Vatican cardinal calls on FARC to initiate dialogue for peace


The president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, has called on FARC leader Alfonso Cano to initiate peace talks to put an end to the civil conflict in the country.

In an interview with Radio W, the cardinal revealed that he had spoken with Cano on the phone before the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes.  The cardinal asked him to collaborate in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Colombia. He told him, “Your position of armed opposition is seen as increasingly less plausible from the international and national perspectives.”

Cardinal Castrillon said that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has used a “strong arm” in maintaining public order, “but at the same time, in speaking with him I have clearly seen that he has an open heart and an outstretched hand to those who have been involved in the armed opposition in order to achieve a dignified solution.”

During the radio interview, Cardinal Castrillon took the opportunity to address Cano again.  “I think the time has come that you can do something great by joining with your companions in this struggle to seek out a new path, a path that would truly be good for you.”

“With sadness, I remember when you were listening to the conversation I had with Raul (Reyes). You were on the phone and I asked for the personal well-being of each member of FARC.  As a priest, a Christian and a Colombian I have never thought about just one side, I have thought about the good of each and every one because we are all children of God,” the cardinal said.

“This is an extraordinary moment for you to begin a new journey with dignity to put an end to the anguish of so many of your families and the families of so many Colombians,” he said, adding that he remains willing to speak to Cano and listen to him at any time.

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