Catholic World News

Venezuela opposition leader questions Vatican absence from crisis talks

March 09, 2017

The leader of Venezuela’s political opposition has expressed dismay over the lack of Vatican participation in efforts to end the South American country’s political crisis.

Henrique Capriles said that the Vatican “seems distant” from the country, which faces a steadily mounting crisis. “The situation is about to explode,” he said.

After agreeing to help with talks between the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition, the Vatican pulled back when the government failed to carry out promises that had been made as a basis for the negotiations. In January, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who had been acting as the Vatican’s mediator, declined to participate in negotiating sessions, in a clear sign of the Vatican’s dissatisfaction with the government’s approach.

Capriles voiced his regret over the Vatican’s withdrawal, noting that the crisis has spawned severe shortages of food and medicine, endangering the lives of many thousands. “With the greatest respect and affection toward Pope Francis and Archbishop Celli,” he said, “Where is the Pope?”

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