.- At the conclusion of their Plenary Council, the bishops of Venezuela announced their intention to make the Church in that country more “missionary, active and committed in the building of a new society.” During a press conference, Bishop Ovidio Perez Morales, President of the Plenary Council, said that during the meeting the bishops agreed to work together to make the Church more prominent in society, “more biblical” and “more effective in teaching the faith to Venezuelans,” because although the majority of the country is Catholic, “there are serious gaps and inconsistencies in the practice of the faith.”
The archbishop said a greater emphasis will be placed on family ministry and on the issue of human rights, as well as on encouraging the laity to participate more in the life of the Church, and on dialogue with other Christians.
Bishop Perez said the Holy See has approved the fifteen Council documents and that the changes will be introduced incrementally. He also said the bishops would not be stepping away from their positions on the country’s problems, but that the mission they have in society would be more sharply focused.
The decision to completely review the Church’s entire ministry in Venezuela was made in 1996. At that time, Bishop Perez explained, it was decided “an analysis of the situation would be made along with the development of strategies and norms that would guide the Church in the coming years.”
“Just as the universal Church of today is not the same as before Vatican II, so also will it be with the Church in Venezuela,” he stated.
Lastly, he announced the Bishops’ Conference has launched a new website with news and information about the Church in that country. The site is at http://www.cev.org.ve/