Archbishop says Church should continue to contribute to Venezuelan society despite obstacles

.- The President of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Ubaldo Santana, said this week the Church in that country should continue to contribute to the well being of society despite the many obstacles it faces.

In an interview with the newspaper “La Verdad,” the archbishop said the mission of the Church in Venezuela is “to proclaim the Gospel, to propose Jesus Christ and to point out the way of salvation to humanity.”  The Church, he continued, “must evangelize in the culture in which the people live, in a simple language, and above all convincingly, so that believers may be deeply convinced that the Gospel can change their lives.”

“We see our mission from the point of view of faith, we believe that God is present in the midst of the reality that our country is experiencing.  We also have a vision of hope, because we believe that we Venezuelans, moved by our convictions, virtues and traditional culture, are capable of resolving our problems and moving forward to build a country ever more fraternal and just,” the archbishop continued.

“It is essential that (the Church) helps the country overcome conflicts, divisions, hatred and rivalries in order to find ways to live together in which no one is excluded and so that the greatest aspirations of the human heart can be reached, such as living in freedom, having employment, health, basic services and peace, free from violence and the lack of security,” Archbishop Santana stressed.  “That is where the Church can best exercise her service of evangelization.”

“The Church does not ask for privileges,” he went on, “but rather to fulfill her mission in complete freedom like any other social organization, with complete independence in her principles based on the fundamental convictions that she must convey.”

Archbishop Santana also emphasized that freedom of religion must be respected in the country, so that individuals may “adhere to a determined religions profession in accord with their conscience.”  “This freedom must be guaranteed by the legal structures of a country,” he added.

The archbishop concluded his comments with call to all Venezuelans to never give up the “struggle for a better future,” to love their children and defend life, and to work together to “overcome political, ideological and religious differences.”

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