Vatican City, Sep 3, 2017 / 15:16 pm
Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the South American country of Colombia Sept. 6-11 isn't a political statement a Vatican official said, but about the renewal of the Catholic faith of Colombians in order that violence may be combatted at its root.
"But I say immediately, to see the Pope's visit as centering on the process of the peace accords is a mistake," said Guzmán Carriquiry, vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
He told journalists Friday that the Church in Colombia “has to face an enormous challenge to be a point of fundamental reference for not only the revolution of Christianity in the Colombian people, but for the rebirth of Colombia, for the spiritual regeneration, and the reconciliation of this country.”
“The Pope certainly goes in order to recall this Christianity of Colombia... that he can start a movement for tackling, from the bottom, these problems at the very source,” he said.
“Certainly that is the crucial point.”
A professor and vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since May 2014, Carriquiry spoke to journalists after a briefing on the Pope's schedule for Colombia Sept. 1.
The Pope's trip, which will include the cities of Bogotá, Villavicencio, Medellín, and Cartagena, marks the third time Francis has visited his native South America since becoming Pope.
His schedule includes Mass in each of the four cities, as well as leading the Angelus on Sunday as usual outside of the church of Saint Peter Claver, where the saint’s remains are buried.