities and the diverse public institutions and those who administer them.â