Venezuelan bishops huddle with Pope on national crisis
June 08, 2017
Leaders of the Venezuelan Catholic bishops’ conference met with Pope Francis on June 8, to discuss the political and economic crisis in their country.
The Venezuelan bishops had asked for a meeting with the Pontiff, to explain the worsening situation in Venezuela and to ask for help from the Vatican. Last year the Vatican agreed to play a mediating role in takls between the government of President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders, but those talks broke down when the government failed to meet conditions that had been negotiated as necessary for the talks.
Declining economic conditions in Venezuela have given rise to severe shortages of food and medical supplies, and prompted public protests. As the government has consolidated its authoritarian rule, sparking even more massive public protest demonstrations, the Catholic bishops have affirmed the right of the people to self-government and denounced the government’s refusal to accept democratic rule. To date Pope Francis has issued only cautious statements, calling for negotiation to end the crisis.
- Venezuelan Bishops Meet Pope Francis in Bid to End Unrest in Country (National Catholic Register)
- Venezuelan bishops to meet with Pope, discuss country’s crisis (CWN, 6/6)