Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - At the conclusion of the 108th Plenary Assembly of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference held in Caracas from 7 to 12 July (see Fides 07/07/2017; 11/07/2017), the Bishops issued an "Urgent message to Catholics and People of good will in Venezuela".
"In our country, it is very clear that violence has assumed a structural character. Here are various expressions: from irrational repression, with its heavy toll of dead and wounded, damage to housing and residential structures, to persecution, and even the neglect regarding the basic needs of the population. Official repression sometimes generates violent responses, which contributes to creating a climate of tension and anarchy with dangerous consequences There is contempt for human dignity that is expressed in the continuing denial and violation of human rights by the authorities", says the first part of the message sent to Fides.
"It is time for a change in the government's political orientation", the text continues, "the government's initiative to convene a Constituent National Assembly rejected by the majority of the Venezuelan people completely ignored the fact that it is the people who can and must convene it". "Everything makes us think that what we are trying to do is establish a socialist, marxist and military state, with the disappearance of the autonomy of powers, in particular the legislative power".
"As Pastors of the Church in Venezuela, we raise our voice to ask: the national government to withdraw the proposal of the Constituent Assembly; to the armed forces, to serve the people, not the regime or the ruling party; to all politicians, to commit themselves with the population to overcome the crisis.
We, as Pastors, are committed to supporting our people and ask all members of the Church and people of good will to be supportive with the most vulnerable". The message ends with the invitation to attend the Day of Prayer and Fasting proclaimed for 21 July. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 13/07/2017)