Despite this, the decision for "this voyage of the Holy Father is realized in a pastoral apostolic visit," said Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
Archbishop Ruiz, who led the Archdiocese of Villavicencio from 2002 to 2007, told CNA Sept. 1 it is hoped that Francis' visit will "help the Colombian people to seek that reconciliation, that peace, which is deep in the hearts of all Colombians."
There is a "deep desire in the hearts of all Colombians to have peace. The Pope certainly comes to encourage this deep desire," he said.
Colombia faces many challenges at the moment, Carriquiry said, particularly because the reconciliation of a country, after more than 60 years of violence, is difficult.
"The Pope considers the peace process a long and arduous process of reconciliation for the country," he explained, "and all of the Colombian people want this, yes, these negotiations, these accords, peace..."
But ultimately what the country needs is a "grand movement of regeneration and spirituality and reconciliation in Colombian society," he noted.
Explaining that the peace accord will not solve all of the problems the country faces, such as the culture of drugs and drug trafficking, he said what it really needs is a "major conversion."
Colombia is "full of contradictions," because it is still a stronghold of Christianity and the faith is deeply rooted in the people. But at the same time, it has a culture of violence, drug trafficking, corruption, with decades of war causing many people to be displaced or to become refugees.
Carriquiry said he expects Pope Francis to bring the message of the Gospel to the hearts of Colombians. "Why? Because the Gospel is the greatest force of revolution, of national regeneration, of reconciliation for Colombian society. I am convinced of that aspect of the Pope."
"For actually when we reduce the Pope's presence to a political character it is completely wrong."