Urgent Message from Venezuela


On July 12th the Venezuelan bishops sent out an “urgent message to Catholics and all people of good will.” They ask the government to “retract the proposal of a constituent assembly and allow the elections that are authorized by the Constitution,” and to “recognize the autonomy of the public authorities, abandoning the inhuman repression of those who show dissent, to dismantle armed groups” and free “the people that were deprived of their freedom for political reasons.” The bishops called upon political leaders to be committed “solely to the people and never to their own self interests,” respecting “the democratic will of the Venezuelan people.” Moreover, to work at “solving the very serious problems of the people and to allow humanitarian aid to reach those who need it most.” They asked the National Armed Forces to “perform their duty of serving the people with respect and in accordance with the constitution.” They ask educational and cultural institutions to collaborate in “bringing down the walls that divide the country,” encouraging “every effort in favour of peace and coexistence, based on the law of brotherly love.” The message concludes with an invitation to “our brothers in the faith and other believers, to a Day of Prayer and Fasting on July 21st, to ask God to bless the efforts of the Venezuelan people in favour of freedom, justice and peace.”