In statements on Union Radio, the vice president of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Roberto Luckert Leon, warned that the self-proclaimed “Reformed Catholic Church,” which is backed by the Hugo Chavez administration, is seeking to name military chaplains with government support.
Archbishop Lückert reiterated that the small religious sect led by former Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican clergy members, is “financed by the government in an effort to put an end to the Catholic Church, which it has not and will not be able to do.”
The “Reformed Catholic Church” announced this week that on July 29, it would “ordain” former Catholic priest Jon Jen Shu Garcia a “bishop.”
Archbishop Lückert noted that the “supposed bishop they are going to ordain left the Church because he was living scandalously with a woman and her children. At one time he was a military chaplain.”
He said he was concerned about the confusion that might spread in the military if the Ministry of Defense decides to place military chaplains from the sect in the armed forces.
The archbishop said the idea of the Chavez government is not a new one, as the dictatorship in 1945 “also founded the Venezuelan Apostolic Catholic Church, which was also a failure.” “What they are trying to do failed in the past, and I think that during this election year this is going to cost rather than gain them votes,” he stated.
Venezuela will hold local and regional elections in November.