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Chávez rebukes papal nuncio, blasts cardinal during independence day speech

July 07, 2010

Addressing the national assembly on July 5-- Venezuela’s independence day-- President Hugo Chávez denounced Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas as a “troglodyte” who is “unworthy of calling himself cardinal.”

Turning to Archbishop Pietro Parolin--the apostolic nuncio since last October-- President Chávez said:

The cardinal is a troglodyte. My candidate was Mario Moronta. He is the one who should be Venezuela's supercardinal. Nuncio, please tell [His] Holiness that as long as we have these bishops we feel that we will be far away from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. We support the real people's priests. This battle is not over.

I am Catholic and I feel sorrow when the cardinal talks like a troglodyte and he tries to scare people about communism. We do not deserve such a cardinal. Our people deserve another cardinal. These people are Christian and he (Urosa) is unworthy of being called Cardinal. You should hear what the Cardinal says as he tries to instill fear of socialist Cuba. Meanwhile, Monsignor Moronta has been assigned to San Cristóbal. They have almost sent him into exile. As far as I am concerned, he (Moronta) is the Cardinal rather than this unworthy bishop who does not realize that these people are not manipulated by the Church; these people are free.

The following day, Bishop Mario Moronta Rodríguez, who has led the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Venezuela since 1999, criticized the president’s remarks.


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