Medellin, Colombia, Sep 6, 2017 / 02:04 am
Simplicity and transparency have been key words in the preparations for Pope Francis' visit to Colombia, according to the secretary general of the Colombian bishops' conference.
Pope Francis is a “champion” of simplicity through his personal way of life and well as the requirements he makes for an apostolic voyage, Bishop Elkin Fernando Álvarez Botero, an auxiliary bishop of Medellin, told CNA.
“If we just begin with what the Pope asks for during an apostolic visit: a non-armored car, that there be no luxuries, that he's not going to ride in a luxury car, these things. Even thinking about how to host his delegation and himself, that this not entail exorbitant expenses,” he emphasized.
“I have participated in the preparations and I can disclose … that we have really cut back a lot of things. You can't cut everything back on everything, some things are required, but many situations in fact have been trimmed down,” Bishop Alvarez added.
The prelate also stressed the importance of transparency, since “this has special significance on a continent where corruption scandals occur every day. Our country is not the exception.”
“I know what goes on in other Latin American countries to a greater or lesser extent, but the issue of financial management for the Pope's visit has to be transparent. The accounting always clear and you can see where the resources are coming from,” he said.
“This has been a commitment and we've had to sacrifice, for example putting a cap on donations because it is necessary to exercise a certain control.”
A third important point, Bishop Alvarez emphasized, “is that we all feel responsible.”