.- During the opening of the 87th General Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Ubaldo Santana, conference president, said the Church in that country is deeply concerned about restrictions on democracy, corruption, and the lack of security.
In his remarks, Archbishop Santana said, “We are very concerned about certain aspects taking place at the national level,” and he cited specifically “the announcement made by the president that a constitutional reform along the lines of 21st century Socialism will be carried out; we are very concerned about the current problem of corruption and lack of security that prevails in the country.”
The prelate said the bishops in Venezuela intend to be “vigilant” and “alert” regarding proposed reforms of the country’s constitution. “21st Century Socialism” is “a very complex issue that we will study in the Assembly in order to determine how we can clarify it and provide input. We know that there is space for the implementation of certain kinds of socialisms that are fully compatible with democracy,” he said.
Nevertheless, he noted that “in the past century we saw socialist regimes that were incompatible with democracy and that were markedly Communistic in their ideologies.”
Archbishop Santana also called on Venezuelans to take note of the thousands of deaths that are occurring in the country because of the abuse of power by the military and police forces, as well as “the deaths occurring on our borders because of kidnappings, murders and paid assassins.”
He said the bishops were also troubled by the “new wave of violence” that has swept across the land, as well as “the new wave of secularism that seeks to put aside religion and the Church and replace them with a secular culture, a civic morality and ideological indoctrination.”