.- In a forceful editorial this week, Archbishop Ovidio Perez Morales, one of the most respected Church leaders in Venezuela denounced the march towards totalitarianism that the current government has undertaken.
The Archbishop Emeritus of Los Teques, cited a definition of totalitarianism offered by John Paul II, saying that it “destroys the fundamental freedom of man and violates his rights.”
“Through the use of heavy propaganda,” he continued, “it fosters violence and annihilates the sense of responsibility in the human person.”
“This is what happened in Europe (prior to WWII),” the archbishop stressed. “It became easy for leaders to lead ‘the masses’ towards armed conflict. Myths were spread, religious persecution and political discrimination were established, freedoms were crushed through legal maneuvering and police force, and psychological conditioning occurred through the monopolization of the media. Moral energy was weakened,” he said.
Archbishop Perez warned that the justification of certain actions based on popular support and electoral victories “must be the object of discernment…because Hitler could boast of such things. And legality was made subject to his ‘new order.’"
"For this reason," the archbishop said, "‘legal’ is not the same thing as ‘legitimate’ and ‘moral.’ As for the rest, sweeping electoral majorities is characteristic of already-established totalitarian systems.”
He noted that John Paul II identified the roots of totalitarianism “in the denial of the transcendent dignity of the human person, the visible image of the invisible God, and precisely for this reason, a natural subject of rights that nobody can violate; not an individual, not a group, not a social class or a nation or a State.”
Consequently, he went on, when in Venezuela officials talk about the “Socialism of the 21st Century” and use phrases like “one mind” and “one party,” what they are doing is dividing the people into “good citizens (revolutionaries, patriots, socialists) and bad citizens (counter-revolutionaries, anti-patriots, and capitalists).”
“Every totalitarian concept collides inevitably with Christianity, which sees God alone as absolute and worthy of adoration and Jesus Christ alone as Messiah! And it collides with every genuine concept of humanity, which has at the center and as fundamental reference, not the state, the ‘revolution,’ the ‘party,’ or the ‘leader,’ but the person.”