Satisfaction and hope in the Vatican as Betancourt and 14 hostages are rescued


Ingrid BetancourtVatican City, Jul 2, 2008 - The director of the Vatican's Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, expressed the joy of the Holy See upon learning of today's successful military operation that led to the rescue of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other people who were abducted.

According to Father Lombardi, Pope Benedict "is delighted by this wonderful news that gives grounds for satisfaction and hope." The Holy Father also sees this as "a sign of hope for many others, bringing peace a sense of peace to a country that has suffered from violence."

In statements to the press, Fr. Lombardi recalled that the Pope has made numerous appeals for the release of the hostages held by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in particular Betancourt. The most recent appeal he issued was made just yesterday in a speech to the Colombian bishops.

Betancourt remained in the hands of the FARC for six years and a few months ago appeared in a video, which showed that she was alive but suffering from severe health problems.