Pope to Colombia: ‘You’re not alone’ in search for peace

(Crux) In his first official speech in Colombia, Pope Francis told the country it’s not alone in trying to leave decades of violence behind, and that only through faith and hope will the nation overcome the challenges of building a society that’s “a motherland and home to all.”

He urged the nation to avoid the temptation of vengeance, and to continue working on a culture of encounter despite the challenges they might face in Colombia’s path to a lasting peace.

In a vintage Francis touch, the pope also implied that merely persuading participants in the conflict, which stretched over five decades and is estimated to have claimed 220,000 lives, isn’t sufficient to guarantee peace unless the root causes of frustration are addressed.

“Let us not forget that inequality is the root of social ills,” the pope said addressing the local civil authorities on Thursday. [More]