The Vatican Secretariat of State issued a statement in response to, after four years of peace talks, the finalizing of negotiations between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In the statement, Pope Francis “reiterates his support for the goal of attaining the peace and reconciliation of the entire Colombian people, in light of human rights and Christian values, which are at the heart of Latin American culture.”
For more than 50 years, the conflict between the government and the Marxist rebels has lasted, in the process claiming more than 200,000 lives. On Tuesday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called a plebiscite for Oct. 2 to ratify the agreement. Below is the Vatican-provided text of the statement:
Statement of the Secretariat of State
The Holy Father was pleased to learn that negotiations have been finalized between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP, concluding an intense process that took place over the last several years. He reiterates his support for the goal of attaining the peace and reconciliation of the entire Colombian people, in light of human rights and Christian values, which are at the heart of Latin American culture.
On 12 August last, His Holiness received the invitation to appoint a representative to participate in the committee that selects the judges who will comprise the Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (Special Jurisdiction for Peace). However, bearing in mind the universal vocation of the Church and the mission of the Successor of Peter as Pastor of the People of God, it would be more appropriate that the said task be entrusted to other parties.
Pope Francis commends the peace process in Colombia to the maternal protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, Queen of Peace, and he invokes the gift of the Holy Spirit to enlighten the hearts and minds of those who are called to promote the common good of the Colombian nation.
From the Vatican, 31 August 2016[Original text: Spanish] [Vatican-provided text, courtesy of the Vatican Secretariat of State]