Catholic World News

Situation ‘desperate’ in Venezuela, reports president of bishops’ conference

January 10, 2017

The people of Venezuela are living “amid much desperation” because of the government’s failure, the president of the country’s episcopal conference said in a report to his fellow bishops.

Archbishp Diego Pandron Sanchez, addressing a meeting of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, presented a grim account of the chaos that gripped the country in 2016:

Almost 29,000 violent deaths; hunger and malnutrition; lack of medicine and the resurgence of epidemics; over 120 political prisoners unjustly and illegally detained; rampant corruption; the systematic attack against private businesses and the independent media; the anti-constitutional attempt to ignore directives issued by the National Assembly; the confusion and fear brought about by the Government’s threat to withdraw the national currency...

The archbishop pleaded for political leaders to address the national crisis, saying that “never, in the history of the nation, had a government caused so much suffering to its people due to its actions and omissions.”

Archbishop Padron Sanchez said that the Catholic Church is doing its best to provide for the poor, but the demands are overwhelming, with nearly 400,000 children facing severe malnutrition as the ecomonic crisis continues and food supplies shrink.

The archbishop also called attention to efforts by the Holy See to mediate talks between the government of President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders, who have complained that Maduro has forfeited his authority by ignoring his constitutional responsibilities.

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