The pope in Colombia

In the New York Times article Pope Francis Urges Colombia to Seize ‘Second Chance’, Nicholas Casey and Susan Abad discuss Pope Francis’ trip to Colombia. They begin by quoting a few of the pope’s messages and as the article continues, the authors provide a brief overview of the FARC agreement and discuss public opinion of the FARC agreement. The article tells the reader that the FARC agreement is a tough subject because while most Colombians are exited about the end of a brutal conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions, they are also disappointed because many feel that the Marxist rebels got off too easy in the agreement while others are concerned about the lack of resources available to the former rebels.

The pope’s visit and his message for the Colombian people could be very significant for Colombia moving forward because Christianity and Christian values are very strong in Colombia. Pope Francis acknowledged the fact that making peace and moving forward would be very difficult for the citizens of Colombia but advised that they move forward peacefully, drawing parallels to biblical challenges that Jesus had to face. In Colombia, there are very few officials whose word carries as much weight at the pope so maybe the pope’s advice for the Colombian people will lead to significant social change in the politically charged country; only time will tell.

This First Year seminar is about encounters and identity in Latin America. This article is significant for our course because it discusses the aftermath of the FARC which is one of the most significant problems that Latin America faces today. This article is also significant because it gives us some insight into the Christian identities of many Colombian citizens. Finally, this article is very significant for our course because many Colombians have to totally change their identity as they change from guerrilla fighters and rebels to productive, active members of Colombian society and members of the Colombian political system. While this article was mainly informative, it left me hopeful that the pope’s visit may positively effect relations between the former rebels and the rest of Colombian society.

Casey, Nicholas and Abad, Susan. “Pope Francis Urges Colombia to Seize ‘Second Chance’” New York Times. 7th Sept. 2017.

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