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  • Pope Francis delivers a sermon at a ceremony to install 17 new cardinals in Saint Peter

    Pope Francis delivers a sermon at a ceremony to install 17 new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, November 19, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

The 80-year-old pontiff will call for reconciliation during his visit as the country emerges from more than 50 years of civil war.

The Colombian government has ruled out direct talks between the FARC rand Pope Francis during the pontiff's visit next week.

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Colombia's Vice President Oscar Naranjo said, "There will be no direct, personal, scheduled meetings between the FARC and its sanctity and there are no other meetings of a political nature of its planned sanctity."

Naranjo added that Colombians from all walks of life are invited to attend the papal masses, which will be celebrated in four cities, including members of the former rebel group.

He also said the nation should reflect on what it means to protect life adding, "a call to abandon violence, to the defeat of violence, should coincide with this visit of his holiness."

Meanwhile, some supporters of the former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who are against both the peace process with the FARC and Pope Francis himself, have voiced their opposition to his five day tour from September 6.

The 80-year-old pontiff will call for reconciliation during his visit as the country emerges from more than 50 years of civil war.

But members of Uribe's party, the Democratic Center, see the leader of the Roman Catholic Church as an adversary with a political agenda.

Just days before last year's referendum on the deal between the former rebels and the government, the Pope gave the agreement his support, angering those opposed to it.

Some on the far-right accuse him of siding with the government and several social media sites have called for protests.

One of his most vocal critics is Jose Galat, an 89-year-old conservative and founder of the religious channel Teleamiga.

Galat has questioned the high cost of the visit - around US$9 million has been spent on the preparation - and has accused Pope Francis of being a "false prophet".

While another of the nation's former presidents Andres Pastrana, an ally of Uribe, said that "the government's intention is to politicize the visit of the Pontiff" by focusing on the peace process with the FARC.

 

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