Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - The Venezuelan Bishops' Conference published at the end of its plenary assembly (see Fides, 7 and 11/01/2021) a message on the “State of the Country”. "The world is experiencing moments of turmoil, confusion and uncertainty due to the current health emergency. In these times, wisdom, new ideas and mutual care play a vital role in society", underline the Bishops in the document sent to Fides, which bears the date of January 11, 2021. "The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that, despite human development, intelligence and creativity are limited ... however, we have seen great efforts to promote solidarity, service and mutual care through professionalism and witness of Christian charity". A clear example of this are the many doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who have shown a high level of heroism in helping the most vulnerable and those infected by the pandemic. Although the Venezuelan Constitution dedicates chapter 6 to human rights, the Bishops continue, "these human rights have been disregarded by their own authors": "it is known how the quality of life, education, health and basic services have deteriorated; we suffer from unsustainable inflation and devaluation, which have impoverished the entire population and create extreme situations in which people have no choice but to face the challenge and risk of confronting the unknown". "The establishment of a new national assembly without a democratic foundation, characterized by 'revanchism', disqualification of the opposition, intimidation and threats of persecution does not contribute to solving the problems of the people or to creating confidence in the possible restoration of the country". The Venezuelan Episcopate, speaking on behalf of the majority of the population, insists once again: "the country needs a radical change in political leadership. In this context "they also demand that non-governmental organizations have freedom of action for social programs so that they can help find solutions to the various problems that communities face.
With a view to the impending beatification of José Gregorio Hernández, the bishops stressed: "Venezuela must return to principles inspired by the Gospel". Finally, the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference announced a nationwide day of prayer for February 2nd. Let us pray so that "we can resolve our conflicts peacefully, in a society in which we recognize one another as brothers and sisters" and that the country may be strengthened in faith and hope. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/1/2021)