Letter to the Church in Venezuela Expressing Solidarity and Respect for Efforts to Address Violence, Social Discord, and National Challenges , June 10, 2013

Year Published
  • 2013
  • English

June 10, 2013

Emmo. Sr. Cardenal Jorge Urosa Savino
Arzobispo de Caracas
Presidente de Honor, Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana
Apartado 954, Monjas a Gradillas
Plaza Bolivar
Caracas 1010-A, Venezuela

Mons. Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez
Arzobispo de Cumaná
Presidente, Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana
Calle Bolivar, No. 34
Cumaná, Estado Sucre, Venezuela

Mons. José Luis Azuaje Ayala
Obispo de El Vigía
Primer Vicepresidente, Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana
Avenida I Calle 8-101
Urbanización Buenos Aires
El Vigia, Edo. Mérida, Venezuela

Your Eminence and Your Excellencies:

At this time of continuing uncertainty and unrest in your beloved country of Venezuela, I write to express the solidarity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with the Church and people of your nation. Your extensive efforts in the cause of peace, joined to those of your brother bishops and the entire Church community in Venezuela, reflect a long history of courageous leadership in the face of conflict. I recall during my own visit to your nation last year how you each bore eloquent testimony to the burdens and challenges faced by the Church and its people. The bishops of Venezuela have our deepest respect for your many efforts to overcome violence, address the root causes of social discord, and promote a just resolution of national challenges.

As Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently observed, “I invite the dear Venezuelan people, and in particular its institutional and political leaders, to establish a dialogue based on the truth, mutual recognition in the search for the common good and out of love for the nation.” You as well, writing for the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, observed in your statement of April 17 that in listening to the Word of God we are invited “…to dialogue and reconciliation as the way to the social and political peace of the country.” In this way, you noted that “…unity will prevail over disunion, love over hate, peace over violence and life over death.”

Please be assured of my sincere expressions of solidarity, support and friendship extended on behalf of the Committee on International Justice and Peace. We look forward to continuing communication with you and your brother bishops in Venezuela, and to being of any assistance that you may find advisable during these challenging times for your country.

Praying that God will continue to bless your work as pastors and peace builders, I remain

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace

cc.: Mons. Jesús Gonzalez de Zárate Salas Obispo Auxiliar de Caracas
Secretario General, Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana
Avenida Teheran (Antigua Prolongación Av. Páez)
Caracas 1010-A, Apartado 4897, Venezuela

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