AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Mgr. Castro Quiroga: "FARC must hand over their weapons if they really want peace"

Thursday, 28 January 2016 bishops   violence   politics  

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Tunja and President of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, His Exc. Mgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, expressed the hope that FARC will hand over their weapons and added that they must destroy all of them if they want to part of an authentic political process. Mgr. Castro Quiroga said: "If the FARC hand over the weapons it may seem an important thing, simply because one cannot have an armed political movement, and FARC have always been armed, therefore the greatest sign they have to do is this, take a step in the opposite direction if they really want peace".
Mgr. Castro Quiroga added: "Nowhere, in a democratic country, one can think of doing politics by defending their points of view with weapons".
The President of the Episcopal Conference made these statements after the press conference yesterday to announce the upcoming pastoral visit of Pope Francis in Colombia for the first half of 2017. "The primary intention of this meeting is to confirm the visit, but at the same time make clear to all that there is no agenda or program, nothing has been established where the Holy Father will go", he said.
"The Pope wants to meet the largest possible number of Colombians, therefore one cannot expect him to go to a shrine or church, however important they may be", said Mgr. Castro Quiroga, who concluded: "The Holy Father is following the the peace process and is interested in how to avoid punishment in prisons and supports a transitional justice". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 28/01/2016)