AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Crisis gets more and more serious, Mgr. Gallagher cancels his trip

Thursday, 19 May 2016 politics   bishops   area crisis   poverty  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Venezuela continues to experience a serious internal crisis, due to the clash between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition, who show no sign of creating the minimum conditions for dialogue (see Fides 28/4/2016; 14/05/2016). The government, now in disarray, besides making repressive measures harsher which have also affected the humanitarian and sanitary work of Caritas, makes constant use of police forces to stop the protesters. According to information sent to Fides by various NGOs, the government has also blocked foreign aid to several centers of humanitarian assistance.
His Exc. Mgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See was expected to go to Venezuela these days for the episcopal ordination of a Venezuelan priest who was appointed Apostolic Nuncio. The opposition leader, Enrique Capriles yesterday said that he was waiting for the arrival of Mgr. Gallagher to start the process of impeachment referendum of President Maduro, in an attempt to involve the Vatican representative.
The Diocese of San Cristobal, however, released a statement, also sent to Fides, in which it reports the following statement from the Apostolic Nunciature: "For reasons that are not dependent on the Holy See, Mgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, was forced to cancel his planned trip to Venezuela from 24 to 29 May for the episcopal ordination of His Exc. Mgr. Francisco Escalante, Venezuelan priest of the diocese of San Cristobal, appointed by the Holy Father as new Apostolic Nuncio in the Republic of Congo".
The note of the diocese also informs that the ordination will be presided by the Apostolic Nuncio, His Exc. Mgr. Aldo Giordano, at the Diocesan Seminary of San Cristobal, on Saturday, May 28 at 10 am. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/05/2016)