Venezuelan bishops demand “authentic dialogue” between government and opposition

.- Concluding their 83rd Plenary Assembly, the Bishops Conference of Venezuela issued an energetic call to the government and the opposition to establish an “authentic dialogue”, warning that “vengeance, exclusion and abuse will not lead to the building of a humane, just, united and fraternal Venezuela.”

In their statement entitled, “Dialogue and forgiveness for peace,” the bishops maintained that “one gesture” that would allow the reconciliation process to begin would be for President Hugo Chavez to pardon all prisoners who are being held “for political reasons.”  Archbishop Diego Padron of Cumana said, “We will immediately send a letter to the President, formalizing this proposal for a pardon.”

The bishops also criticized newly reformed laws regarding the media, calling the new regulations a “threat to freedom” and warning that “a society in which the freedom of opinion and of dissent is restricted, even legally, in which the sharp decisions of the majority are imposed without leaving any room for the exchanging and combining proposals, closes the path to truth, which is not a monopoly of any one sector.”

The bishops also expressed their alarm at the “excessive concentration of power” in the Executive branch, “which is opening the door to a dictatorship under the appearance of legality.”

Archbishop Padron said the statements by the bishops were not meant to signify a new confrontation between the Church and the government of Hugo Chavez.  “We are not trying to take sides; we are pointing out attitudes and errors that must be corrected.”


Follow us:

Check out Catholic News Agency Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome