- Oct 26, 2020
Archbishop Diego Padrón of Cumaná, former president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, denounced plans to advance presidential elections in the country by more than seven months.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for an investigation into Catholic priests he says have made comments critical of the government.
Venezuelans will elect governors for all 23 states on Oct. 15. The bishops have called on the country’s electoral authority to act fairly. The agency is highly mistrusted in the country because many believe officials altered vote totals for the July 30 Constituent Assembly election.
After Venezuela’s Catholic bishops had a brief session with Pope Francis on Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas said that while the pope’s role is important, the heavy lifting of exiting the country’s political and economic crisis must be done by the Venezuelans themselves: “We are the ones called to resolve the problems of Venezuela, it’s not the Holy Father who’s going to fix the situation.”
After asking for prayers for Venezuela that it may embrace dialogue as the key to “beautiful stability” on Wednesday, Pope Francis will also meet a delegation of the country’s bishops on Thursday. The initiatives to help resolve Venezuela’s political and economic crises come as he’s visiting Colombia, marking his fifth trip to his native Latin America.
Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino said a foreign military intervention in Venezuela would not solve the real problem, which is a “social, political and economic crisis we suffer that is becoming more serious.” He made the comments after President Trump suggested there is a military option for resolving the problems in Venezuela.