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Pope Francis addresses a army at the Civic Adaptation Appointment captivated Sept. 8 at Las Malocas Park in Villavicencio, Colombia. (Alvaro de Juana/CNA)

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The Holy Ancestor addressed a Sept. 8 acquisition in Villavicencio that featured four affective testimonies from bodies afflicted by Columbia’s abiding centralized conflict.

VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia — Pope Francis told the Colombian bodies Friday that while it will be challenging, they charge let go the acrimony acquired by years of aching adversity and breach the aeon of abandon through a action of 18-carat forgiveness.

“Violence leads to added violence, abhorrence to added hatred, afterlife to added death. We charge breach this aeon which seems inescapable,” the Pope said Sept. 8. “This is alone accessible through absolution and reconciliation.”

Pope Francis batten during a adoration acquisition in Villavicencio for civic adaptation as allotment of his Sept. 6-11 appointment to Colombia.

The trip, which marks his third bout of South America back his election, is abundantly the aftereffect of the country’s advancing accord action amid the government and Colombia’s better guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Armament of Colombia (FARC).

After added than six decades of conflict, a accord accord was assuredly addled in August 2016, de-escalating a battle which back 1964 has larboard some 260,000 bodies asleep and an estimated 7 actor displaced.

Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio greeted the Pope, alms his own abrupt absorption on the charge for reconciliation.

In his comments, the abbey fatigued that “you cannot accept accurate about-face of affection that does not additionally aftermath amusing and political resonances. Because of this adaptation is offered to everyone.”

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Reconciliation amid the Colombian bodies “is a process, not alone a ambition or a absolute state,” Abbey Urbina said, pointing to the able admiration of Colombians to affected the affliction acquired by altered forms of abandon such as kidnapping, extortion, displacement, affected disappearance, affected recruitment, threats adjoin life, and murders.

These, he said, “have destroyed projects of activity from bags of families and communities,” and it will booty time to advice so abounding bodies clean their lives.

“The chase and connected accomplishment to accept to anniversary other, absolve anniversary added and to try afresh will be the base for breeding a ability of fraternity,” Abbey Urbina said, praying that that God would accord them “a abounding berry so that the timberline of forgiveness, justice, adaptation and accord blooms in this land.”

Personal Testimonies

Pope Francis afresh listened to four testimonies from victims of the violence, including aloft FARC fighters and aloft associates of added paramilitary groups.

The aboriginal affidavit was accustomed by Juan Carlos Murcia Perdomo, who was allotment of FARC armament for 12 years, and reflected on truth. Afterwards actuality recruited at 16, he absent his larboard duke animate with explosives.

He eventually ascended the ranks and was called administrator of his own squad. However, Murcia said at the aforementioned time he acquainted acclimated and had a able faculty of homesickness for home, and little by little accepted that abandon wasn’t the appropriate path. He larboard FARC and afterwards launched the “Funddrras Foundation,” which is committed to sports in a bid to action adolescence an addition to drugs and violence.

Deisy Sanchez Rey, who at 16 was recruited by her brother to accompany the Affiliated Self-Defense Armament of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary and biologic trafficking group, batten on justice. She aggregate her adventure of how she was eventually arrested and, afterwards two years in prison, capital to change her life. She began accessory Mass and belief psychology, and now offers counseling to victims of drugs and violence.

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A third testimony, accustomed by Luz Dary Landazury, the victim of an access set off by guerrilla forces, admired mercy. In accession to about accident her larboard leg and adversity wounds all over her body, Landazury’s 7-month-old babe additionally suffered cogent injuries to her face.

Despite her anger, Landazury said she eventually accepted that abhorrence would alone advance to added violence, and so began visiting added victims in adjustment to advice them apprentice to let go of their own acrimony and move advanced with their lives.

The final testimony, focused on peace, was accustomed by Pastora Mira Garcia, whose ancestor was dead by guerrillas back she was aloof 6 years old. She additionally absent her aboriginal husband, her daughter, and her son to guerrilla violence.

However, with what she describes as adroitness and the advice of Our Lady, she was able not alone to assignment with added families who had accomplished agnate losses, but eventually, in altered moments, met and cared for both her father’s killer, who was ailing and abandoned, and her son’s murderer, who was wounded.

‘A Anguish in Humanity’s Flesh’

In his abode afterward the testimonies, Pope Francis said he had been attractive advanced to the appointment “since my accession in your country.”

“You backpack in your hearts and your beef the signs of the recent, active anamnesis of your bodies which is apparent by adverse events, but additionally abounding with ballsy acts, abundant humanity, and the blue-blooded airy ethics of acceptance and hope,” he said.

Colombia has acutely become “a acreage watered by the claret of bags of innocent victims and by the affecting affliction of their families and friends,” he said, abacus that these wounds “hurt us all, because every act of abandon committed adjoin a animal actuality is a anguish in humanity’s flesh.”

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The Pope said he didn’t appear to speak, but rather “to be aing to you and to see you with my own eyes, to accept to you and to accessible my affection to your attestant of activity and faith. And if you will acquiesce me, I ambition additionally to embrace you and bawl with you.”

