AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Interreligious Council set up: working together for the good of the Venezuelan family

Friday, 24 April 2020 coronavirus   bishops   religious freedom   human promotion  


Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Representatives of the Christian Churches (Catholics, Evangelicals, Anglicans and Adventists), the Jewish community and a group of social organizations, came together to form the Venezuelan interreligious social council, "a structure of reflection and action based on plurality, whose contribution will generate consensus to mitigate the serious problems that our society is experiencing", said the Auxiliary Bishop of Caracas and Secretary General of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference (CEV), Mgr. José Trinidad Fernández.
"We have been meeting since November 2019, encouraged by the search for solutions that contribute to good and peace, that allow us to show the possibility of building trust where there is precariousness, see hope where only fatality is seen, see life instead of death and destruction", said Archbishop Fernández during the press conference. This Council will be composed of the Catholic Church, represented by the Episcopal Conference, the Evangelical Council, the Adventist Church, the Jewish Community, the Confederation of Christian Churches Union (UNICRISTIANA), the Anglican Church and the Council of Historic Churches of Caracas.
The Venezuelan Interreligious Social Council aims to strengthen the integration and collective effort between the different sectors of the country. It is a space of communion "without exclusions", for all religious, political and social leaders who wish to work together for the good of the Venezuelan family, practicing those virtues that are the basis of good political action: social justice, equity, mutual respect , tolerance and respect for freedoms, as expressed by the Secretary General of CEV.
He also highlighted that this Council "expresses diversity and appreciates its contribution to building the identity of the country we want", which they consider urgent, "in the face of the humanitarian emergency and the global crisis caused by Covid-19, as well as migration mass, so that our beloved people can face the emergency, rediscover peace and start rebuilding the country together".
"This joint work of Churches, religious communities, religious organizations and social sectors will allow us to announce the possible signs of peace and reconciliation, with inclusive construction mechanisms animated by a participatory and attentive spirit, capable of recovering values and supporting the urgent actions that our people need today", concluded the Bishop.
This step forward also responds to the proposals that the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference had declared last April 1 in a press release (see Fides, 1/4/2020), where we read: "The Church has always suggested a participation of society to solve the serious problems of which Venezuela suffers. Therefore in order to solve the economic, political, administrative and social problems that already exist and that are now exacerbated by the pandemic quarantine, it is necessary that all the factors that interact in national life (political, social, health, economic, religious, working, educational and trade union), start to dialogue. In this way, they can reach concrete and immediate solutions to face these problems, and even more during this health, economic and social emergency". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 24/4/2020)