Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "Never before had Venezuelans suffered an extreme lack of basic necessities such as food and medicines, along with other evils such as criminal and inhuman crime, rationing of electricity and water, deep corruption, at all levels of government and society": this is how the statement of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference begins in which the terrible economic and political crisis that the country lives is expressed.
The message, sent to Fides, says: "We want to warn people, in order not to be manipulated by those who offer a change in the situation through social violence. But we must not be silent because of threats. We must never be passive citizens and conformists, but subjects of our reality ... peaceful subjects, but active, and therefore act as protagonists of the transformations of our history and our culture".
The Bishops turn to authorities, asking them "to listen to the voice of the people with respect", and also to those responsible for social violence: "We even warn those who take advantage of the situation and of the needs of others: this is a crime and a mortal sin".
"To preserve healthy coexistence - the statement continues - we denounce and condemn the terrible cases of lynching perpetrated in some cities" (see Fides 12/4/2016).
Finally, regarding the plight of lacerating political division, the Bishops' Conference said: "Public authorities must respect each other and work in favor of the nation. The Executive and the National Assembly are called upon to give the people an example of 'meeting and dialogue' in favor of national coexistence".
In the conclusion of the document, the Venezuelan Bishops invite "all in the Church, dioceses, parishes, religious institutes, associations and groups of apostolate and Catholic educational institutions to "urgently give priority to charity". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/04/2016)