Caracas, Venezuela, Jul 29, 2019 / 13:51 pm
After visiting clerics and seminarians in Venezuela, the secretary for seminaries of the Congregation for the Clergy issued a hopeful message for the country, which is facing shortages of basic goods.
“There is no desert that doesn't end,” Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong said, adding that “experiences in the history of Venezuela, and also personal and familial experiences, show that you can move forward.”
Under the socialist administration of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has been marred by violence and social upheaval, with severe shortages of food and medicine, high unemployment, blackouts, and hyperinflation. More than 4 million Venezuelans have emigrated since 2015.
Archbishop Patrón spoke to Venezuelans through the “Voices of Hope” program of the Venezuelan bishops' conference.
“I'm going to repeat the words of Pope Francis: let no one rob you of hope. Be free to live in hope, free to love, free to make decisions in favor of Venezuela, and very free to believe,” Patrón encouraged.
“You have also gone through not so easy other personal, familial and national experiences in the past, but Venezuela is great, very great,” exclaimed Patrón, who explained that he was referring to Venezuela as great “because it has the seed of the Kingdom, because it has the presence of God, and you have the love of Our Lady of Coromoto.”
Patrón also emphasized that “the Kingdom of God is growing” and added that during his time in Venezuela he met “young seminarians, priests of all ages and bishops who are very determined to be the presence of God in the current circumstances.”
“Any young man, priest, even the bishops themselves had other possibilities, which perhaps were much more comfortable, humanly understandable and justifiable, but it's beautiful to realize that we have seminarians, priests and bishops that from within, from the heart, know that it's worth giving their lives and going through a series of sacrifices, a series of inconveniences, but they are joyful because they are giving their lives so that the Kingdom of God, the values of the Gospel, are lived in Venezuela today,” Patrón said.