Pope arrives to help promote healing in Colombia, scarred by war
Pope Francis arrived in Colombia on 6th September for a five-day visit to promote reconciliation in a deeply Catholic country scarred and reticent to offer forgiveness after decades of war.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Munera, welcomed the pope at the airport. Children in traditional costumes presented him with flowers, and the pope greeted members of the Colombian military, including soldiers injured in the line of duty.
In a gesture to promote the themes of peace and reconciliation, he was given a dove by boy named Emmanuel, who was born in a guerrilla camp to Colombian politician Clara Rojas, who was kidnapped in 2002 and released nearly six years later.
On the 12-hour flight from Rome, Pope Francis told reporters that the trip was “to help Colombia go forward in its journey of peace.”
Expectations for Pope Francis’ visit were running high among Colombian Catholics. It’s the first papal trip to Colombia since 1986, when St. John Paul II visited.
Picture: Pope Francis arrives in Bogota, Colombia, on 6th September for a five-day visit to the South American nation. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).Tags: Colombia, Pope, Pope Francis