The head of the South American country’s Catholic Episcopal Conference, Luis Augusto Castro, confirmed that the pontiff will be visiting Colombia this year.
"The conclusions of the meeting are not so extraordinary but they are certain. The first is that the Pope will definitely go to Colombia. He simply reaffirmed his pleasure at visiting us in Colombia. Second, his visit will only be possible in the first quarter of 2017, because his agenda this year is full.”
In reviewing a preliminary proposal for Pope Francis' travel itinerary, they suggest that the Pope visit Colombia between three and five days, so that he can go to big cities.
The Pope wants to meet with the largest possible number of Colombians who want to hear him and be with him. For now, there is only one place confirmed.
"It is almost certain he will visit the western province of Choco. He wants to meet with ethnic minorities, with those of African descent. So I believe that is settled. The rest has to be worked out.”
Pope Francis said that he would like travel to Colombia whenever the peace process completely shuts down. The bishops clarify that even if that is not the case, the Pope will visit Colombia regardless of the situation.
Luisa Fernanda Baez