- Title: Pope sends message of peace to Colombia ahead of visit
- Date: 4th September 2017
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (SEPTEMBER 04, 2017) (REUTERS) STEPS NEAR SITE WHERE OPEN-AIR MASS WILL BE HELD BANNERS HUNG UP AT SITE THAT READ "WELCOME POPE FRANCIS" SOLDIERS ON DUTY NEAR VEHICLES AT SITE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE MOVING OBJECTS AT SITE
- Embargoed: 18th September 2017 21:21
- Keywords: Colombia Pope Francis pope visits Colombia
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA AND VATICAN CITY
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA AND VATICAN CITY
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0056X6MDL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pope Francis sent out a message of peace and love to Colombia on Monday (September 04) just days ahead of a visit from the pontiff that many hope will boost peace in the violence-ravaged nation.
Francis, making his 20th foreign trip as pontiff and his fifth to his native Latin America, will spend five days in the country, visiting the capital Bogota and the cities of Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena. The Argentine pope had delayed accepting a government and Church invitation to visit Colombia, where about 80 percent of the population is Catholic, until a viable peace process was under way.
The peace accord, which was brokered by Cuba and Norway, had divided Colombia's Roman Catholic bishops on their support of the deal, with some saying it was too lenient to the guerrillas. The pope is expected to urge them to put aside their differences during his trip.
Reconciliation is the main theme of the trip and will be the emphasis for events on Friday in the city of Villavicencio, south of Bogota. There, in what is billed as the "Great Prayer Meeting for National Reconciliation", the pope will listen to testimonials from people whose lives were affected by the violence and then deliver a homily.
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