Bogotá, Colombia, Sep 6, 2017 / 13:29 pm
Amid a dire political and human-rights crisis in Venezuela, Pope Francis will meet privately with “the bishops of Venezuela present in Colombia” during his trip to South America, according to the director of the Holy See's Press Office, Greg Burke.
After his plane took off for Colombia Sept. 6, the Pope addressed the accredited journalists accompanying him on the flight and asked them to pray for peace in Colombia and for dialogue in Venezuela.
“I would like to tell you that during the flight we will fly over Venezuela,” Pope Francis said. “And so I'm asking you to pray so there can be dialogue, that there will be stability, with dialogue with everyone. Thanks for your work.”
The Pope also thanked journalists “for this work you'll be doing to accompany me on this trip which is a little special because this is a trip to also help Colombia to go forward on its path of peace. I'm asking for your prayers for this during the trip.”
Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas told CNA the bishops of Venezuela would “express to the Pope the affection of the Venezuelan people for the successor of Peter.”
“Also, of course, we're going to converse with the Pope, we're going to thank him for the support he's giving to the Venezuelan people in such difficult circumstances that we're going through, and also we're going to express our concerns regarding some problems of the current situation,” he said.
Cardinal Urosa noted that Venezuela is currently going through “an extremely serious situation, a situation of poverty, of great distress.”
“Those of us who are inside the country are living through extremely distressing circumstances and great political unrest, of difficulty because of the shortage of food. There are people who simply and quite frankly aren't eating or are eating very poorly, and the shortage of medicine. It's shameful that there there is no medicine in Venezuela.”