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Pope meets new Venezuelan leader, discusses situation after Chavez

Catholic World News - June 17, 2013

Pope Francis met with Venezuela’s President Nicolaus Maduro Moros at the Vatican on June 17, for discussions that centered on the country’s situation after the recent death of President Hugo Chavez.

A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the Pope had spoken with the Venezuelan leader about the struggle against poverty and the fight to curtail drug trafficking, as well as the situation in neighboring countries such as Colombia.

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas said that he expected the Pope to urge Maduro to ease the tensions that had cropped up between the Church and the government under Chavez. The Venezuelan cardinal said that he hoped for “more calm and democratic language,” and greater respect for opposing points of view.

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