AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Campaign on several fronts to discredit the Church in Venezuela, referendum still delayed

Friday, 29 July 2016 democracy   area crisis   local churches   violence  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) – Bishop Ramon Ovidio Pérez Morales, emeritus of the Venezuelan diocese of Los Teques and former President of the Venezuelan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CEV), has warned the people beware of attacks by Nicolas Maduro’s government against the local Catholic Church to discredit it in the eyes of the people. On his Twitter account, on 27 July Bishop Pérez Morales posted this message: " Church attacked on several fronts: irruptions in homes, network cloning, media attacks. Objective: undermine credibility". He urged Venezuelan Catholics to "be ready for a campaign to discredit the Church as well as attacks on persons and structures ", encouraging them "to strengthen faith and unity ".
Only days ago Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, of the diocese of San Cristobal de Venezuela, denounced false information on a false Twitter account accredited to the Bishops’ Conference. Numerous Catholic associations requested the digital platform Twitter to eliminate the false account. Today social networks in Venezuela are the main means of communication, official media is given little attention.
In the meantime all over the country protests continue against the delay in announcement of the date for a referendum to remove from office President Maduro. Yesterday 28 July, in Caracas, the National Guard stopped an Opposition protest march on the way to the National Electoral Council (CNE) to ask for the referendum procedure not to be slowed down. The first step had been the presentation of a request in this regard bearing 1.8 million signatures (see Fides 14/05/2016), but now the people must wait for the CNE to declare the request valid and fix a date for the second step: a collection of four million signatures , equal to 20% of the eligible voters.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 29/07/2016)