- Jan 18, 2020
Few hold much hope for today’s Vatican-mediated talks between the government and the opposition in Venezuela, but if they fail, more blood could be spilled and more lives lost. The relatives of political prisoners were in St. Peter’s Square over the weekend to highlight what’s at stake.
At St. Brendan Catholic Church in a Miami suburb, there was no overt mention of Castro, but during the Prayers of the Faithful, one of the two priests prayed for “an end to communism, especially in Cuba and Venezuela.”
New Venezuelan Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo says it’s wrong to see Pope Francis’s style as that of “a good pastor who doesn’t have much depth in thought, that he is simply a good pastor.” He also noted that in his Venezuela, as in the rest of the continent, politicians “have very little relation with the people, with real problems.”
Venezuela’s opposition warily welcomed on Tuesday the government’s release of four jailed activists, a response to the Vatican’s efforts to avert bloodshed and dampen acrimony in the oil-rich South American country.
Pope Francis on Tuesday said that fear is a poor adviser for countries struggling to set policies for immigrants and refugees, suggested that Catholicism’s ban on women priests is “forever,” and also confirmed that the Vatican will participate in talks to try to address Venezuela’s tensions under President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was returning from a state visit to the Middle East, made an unannounced stop at the Vatican Oct. 24 to meet with Pope Francis in Rome. In a video, a member of the opposition warned the pontiff that “we are dealing with the devil.”