Colombian President Visits Pontiff

Discuss Bringing Country to Prosperity, Peace

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 30, 2009 ( The Church has a key role to play in helping Colombia to achieve peace, concluded Benedict XVI and the president of that South American nation when they met today in the Vatican.

President Álvaro Uribe met with the Pope today and went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Vatican relations with states. The Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, traditionally meets with visiting presidents as well, but was out of Rome today and thus unable to meet with Uribe.

After the visit, the Vatican reported that the «cordial discussions enabled a fruitful exchange of views to take place on questions concerning the current international and regional situation.»

«Attention then turned to certain aspects of the situation in that South American country, in particular to the fight against drug trafficking, to social policies aimed at improving the living conditions of the many people who still live in poverty, and to collaboration between Church and state with the aim of consolidating national pacification,» the statement added.

The Church in Colombia has long spent efforts in trying to end the conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the group responsible for holding captive hundreds of prisoners in the South American jungle.

The Holy Father greeted Uribe today with a smile, saying, «Welcome Mr. President.» Uribe replied by expressing his joy at being received by the Pontiff and thanking him. The Pope went on to say, «I understand Spanish but I don’t speak it.»

Uribe and the Bishop of Rome continued to meet for 30 minutes, with the assistance of a translator. The president again expressed his satisfaction at being received by the Pope: «How delighted I am to see you, Your Holiness. This audience is so exciting for me,» he said.

After his meeting with Benedict XVI, the president visited St. Peter’s Basilica, stopping to pray at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.

Today’s trip was Uribe’s third to the Vatican.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation