Caracas, Venezuela, Apr 20, 2004 / 22:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
After visiting with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, Archbishop Baltasar Porras, President of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference, said the Holy Father wishes to send a message of peace, hope and reconciliation to all Venezuelans.
Archbishop Porras said that during the private meeting the Holy Father, “the Pope recalled his two visits to Venezuela and what his pastoral experience in region meant, and he mentioned the need for the Church to continue forward with an integral evangelization despite difficulties.”
The Archbishop also pointed out that the Holy Father sent the message of hope and courage because of the need to find reconciliation in Venezuela, “so that the merciful Father can heal the wounds and divisions in our society.”
According to Archbishop Porras, John Paul II focused on the importance of defending the poor and working for human rights, “which are both part of the preaching of the word of God.”
He added that during his visit to the Vatican, the crisis in Venezuela was a recurring subject of conversation. “Everyone asked me about the situation in our country, about human rights, the status of the recall referendum, and about the possibility of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict,” he told Venezuelan reporters.