.- The Bishops Conference of Venezuela issued an official statement which was read Sunday in every parish across the country, saying that âthe grave political, socio-economic and etho-spiritual crisisâ which the country is suffering âdemands a peaceful, constitutional and democraticâ solution.
Titled, âPeace Begins at Home,â the message explains that âit is unquestionable that Venezuela is in a grave crisis. It is of such magnitude that in order to avoid serious and long-lasting ruptures, and to ensure peace and development, it is urgently necessary that tensions be calmed, that poverty be addressed, and that work for a fraternal and united societyâ begin taking place.
âIn a democracy, these crises are settled by consulting the people. We have repeated it many times: a peaceful, constitutional and democratic solution is urgent. The current constitution allows for referendums, and particularly recalls, as legal instruments for Venezuelans, who exercise their sovereignty as a people. These options guarantee their lawful participation and make them the protagonistsâ responsible for public political power, wrote the Bishops.
The Bishops also emphasized the âobligation of all, and especially the State through its diverse branches, to guarantee political participation free from intimidation, disqualifications and irregularities, so that we the citizens can be the ones to determine the future that we desire. We say this only because of our concern for a future of peace, liberty and justice for all Venezuelans, without distinction.â
On the other hand, the document says, âthe repeated attacks and attempts to discredit the Church will not diminish nor paralyze her ongoing activities through her innumerable and established works in favor of all, especially the poor and needy,â adding that âwhat we cannot accept is the manipulation and abuse of powerâ used to issue insults and condemnations.
âThroughout the history of our county, in good times and in bad, the Church has been and is teacher and companion in the defense of human values, promoting respect in the midst of differences, working for human promotion, and opening ways for fraternity and joy,â the prelates said.
âWe encouraged by our predecessors and the recent testimony of John Paul II, during the celebration of 25 years of a fruitful Pontificate. In fact, despite his physically limitations, his spirit of service leads him to give himself completely, as a builder of peace and love, until the Lord decides otherwise.â