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How Pope Francis promoted peace in Colombia explained in this book

Colombian journalist Nestor Pongutá has been closely following the Vatican for 17 years. Now, with Pope Francis' visit to his country, he has published the book, “A coffee with Pope Francis.”

NESTOR PONGUTÁ
Author, “A coffee with Pope Francis”

"This book is not a treatise on pontifical thinking or any theological analysis, because I neither intend, nor know, how to do that. Instead, it shows the chronicles of a journalist who follows the Vatican and who shares, in some way, the fascinating and magnificent aspect of following a place where if it is not sacred, it's secret.”

Among these chronicles are stories that occur within the Vatican walls, the pope's friendship with Borges, and his revolutionary way of communicating. It also explains the author's anecdote of Pope Francis thanks to coffee.

NESTOR PONGUTÁ
Author, “A coffee with Pope Francis”

"I signed up for covering a Holy Father's official meeting. When it finished, I greeted him and said, 'Holy Father, just give me a yes or no, are you going to Colombia? I just need to know, and then I will not bother you anymore.' He looked at me, smiled and said, 'If you give me a Colombian coffee, I'll give you more information." FLASH "Then I brought the coffee. He smelled it, and enjoyed its aroma. He told his protocol chief, 'Put it aside, do not give it away.' On February 12, 2016, he told me, 'If the peace process is signed, moves forward, and is supported, be assured that I'm going to go in 2017.'"

Pope Francis followed the peace process very closely. In 2014, he received a letter from FARC asking for help. A year later, President Juan Manuel Santos also asked him to mediate, so that the conflict might end. 

NESTOR PONGUTÁ
Author, “A coffee with Pope Francis”

“He works with what is known as the 'culture of encounter.' It sets out to work on what unites us, as opposed to what divides us. That is why he also brought Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's former president, to the meeting with Juan Manuel Santos. In that way, he could understand the polarization that there is in the country today."

Each of the actors of the conflict involved recognized the pope as a moral validator, and thus allowed the process to advance and the pope's trip to become a reality.

It is a great story that all began with coffee bags, and concludes with a third papal visit to Colombia.