.- The president of the Bishopsâ Conference of Venezuela, Bishop Ubaldo Santana, denounced the dissident clerics that have used the name Catholic to form the new religious sect called the Reformed Catholic Church, with the backing of the Chavez government.
The Venezuelan daily El Universal published statements by Bishop Santana who said, âI will not give free propaganda to this organization. We must remain faithful to our faith, let us not grow weak.â
While each person can follow his own journey of faith, the bishop said, the dissident clerics of the new sect have âusurpedâ the title of Catholic, âand I find it strange that the Ministry of the Interior and of Justice has allowed a new denomination to be registered under this name.â
Bishop William Delgado of Cabimas told reporters the new sect lacks âidendity and honesty.â âThe priests that are founding this Church are going to accomplish nothing. I hope that this does not create division in our Church. The founders should find their own followers and not involve those who already firmly profess their faith,â he said.
One of the leaders of the new sect is Father Jon Jen Siu, who until recently was pastor St. Lucyâs Parish in Cabimas. According to Bishop Delgado, Father Jenâwho had been questioned for sexual misconductâresigned from the priesthood a week ago, and the next day he told reporters he was the new bishop of the Reformed Catholic Church.
âAt no time did I know about this priestâs plan. The new movementâs sacred orders lack identity and honesty. For sure it was never clear what he wanted as a priest,â Bishop Delgado said.