Cardinal expresses concern as conditions worsen in Venezuela
FREE Catholic Classes
Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo said Monday that conditions in Venezuela continue to deteriorate under the country's socialist government.
Merida, Venezuela, (CNA) - "We are living in an exceptional and unheard-of situation, which is not the result of war, nor of any armed conflict, or any natural catastrophe, and yet which is having similar consequences. The political regime that is running Venezuela has broken the country and has generated an atmosphere of social conflict that is steadily growing worse," Cardinal Porras, Archbishop of Merida and Apostolic Administrator of Caracas, told the pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need July 8.
Under the socialist administration of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has been marred by violence and social upheaval, with severe shortages of food and medicine, high unemployment, and hyperinflation. More than 4 million Venezuelans have emigrated since 2015.
"People are leaving on account of their economic situation and because of their political ideas, while others are doing so on account of the harassment and repression in the country, whose economic system is now practically ruined," the cardinal reflected.
"There is absolutely no security under the law. At the same time there is no work and no proper healthcare, there is no possibility for people of bringing home even the minimum to support their family."
Earlier this year, opposition leader Juan GuaidĂł, head of the opposition-controlled legislature the National Assembly, declared himself interim president of Venezuela, saying Maduro's victory in a contested 2018 election was invalid. GuaidĂł has been recognized by a number of Western governments, but has been largely unable to secure the support of Venezuela's military.
The National Assembly has been superseded by the pro-government Constituent Assembly, formed in 2017 after contested elections.
Porras said that negotiations held in Oslo between the government and the opposition are "an opportunity to discover if there is any will to restore democracy, which has for now been totally sidelined in this country."
He reflected that "over the past 20 years, when the government found itself in difficulties, it frequently called for dialogue. But these appeals were only made in order to 'paper over the cracks', because the government had no real desire to negotiate sincerely, or to concede anything at all. Given this situation, a large proportion of the population have lost all trust and belief in the idea of dialogue."
Last week, a UN report said the government has committed a variety of human rights abuses, including a high number of extrajudicial killings.
The cardinal said: "We are deeply concerned at the fact that in the last year the number of people who have been arrested, tortured, murdered or 'disappeared' has been growing and that those involved in these actions include not only high-ranking members of the military, but also some members of the pro-government popular classes."
He charged that Maduro's government can only control the Venezuelan people "through fear, and by deliberately provoking fuel, food and energy shortages."
Both "public and private institutions have been destroyed," Porras said, "and the only institution remaining is the Church."
"This is thanks to our closeness to the people and to our presence at every level of society," he stated, adding that the Church "has had the courage to point out the defects of this regime."
As a result of this, Catholic schools are restricted, and its institutions face "verbal threats and harassment."
"The parishes are attacked by the government, by the communal councils and the so-called 'colectivos', pro-government popular groups. For example, in Caracas, the members of these groups stand at the church doors and listen to what the priest says in his homilies, and if they don't like it, then the threats begin," the cardinal stated.
Porras said that the Church in Venezuela is "profoundly grateful to ACN, not only for your material support, but for the spiritual closeness expressed by you, above all through prayer."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
A new study suggests a link between autism, autistic traits, and identifying as transgender or non-binary, raising new questions about the ... continue reading
UK Ambassador to the Holy See Sally Axworthy said this week that the UK government will consider a recommendation to impose sanctions on ... continue reading
Pope Francis appointed Fr. William Joensen, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque and philosophy professor at a local college, as Bishop ... continue reading
Pope Francis Thursday appointed Matteo Bruni director of the Holy See Press Office, effective July 22. No vice director was named. Vatican ... continue reading
The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need has launched a new fundraising campaign to aid Syrian Christians, whose lives continue ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Saturday, July 20, 2019
- St. Margaret of Antioch: Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 20, 2019
- South Asia floods: 'Everything is coming to a complete standstill'
- Daily Reading for Monday, July 22nd, 2019 HD Video
- Influencers in a Pro-life Vocation
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, July 19th 2019 HD Video
- Making a Difference: Lessons for Earth 50 years after first moon landing
- Mary, the Blessed Virgin HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, July 21st, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, July 18th 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, July 20th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.