Friday, August 26, 2005

The Pope pipes in on Venezuela

Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the new Venezuelan ambassador to the Vatican with a surprise: El Papa exige a Chávez libertad para la Iglesia (The Pope demands from Chávez freedom for the Church)
Papa Benedicto XVI pidió ayer más libertad para la Iglesia católica en Venezuela con el fin de que se ''disipen'' las dificultades actuales en las relaciones entre el gobierno de Hugo Chávez y las autoridades eclesiásticas.
(my translation:)
Pope Benedict XVI asked for more liberty for the Catholic Church in Venezuela in order that the current strains in relations between the government of Hugo Chávez and the ecclesiastical authorities "would dissipate".
As I had mentioned earlier, retired Cardinal Rosalio Castillo, who called Chávez "a paranoid despot", had asked for an exorcism of Chávez and his regime. The Venezuelan bishops back [the] cardinal in [his] criticism of Chavez.

The Pope made his comments in an address accepting the credentials of Venezuela's new ambassador to the Vatican at a meeting at the papal summer residence south of Rome, and said said the Church would continue its mission to put "the good of all citizens before particular interests'".

Solidarity, anyone?