Pope’s visit will offer the people encouragement
The President of the Colombian Episcopal Conference (ECC), Monsignor Oscar Urbina Ortega, spoke about the Pope’s eagerly anticipated visit to the country on 6-11 September. He said Colombians are expecting from Pope Francis “a word of encouragement for evangelization, for reconciliation and not to ever go back.”
After a half-century of civil war and the Peace Agreement signed in 2016, Colombia is attempting a difficult reconstruction and reconciliation. The South American country said the ECC’s President is “in a phase of ‘giving birth,’ namely of undergoing a new birth. I believe it is this nascent creature that the Pope must find and encourage so that it can develop well in the light of the Gospel and of his witness.”
Ortega is the Archbishop of Villavicencio, where Pope Francis will proclaim the new blesseds on 8 September. He believes the Church has “possibilities” to contribute to the country’s reconstruction, “because she has the Word of the Gospel, the word of papal teaching on all this aspect of reconciliation and peace and she has the instruments for reconciliation.” He added, “A person reconciled with God can reconcile himself with the other and can reconcile himself with Creation.”
On the occasion of the 207th anniversary of Colombia’s Independence, the Archbishop of Villavicencio exhorted his fellow countrymen “to take the first step towards reconciliation with God, with our brothers, and with Creation.” Referring to the issue of safeguarding the environment in his country, Ortega said “The Pope will also visit the center of Colombia, a privileged scenario to develop the whole discourse on our common home.” said the head of the ECC.