BOGOTA, Colombia - Consolidating peace in Colombia will mean overcoming "the darkness" of inequality and a lack of respect for human life, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - Quoting celebrated Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pope Francis told the country's bishops he knows "it is easier to begin a war than to end one" and that, to succeed, Colombia needs bishops who are pastors, not politicians.

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BOGOTA, Colombia - Pope Francis urged Colombians to put aside prejudice and pursue peace through social inclusion, fighting inequality and paying attention to the plight of the country's most marginalized populations, such as campesinos, Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples.

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BOGOTA, Colombia - As Colombia strives to build a lasting peace, the country's elders need the encouragement and insistence of young people, who believe with all their hearts that forgiveness is possible and grudges don't have to last for decades, Pope Francis said.

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BOGOTA, Colombia - Pope Francis arrived in Colombia Sept. 6 for a five-day visit to promote reconciliation in a deeply Catholic country scarred and reticent to offer forgiveness after decades of war.

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VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia (CNS) -- People in need in this city set in the heart of Colombia's cattle country line up outside the Pope Francis food bank, a warehouse built with a donation from the pontiff.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO COLOMBIA – Flying to Colombia, with a flight plan changed to avoid Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean Sea, Pope Francis told reporters that Colombia and its neighbor, Venezuela, were in his prayers.

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VATICAN CITY – Colombia's transition to a just and lasting peace requires a commitment on behalf of all the nation's people to taking the first step toward reconciliation, Pope Francis said in a video message.

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VATICAN CITY – After leading thousands of pilgrims in praying the Angelus, Pope Francis offered prayers for flood victims in Texas and Louisiana following a devastating hurricane that caused massive flooding.

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VATICAN CITY - Environmental destruction is a sign of a "morally decaying scenario" in which too many people ignore or deny that, from the beginning, "God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment," said the leaders of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis praised the increasingly friendly and fruitful relations between the Catholic Church and Jewish leaders as he also wished the world's Jewish communities a happy Rosh Hashanah a few weeks early.

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VATICAN CITY – Although the church is built upon a strong foundation, it is always in need of being reformed and repaired, Pope Francis said.

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Pope Francis seldom misses an opportunity to explain the meaning of mercy. A Toronto cop recently demonstrated what it looks like.

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VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church must continue to work to understand the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and why they were made, rather than rethinking them, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY – "Let us beg the Lord, God of mercy and peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence," Pope Francis prayed after a week of deadly terrorist attacks in Africa and Europe.

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