Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 8, 2007 / 08:38 am America/Denver (CNA).
Archbishop Reinaldo Del Prette of Valencia (Venezuela) responded to the attacks by Hugo Chavez against the Church saying, “The Catholic Church is not political. To think thus is so warped and petty. The Church has been fulfilling her mission for twenty centuries and when she speaks, it is not out of partisan politics or as an opposition party. Which opposition party?” the prelate said.
In an interview with the Venezuelan daily El Carabobeño, the archbishop said, “If we were the opposition we would seek to gain power. We cannot hold any public office in any branch, whether electoral, judicial, legislative or executive. In this sense the Code of Canon Law is very clear. So we are not going there,” he stated.
“Where we see things that are not good for Venezuela because of our experience and our love for the country, we are going to speak up unashamedly because that is part of our mission,” the archbishop said.
Asked about his opinion regarding the attacks on the Church hierarchy by Hugo Chavez and his officials, Archbishop Del Prette said he had nothing to add to the latest statement by the bishops, which “caused the president and some members of his cabinet so much grief.”
“In that document we said nothing more than what we should have said. That is the normal position of an episcopate before a country that is decidedly on the path to Socialism,” the archbishop said, adding that Chavez’s reforms are cause for concern about the future of Venezuela.