VATICAN - Pope's appeal to Venezuelans: "Do not fall into mistrust and despair"

Monday, 8 May 2017 pope   politics   violence   hunger  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Pope Francis urged Venezuelan Bishops to build bridges between the government and the opposition to resolve the country's current problems of uncertainty and violence. In a letter dated May 5, but only made public this weekend, the Holy Father launches an appeal to avoid any form of violence, to respect the rights of citizens, to defend human dignity and fundamental rights, "because like you, I am convinced that the serious problems of Venezuela can be solved If there is a will to establish bridges, to dialogue seriously and to comply with the agreements reached".
"Dear Brothers, I encourage you not to let the children of Venezuela fall into mistrust and despair because these are bad things that penetrate the hearts of people when they see no prospect of the future", says Pope Francis in his letter.
The Catholic Church in Venezuela has raised its voice calling for the repression (see Fides 6/5/2017) of popular protest to stop which only in these past weeks has already caused 35 deaths and more than 700 serious injuries, according to official information. The population is contrary to the proposal to convene a Constituent Assembly presented by the Head of State which, as the Bishops' statement recalls, was already rejected in 2007 by an consultative referendum (see Fides 6/05/2017).
Many social realities and institutions of Venezuela, such as the Rectors of the main universities in the country (see Fides 3/05/2017), Frente Amplio Social (representing important social movements of Venezuela), the Red Electoral Ciudadana and the Student Organization of Venezuela (the largest body of university students in the country) has joined this position of the Church. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 08/05/2017)