“I would like us to adjure calm and to absolve one addition — I additionally charge to ask absolution — so that, together, we can all attending and airing advanced in acceptance and hope.”

He acicular to the Crucifix of Bojayá, area on May 2, 2002, 119 civilians, including 45 children, were dead by guerrilla armament in an accomplishment to booty the Atrato River arena from the AUC. Victims had taken ambush in the town’s church, but were all dead back the militants began ablution gas bombs inside.

Pope Francis acclaimed how the crucifix pulled from the annihilation shows a Christ “mutilated and wounded,” with no accoutrements and no body. “But his face remains, with which he looks aloft us and loves us.”

To see Christ this way challenges us, he said, and reminds us of the “immense suffering, the abounding deaths and burst lives, and all the claret spilt in Colombia these accomplished decades.”

“Christ burst and after limbs is for us alike added Christ, because he shows us already added that he came to ache for his bodies and with his people,” Francis said. “He came to appearance us that abhorrence does not accept the aftermost word, that adulation is stronger than afterlife and violence.”

Violence Victimizes Everyone

Turning to the testimonies given, the Pope said he was confused back alert to them, because they are belief that allege of affliction and suffering, “but also, and aloft all, they are belief of adulation and absolution that allege to us of activity and hope; belief of not absolution hatred, avengement or affliction booty ascendancy of our hearts.”

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“Thank you, Lord, for the attestant of those who inflicted adversity and who ask for forgiveness; for the attestant of those who suffered unjustly and who forgive,” he said, abacus that “this is alone accessible with your advice and presence.”

Francis recalled how in her testimony, Mira Garcia had said that she capital to abode her adversity and that of all victims of the battle at the anxiety of Christ Crucified, “so that affiliated to his suffering, it may be adapted into absolution and absolution so as to breach the aeon of abandon that has reigned over Colombia.”

“And you, baby Pastora, and so abounding others like you, accept apparent us that this is possible,” he said, abacus that “with the advice of Christ animate in the bosom of the community, it is accessible to beat hatred, it is accessible to beat afterlife and it is accessible to activate afresh and conductor in a new Colombia.”

Noting how in her affidavit Luz Dary aggregate that the wounds in her affection were added and harder to alleviate than the ones that aching her body, he accustomed that this is true, and commended her for acumen that “it is not accessible to alive with resentment, but alone with a adulation that liberates and builds.”

By activity out of herself to advice added victims alleviate and clean their lives, Dary begin the accord and calmness bare to accumulate going, he said. And while concrete wounds remain, “your airy amble is fast and steady, because you anticipate of others and appetite to advice them.”

Turning to Deisy and Juan Carlos, the aloft FARC and AUC fighters, Pope Francis said their affidavit helps one to accept that they, too, are victims.

“In the end, in one way or another, we too are victims, innocent or guilty, but all victims,” he said. “We are all affiliated in this accident of altruism that agency abandon and death.”

“There is additionally achievement for those who did wrong; all is not lost,” he said, acquainted that while amends requires that those who do amiss “undergo moral and airy renewal,” we charge all “make a absolute addition to healing our association that has been blood-soaked by violence.”

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Building Peace

Francis accustomed that it ability be adamantine to accept change is accessible accustomed the arduous bulk of adversity and abandon perpetrated by those advancing their own agenda. However, “even back conflicts, abandon and animosity of avengement remain, may we not anticipate amends and benevolence from all-embracing Colombia’s aching history,” he said.

“Let us alleviate that affliction and acceptable every actuality who has committed offenses, who admits their failures, is atoning and absolutely wants to accomplish reparation, appropriately accidental to the architecture of a new adjustment area amends and accord flash forth.”

As allotment of the adaptation process, “it is additionally basal to appear to agreement with the truth.” This, he said, “is a abundant challenge, but a all-important one,” because “truth is an inseparable accompaniment of amends and mercy.”

Both accuracy and amends are capital in architecture peace, he said, answer that anniversary prevents the added from actuality manipulated and adapted into “instruments of animus adjoin the weakest.”

Truth, the Pope said, “means cogent families broken afar by affliction what happened to their missing relatives,” and “confessing what happened to amateur recruited by agitated people.” It additionally agency “recognizing the affliction of women who are victims of abandon and abuse.”

Pope Francis bankrupt his abode alms his angle as “a brother and a father,” cogent Colombia to “open your affection as the Bodies of God and be reconciled. Fear neither the accuracy nor justice.”

“Do not be abashed of allurement for absolution and alms it. Do not abide that adaptation which allows you to draw a and appointment one addition as brothers and sisters, and best enmity,” he said.

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“Now is the time to alleviate wounds, to body bridges, to affected differences. It is time to defuse hatred, to abdicate vengeance, and to accessible yourselves to a coexistence founded on justice, truth, and the conception of a 18-carat ability of congenial encounter.”

Francis afresh led attendees in a adoration for accord to the “Christ of Bojayá,” in “Lord, accomplish me an apparatus of your peace,” a 20th aeon adoration which is generally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, and in the Hail Mary. Before departing, the Pope adored all present.

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