Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas, and his auxiliary bishops, have warned against using the Mass for political purposes and declared that the Mass at which a blessing was given to the President-elect of Paraguay, former bishop Fernando Lugo, was not authorized by the archdiocese.
In a statement about the incident, the cardinal said that the “Archdiocese of Caracas was not consulted about nor did it authorize a recent celebration of a Mass to publicly pray for and bless the President elect of Paraguay. If people wanted to meet with him and pray for him, they should have done so in another place and in other surroundings rather than in a Mass broadcast on television to the entire country.”
“In socio-political matters, priests, deacons and religious should always act as courageous messengers of the Gospel, promoters of justice and peace, firm defenders of human rights, and as fathers and brothers of all the faithful, regardless of their political sympathies,” the cardinal stressed.
He said partisan political positions are “incompatible with the ecclesial and pastoral mission of priests and persons of consecrated life.” For this reason, priests and religious must abstain from political activism and from appearing in the media and in public to support specific political agendas.
For this reason, the cardinal continued, the Mass must never be used for political purposes and must instead always be celebrated “in an atmosphere of sincere prayer and religious fervor and great respect, in total communion with the diocesan Church and the universal Church, as an expression of the unity of all Catholics.”