(Catholic Herald) Pope Francis arrived in Colombia on September 6 for a five-day visit to promote reconciliation in a deeply Catholic country scarred and reticent to offer forgiveness after decades of war.
The Pope was greeted by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Munera. 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 a boy named Emmanuel, who was born in a guerrilla camp to Colombian politician Clara Rojas, 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.” [More]