Cardinal Jorge Urosa Sabino of Caracas warned this week there are indications that President Hugo Chavez’s “21st Century Socialism” is “similar to Marxist Socialism and totalitarianism” and that should that be the case, the Catholic Church in Venezuela would reject it.
In an interview on state-run television, the cardinal emphasized, “Our interest is that things go well in the country, our purpose is to work for the good of the country and our concerns are about some things that could be negative for the country, such as the problem of what defines the 21st Century Socialism that the president is promoting.”
“There are certain clues that indicate this is similar to Marxist socialism and totalitarianism. It seems this is the case. If so, we would not agree with it. If not, it needs to be defined,” the cardinal explained.
He noted that if Chavez’s idea consists of a democratic socialism the Church could support it. On the other hand, if his idea of the state is one where it is absolute, such as in China, where “the State even tells families how many children they can have,” then the Church cannot give its support. He went on, the Church cannot support a system “that ruined every nation that was a part of Marxist socialism.”
“We don’t want that Marxist socialism for Venezuela,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s what the goal is, but I am saying we are concerned.”
Church not involved in political conspiracies
Likewise, Cardinal Urosa rejected the idea that the Church is involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government. “I have heard on a program on channel 8 that the nucleus of the conspiracy against the government is in the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela and the Andres Bello Catholic University,” he said. “There is nothing further from the truth. We have nothing to do with conspiracies or secret political meetings,” the cardinal stated.
“The Venezuelan bishops are not aligned with the opposition, but rather with the mission of working for the good of the country, to teach to the truth and bring peace to the country,” he added.