During a meeting with top opposition leaders this week, the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal-designate Jorge Urosa Sabino, underscored the need to reach an understanding between the government and major opposition groups in order for the upcoming December elections to be legitimate.

Both groups, he said, “have explained their points of view to me and I personally believe it is important, as I have said on repeated occasions, that there needs to be a political agreement between all sectors of the country” so that those who don’t think conditions currently exist for legitimate elections in December can feel “that the doors are open for authentic and truly democratic elections.”

The cardinal-designate said that his meeting with opposition leaders was a reflection of his commitment to dialogue and of the mission that the bishops have as builders of peace in Venezuela.  

Nevertheless, he added, the greatest responsibility falls to the ruling party, which holds a majority in all branches of government and has the duty to ensure free and fair elections in December.  

He also said the government must display a willingness to foster reconciliation in the country and to “apply diverse measures of amnesty to those who have been sentenced for crimes that have to do with political issues.”

Archbishop Urosa said the Church would continue to promote dialogue among the different factions, as “the most important thing is that we find a democratic solution to the existing disagreements.”