Concluding journey to Colombia, pope appeals to people to untie the knots of violence after 50 -year civil war
Pope Francis, his eye bandaged and blackened after an accident in the popemobile, wrapped up his trip to Colombia on Sunday appealing to the country to” untie the knots of violence” after a 50 -year civil war.
His last day in the country get off to a bumpy start when he lost his balance and bumped his head while riding in the popemobile. He bruised his cheekbone and cut his left eyebrow, blood staining his white cassock.
The Vatican said he received ice therapy and was penalty. A smiling pope continued the trip-up wearing a bandage over his cut.” I was punched. I’m fine ,” he joked afterward, the bruises on his face clearly visible.
At the end of the working day, where reference is said mass for hundreds of thousands of people in the city’s port region, the bruise had swollen and he had blackened skin under his eye.
” If Colombia wants a stable and lasting peace, it must urgently take a step in this direction, which is that of the common good, of equity, of justice, of respect for human nature and its demands ,” he said in a strong voice in the homily of the mass.
” Merely if we help to untie the knots of violence, will we unravel the complex threads of discrepancies ,” he said.
Francis used the journey to advise Colombians deep polarized by a peace plan to shun revenge after a bloody 50 -year civil war. He also said leaders had to enact laws to end injustice and social inequality that breeds violence.
Cartagena, a top tourist destination famous for its colonial walled ramparts, was the home to Saint Peter Claver, a Spanish clergyman who ministered to slaves in Colombia in the 1600 s, defying Spanish colonial masters who treated them as chattel.
The pope utilized the occasion to again condemn modern slavery and trafficking in human beings and defend the rights of immigrants.
Human rights groups estimate millions of people around the world are victims of human trafficking and forms of modern slavery such as forced labor and prostitution.
” Here in Colombia and in the world, millions of people are still being sold as slaves; they either implore for some express of humanity, moments of tenderness, or they flee by ocean or land because they have lost everything, principally their dignity and their rights ,” the pope said just before praying before Claver’s relics.
Around 300 Afro-Colombians who receive assistance from the Jesuit religious order, of which the pope is a member, prayed with him in the church. Francis visited the impoverished neighborhood of San Francisco and blessed the cornerstone of a shelter for at-risk Afro-Colombian girls vulnerable to child prostitution, drugs and violence.
Earlier in the day, the first Latin American pope said he was praying for the well-being of all countries on the continent but particularly Venezuela, which has been caught up in a social and economic crisis.
” I convey my closeness to all the sons and daughters of that beloved nation, as well as to all those who have found a place of welcome here in Colombia ,” referring to the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who have intersected the border to discovery food and medicine.
” From this city, known as the seat of human rights, I appeal for the rejection of all violence in political life and for a solution to the current grave crisis, which affects everyone, particularly the most severe and most disadvantaged of society ,” he said.
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