AMERICA/COLOMBIA - "Justice embraces peace": the signing of the peace agreements at the tomb of St. Peter Claver

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 armed groups   politics   violence   area crisis  

TeleSur - Colombia

Cartagena (Agenzia Fides) - All dressed in white, together with Heads of State, Presidents and Secretaries of international organizations, foreign Ministers, authorities invited to the final signing of the peace between the Colombian government and FARC, took part in the liturgy led by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of state, which was held yesterday, 26 September, in Cartagena.
The celebration was prepared in an inter-religious spirit, to unite all in a common prayer for reconciliation and for the unity of the country. The first to intervene was President Juan Manuel Santos, who prayed: "O God, Father, Lord of Colombia, grant us to always be in your hands and fight together to become a single family, in which nobody feels alone and excluded".
The liturgy was held in the main church of Cartagena, at the tomb of St. Peter Claver (1580-1654), the Spanish missionary, who dedicated himself to the assistance of slaves from Africa, and fought for their rights, while all the present repeated the slogan "Justice embraces peace". Cardinal Parolin reiterated the support of Pope Francis to the cause of peace, stressing that the final decision will be up to Colombians. "The Holy Father followed the efforts, the search for harmony and reconciliation of recent years with great attention. Several times he encouraged these efforts without participating in the concrete solutions that were negotiated and on which citizens will decide in a free, informed and aware manner", said the Cardinal.
After the liturgy, there was the ceremony of the signing of the peace agreements. A speech of Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (known as "Timochenko") head of FARC up to a few hours before, caused surprise and emotion, who said: "My apologies to the Colombians for all the pain we have caused. No one should doubt: we are walking towards politics without weapons. Let us all prepare ourselves to disarm minds and hearts". Now the deal must still be ratified in an October 2 referendum. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 27/09/2016)