Venezuela's bishops let the pope have it
It probably wasn't easy, but Venezuela's bishops have managed to buttonhole Pope Francis for a rundown on the facts of life in Marxist Venezuela.
At their "request," Pope Francis met Venezuela's top bishops Thursday. Discussions centered on the country's growing political unrest against a "cruelly" repressive government.
So it was the bishops who had to ask, or else they'd go unheard.
That they even had to ask is evidence of how opaque the pope has been about the nightmare engulfing the retrograde communist country.
"The situation is very, very grave," [Venezuelan Cardinal Jorge] Urosa Savino told Crux Tuesday. "What we see is a people who are suffering, who are being humiliated, and who are being cruelly repressed" by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's regime.
Government moves – through the Supreme Justice Tribunal – to "take the constitutional faculties from the National Assembly," while at the "same time giving the president a series of super powers," said Urosa Savino, have "worsened" the political crisis in the last months.
Despite a partial u-turn by the top court, the latest stream of protests has been non-stop since April 4th. The ranks span all social classes. The death toll numbers above 70 with the wounded in the thousands.
"The dead have been caused by the repression, created by state forces and civilian groups armed by the government acting to strengthen government repression, which is something criminal," said Cardinal Urosa Savino.
Poverty, unrest, impunity, corruption, and widespread shortages in food, electricity, medicine, and basic goods now define what had once been one of the richest countries in Latin America. Polls show that 80% of the population wants Maduro out through new presidential elections.
Of course, hearing this can't be a pleasure for Pope Francis. In fact, it might be an embarrassment – he's endorsed all of the Marxist ideas that have brought the Venezuelan nation to its knees and now is being called on to denounce it.
But so far, instead of speaking out and cutting his losses, the pope has naively called for "dialogue" – with the obvious results.
Pope Francis has repeatedly called for "negotiated solutions" to end the "serious humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis" Venezuelans are suffering.
Vatican supported talks last year broke down because "the government has used the legitimate instrument of dialogue, plain and simple, to postpone solving problems, to avoid having to take action against their own intentions," said Urosa Savino. "And that, of course, is unacceptable," he emphasized.
But it's not as if the pope hasn't been told what is going on. As I wrote back in 2015, the Venezuelan bishops have been warning about the problem for years:
In a refreshingly powerful and direct statement, Venezuela's bishops Monday blamed "Marxist socialism" and "communism" by name for the horrors and chaos gripping their country, according to a story in El Universal.
The bishops said the long lines of people trying to buy food and other basic necessities and the constant rise in prices are the result of the government's decision to "impose a political-economic system of socialist, Marxist or communist," which is "totalitarian and centralist" and "undermines the freedom and rights of individuals and associations."
The Venezuelan bishops specifically stated that the private sector was critical for the well being of the country. The document, read by Monsignor Diego Padron in Spanish, said the country needs "a new entrepreneurial spirit with audacity and creativity."
Not wanting to create some sort of schism, the Venezuelan bishops have tended to defend the pope and have stated he is fully informed about the scope of the problem. They have even tried to de-ideologize the problem, probably to take the heat off the pope's well known friendliness to Marxism in a bid to win his support.
Pope Francis is "very close to the suffering" of Venezuelans and fully "trusts" the country's top bishops, said Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV) President Archbishop Diego Padrón Sánchez of Cumaná.
His Holiness is "very well informed about the situation," Padrón Sánchez said after the CEV's audience with the Pope on Thursday. "We have his full trust" and "support," there is "no distance" between him and the CEV, reported Crux.
Talks between the Pope and the six bishops – among whom also included Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas and Cardinal Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Mérida – focused on a "direct, crude, realistic view" of what Venezuelans are "going through" under President Nicolás Maduro's regime.
"In Venezuela, there is no longer an ideological conflict between right and left or between 'patriots' and 'escualidos'," said their letter to the Pope. The "struggle" is "between a dictatorship – a self-referential government that serves only its own interests – and a people that cries out for freedom and anxiously seeks – at the risk of the lives of the young —food, medicine, security, work and fair elections, full liberties, and autonomous public powers that put the common good and social peace first."
In their letter, they even called the problem Marxist, which is what it is:
The letter to the Pope Thurday stated, the CEV [Venezuelan bishops group] "categorically rejects" this Constituent Assembly. It "will be imposed by force, and its results will be the constitutionalization of a military, Marxist-socialist and communist dictatorship."
Moreover, "it will leave the current government in power, annul established public powers, particularly of the current National Assembly; increase persecution and exile of opponents of the dominant political system; and expand facilities for corruption."
But the pope himself still needs to start speaking out about this man-caused Marxist nightmare. He hasn't. The record of the meeting was listed in the Vatican bulletin, but no comment was made. The question is, when will he start speaking out? Right now, Maduro is busy claiming that the pope is in his tree. Vatican history shows that tyrants who claim that have a bad way of coming into their comeuppances for such political cover. But thus far, the pope has done nothing to disabuse the tyrant of his transparent use of the pope as political cover.
Maybe the pope will get tired of this and finally come out and denounce Maduro and his communist tyranny plan. But so far, he hasn't. Can the Marxist ideal really be that strong in a pope who has no interest in its inevitable outcome? So far, this is how it looks. The pope needs to get busy blasting these Marxist monsters whose only legacy is poverty, oppression, corruption, and destruction.