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Pope urges Venezuelan government, opposition leaders to become 'true builders of peace'

Catholic World News - April 11, 2014

Pope Francis is urging Venezuelan government and opposition leaders to foster mutual respect and focus on the common good as they begin nationally televised talks.

“I am aware of the restlessness and pain that many people are experiencing, and while I express my concern for what is taking place, I renew my affection for all Venezuelans, especially for the victims of violence and their families,” Pope Francis said in a letter. “I am deeply convinced that violence can never bring peace and well-being to a country, because it only ever generates more violence.”

“All of you share in the love you have for your nation and its people,” he continued. “You also share concerns linked to the economic crisis, violence and criminality. You all care deeply about your children’s future, and desire that peace which distinguishes the Venezuelan people. You all share faith in God and the will to defend the dignity of the human person.”

“I urge you not to get stuck in the conflict of the moment but open yourselves to one another to become true builders of peace,” the Pope added. “At the heart of all sincere dialogue is reciprocal recognition and respect. Above all, there is the 'heroism' of forgiveness and mercy, which free us from resentment, from hate and open up a road that is truly new … For the good of all your people and the future of your children, I ask you to have this courage.”

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