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Pope in Colombia: Mass at Cartagena, “building peace, speaking not with the tongue but with hands and works”

“To take the first step” is, above all, “to go out and meet others with Christ the Lord” who “always asks us to take a determined and sure step towards our brothers and sisters, and to renounce our claim to be forgiven without showing forgiveness, to be loved without showing love”. Pope Francis explained this yesterday in Cartagena as he focused on the motto of his apostolic trip. “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”, the Pontiff said. “Only if we help to untie the knots of violence, will we unravel the complex threads of disagreements. We are asked to take the step of meeting with our brothers and sisters, and to risk a correction that does not want to expel but to integrate. And we are asked to be charitably firm in that which is not negotiable”. The Pope called on Colombia to “build peace, speaking not with the tongue but with hands and works”, following in the footsteps of Saint Peter Claver, lifting up our eyes to heaven. Indeed, “when conflict arises, some people simply look at it and go their way as if nothing happened; they wash their hands of it and get on with their lives. Others embrace it in such a way that they become its prisoners; they lose their bearings, project onto institutions their own confusion and dissatisfaction and thus make unity impossible. But there is also a third way, and it is the best way to deal with conflict. It is the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process”, the Pope concluded, citing the Evangelii Gaudium.

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