Updates on Venezuela from Catholic World News

Updates on Venezuela from Catholic World News

No comment from the Pope or the Vatican except a call for more dialog

July 11, 2017 – Venezuela’s bishops call on Maduro to cancel plans for new constitution

The bishops of Venezuela have called upon President Nicolás Maduro to respect the independence of lawmakers and cancel the planned July 30 election for a “Constitutional Assembly” that would draft a new constitution.

In 2015 parliamentary elections, opposition lawmakers gained a 109-55 majority in the National Assembly—the first time since 1999 that the party of Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, became a minority party.

In March 2017, the pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice stripped the National Assembly of its powers. The Tribunal reversed its decision following a wave of protests.

In May, Maduro called for a new constitution and announced the July 30 election, which the opposition has decided to boycott.

July 12, 2017 – Leading Venezuelan bishop decries Maduro regime’s oppression

Addressing his brother bishops as they gathered for their summer meeting, the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference said that the Holy Spirit is at work in the nation’s dioceses, leading the faithful to pray and share their goods during a time of national crisis and great need.

Archbishop Diego Padrón Sánchez of Cumaná cited the work of Caritas in providing food and medical care.

Stating that the Church is not politically partisan, the prelate said that the bishops have told Pope Francis that “there is no longer an ideological conflict between right and left,” but instead “a struggle between a self-referential dictatorial government that only serves its own interests, and a whole people that clamors for freedom.”

The prelates, he continued, have also told the Pope that the Maduro regime’s call for a new constitution will lead to “constitutionalization of a military dictatorship, socialist-Marxist and Communist,” with negative ramifications for human rights.

Evoking an image from the Gospel, Archbishop Padrón concluded by saying that even when Christ is asleep in the boat, the disciples should not lack faith, for His heart of full of love for His people.

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3 comments on “Updates on Venezuela from Catholic World News

  1. Further update on Venezuela from Catholic World News:

    Venezuela’s bishops issue ‘urgent message’ on rising oppression

    July 13, 2017

    Stating that the majority of Venezuelans support their views, the bishops of Venezuela issued an “urgent message” on July 12 condemning oppression committed by President Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

    The bishops cited unconstitutional trials before military tribunals, allegations of torture, and the imprisonment of political detainees in military facilities and maximum security prisons.

    Stating that legitimate legislative authority rests in the National Assembly, in which the opposition party holds a majority, the bishops expressed grave concern about the regime’s plans to convoke a constitutional assembly to draft a new constitution.

    At the beginning of their message, the bishops expressed their full communion with Pope Francis and quoted the Pope, who said that “in the voice of the Venezuelan bishops, my voice also resonates.”

  2. Catholic World News – July 18, 2017

    Venezuela’s bishops back opposition plebiscite; shots fired on crowd outside church

    Amid rising malnutrition and fears of a future Marxist dictatorship, over seven million Venezuelans took part in an unofficial plebiscite on July 16 on President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal to convoke an assembly to rewrite the nation’s constitution.

    The symbolic vote was organized by the opposition party, which holds a majority of seats in the nation’s legislature. Over 98% of participants in the symbolic plebiscite voted against the proposal to change the constitution.

    The Venezuelan bishops declared that the plebiscite enjoys “full legitimacy,” and the bishops’ Twitter feed featured photographs of several bishops voting.

    [Nonetheless, the dictator Maduro is still going ahead with his July 30th election for a National Constituent Assembly to “rewrite” the Venezuelan constitution in his favor. He is deploying the army to insure the “success” of that election]

    After Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Catia, armed Maduro supporters fired on a crowd of voters outside the church, killing one person and injuring several others. Hundreds took refuge in the church until the cardinal was able to mediate their safe departure.

  3. Vatican’s Secretary of State condemns attack on crowd outside Venezuelan church

    [Nonetheless, the dictator Maduro is still going ahead with his July 30th election for a National Constituent Assembly to “rewrite” the Venezuelan constitution in his favor; he is deploying the army to insure the “success” of that election]

    Catholic World News – July 20, 2017

    Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, condemned an attack by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro on a crowd outside a church near Caracas.

    After Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Catia on July 16, armed Maduro supporters fired on a crowd of voters outside the church, killing one person and injuring several others. Hundreds took refuge in the church until the cardinal was able to mediate their safe departure.

    The day was a tense one in Venezuela: amid rising malnutrition and fears of a future Marxist dictatorship, over seven million Venezuelans took part in an unofficial plebiscite on President Maduro’s proposal to convoke an assembly to rewrite the nation’s constitution.

    In his telegram to Cardinal Urosa, Cardinal Parolin also expressed hope that the Maduro regime would “listen to the request for liberty, reconciliation, and well-being that comes from the Venezuelan people,” according to a L’Osservatore Romano report.

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