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The Vatican declines participation in selecting judges for Colombian peace process

2016-08-31

On August 12, the negotiators for the Colombian peace process in Havana asked Pope Francis to choose a representative for the committee that will create the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

Today, the Pope has given them his answer. He believes it would be more appropriate to entrust other parties with this task, "bearing in mind the universal vocation of the Church and the mission of the Successor of Peter as Pastor of the People of God.”

However, Pope Francis thanked them for the invitation and he "invokes the gift of the Holy Spirit to enlighten” those who will "promote the common good of the Colombian nation.”

Pope Francis has devoted much prayer to the peace process between Colombia and the FARC rebels, and spoke about it last July in his return trip to Rome from Latin America.

POPE FRANCIS
July 13, 2015
"At this moment, I am worried that the peace process in Colombia will stop. I must say this: I hope that it continues. In that sense, we always are available to help. It would be something terrible if it didn't go forward.” 

During the process, the pope invited those suffering from loss of a loved one and so many years of fighting to unite their suffering to Christ on the cross, so that peace would soon be attained.

POPE FRANCIS
September 19, 2015
"May the blood shed by thousands of innocent people during long decades of armed conflict, united to that of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, sustain all the efforts being made, including those on this beautiful island, to achieve definitive reconciliation."

In the same month, Pope Francis also spoke about the then-potential peace negotiations, encouraging Colombians to continue the process toward fraternity and for amends between Venezuela and Colombia. 

POPE FRANCIS 
Sept. 6, 2015
"I invite everyone, in particular the beloved Venezuelan and Colombian peoples, to pray, so that, with a spirit of solidarity and fraternity, the current difficulties can be overcome.”

It was months later, on June 23, 2016 when this ceasefire deal was actually signed. During the pope's flight to Armenia on June 24, 2016, he mentioned that he was "happy” for peace after more than "fifty years of war, a guerrilla war, and so much bloodshed.” He had asked for the process to be protected so that it can never be reversed and "they cannot go back to war.” 


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