The Venezuelan newspaper Diario de Caracas has published emails that it claims the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, wrote against the new education law. Cardinal Urosa has responded by categorically denying authorship of the emails, and saying that they were sent from a fake address in order “to discredit me before the Venezuelan people.”
The emails sent using the cardinal’s name included demeaning comments about lower-income sectors of society and claimed that the Venezuelan prelate said, “The children of wealthy families are called to go to college” in order to occupy important positions in the country.
In response, Cardinal Urosa sent a letter to the leaders of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela—to which President Hugo Chavez belongs—saying he had been made aware of the false emails being sent under his name in which he supposedly expressed “snobbish and elitist” ideas. “The purpose of this disgrace is clear: to discredit me before the Venezuelan people.”
“I absolutely reject the claims of my authorship and of the elitist and anti-democratic ideas that are maliciously attributed to me. I also reject the attack against me by the person who created this false and slanderous email,” the cardinal said.
He went on to “absolutely deny creating this email about certain aspects of the recently promulgated law on education. It contains phrases I never use and ideas that go against my values and sentiments of service and affection for all Venezuelans, no matter what their social class.”
“Before publishing the email the media could have consulted with me to verify that it was authentic,” he reprimanded.