The Venezuelan bishops' conference later issued a statement reinforcing calls for democratic processes and warning against rewriting the constitution. "Everything suggests that what is sought is to establish a socialist, Marxist state and military, by dissolving the autonomy of powers, especially the legislative powers," warned the conference. They also warned the populace against starting riots or other forms of violence, stating that it could further destabilize the country.
The government has banned protests that could "disturb or affect" Sunday's election for the constituent assembly, with fines of between five and 10 years for protestors.
Around 100 people have been killed in anti-government protests since April.
The bishops' stance against the constitutional rewrite has not been without opposition of its own. Earlier this week, the publisher San Pablo, who distributes the "Sunday Page" – a Sunday bulletin for Venezuelan parishes about the Gospel and meditations – warned the faithful there was a false edition of the bulletin which had been distributed to parishes around the country.
In the false edition of the bulletin, which promoted the constitutional assembly, faithful are advised that the process "is like the permanent Revolution, it is a revolution within the Revolution and we must always be revising the Constitution."
"We are calling you to be attentive and not be fooled, " the publisher warned. The warning was later distributed by the Venezuelan bishops.
According to the Caracas daily El Nacional, Holy Family parish in Carora was attacked by government supporters July 27.
Families in the area reported that its roof "was damaged by stones and Molotov cocktails thrown by groups symapethic to government and officials of the Venezuelan National Guard."