Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, yesterday celebrated a memorial Mass in Rome for the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5. During his homily the Cardinal urged all citizens of his country to remain "united and in peace" after the death of the Bolivarian leader. The Mass, considered by the cardinal as an "act of reconciliation", was celebrated in the Church of Santa Maria ai Monti. It was attended by many Venezuelans and Latin Americans to "pray for the repose of the president", who died on March 5 in the military hospital in Caracas after a long illness. The Cardinal also recalled that "in difficult and peaceful times, several Bishops were close to Chavez."
As is known, in his 14 years in power, the Venezuelan leader often had difficult relations with the Catholic Church, but in recent years Chavez became closer to his Catholic faith.
At the end of the Mass, Cardinal Urosa Savino remarked: "We must look ahead and seek peace and understanding. The progress of a country cannot be obtained with an attitude of permanent confrontation: we all look ahead for the good of the country." When asked about the next election of the Pope, Cardinal Urosa replied: "There are a number of Latin American Cardinals with great personality, but the important thing is not where the Pope is from, but to serve Jesus Christ and to work for the spreading of the Gospel." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 09/03/2013)