Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "In the face of the situation which has arisen at La Sapienza University in Rome which led to the cancellation of the visit Pope Benedict XVI was due to make as part of his ministry, with the office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Venezuela, we express solidarity with the Holy Father and esteem and respect for the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth" the department for missions and indigenous peoples of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Venezuela and the team of Venezuela's national office for the Pontifical Mission Societies said in a message to Fides.
“Together with the people of God we reject all attacks on the part of an atheist society which realises in this way aggression which is of no benefit either for the Church or for society. This position is a refusal for Pope Benedict XVI to visit a centre of study and research and it is also a refusal to allow the faith to enter the world of universal and pluralistic thought, a refusal which recognises man only as a purely rational being, and understands the human person without a soul and without contact with the Creator; for the Church, this situation is call for missionary reflection to evangelise every area of society even the universities as the Pope intends. For this we pray the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of the Missions to protect Pope Benedict XVI, to accompany him in his apostolic ministry amidst the controversies of the present day". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 18/1/2008; righe 18, parole 262)