.- Bishop Rafael Conde of Maracay in Venezuela rejected threats made against him this week by members of the party of President Hugo Chavez and said the bishops in that country would continue working without fear to achieve a climate of dialogue.
Members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela threatened the bishop over his criticism of the recent decision by the government to condemn three police officers who were accused of the crime of opposing the ideological decisions of the government.
Party members have also demanded the all the bishops of Venezuela be put on trial for “contempt of the authority” of Chavez.
“I do not fear the actions that government officials might take,” said Bishop Conde, who announced that the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference “has tried to speak with authorities of the executive branch to establish a roundtable dialogue, but up to now that has been impossible.”
“The Church without fear only works for the common good of the country,” the bishop said. He announced that in the coming days, the bishops’ conference would meet to discuss various issues, including the growing political tension.