Venezuelan Cardinal Urosa Speaks of Encounter With Pope
Author: Sergio Mora | Source: ZENIT Roma / June 9, 2017
“To go forward with our pastoral work, with the accompaniment of the people in these difficult moments and, of course, to help to pursue coexistence and peace,” were the guidelines that Pope Francis gave the members of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, during the private audience they attended this Thursday in the Vatican.
ZENIT had the opportunity to speak with Cardinal Jorge Urosa, who explained several particulars of this dramatic situation, which we share with our readers.
ZENIT: Your Eminence, what direction did the Pope give you? What did he recommend?
Cardinal Urosa: The Holy Father repeated what he said to us, in a very lovely letter that he sent the Venezuelan Bishops on May 5. He encouraged us to go forward with our pastoral work, with the accompaniment of the people in these difficult moments and, of course, to help to seek coexistence and peace. Those are the fundamental lines.
ZENIT: In the dialogue that the government engaged in with the opposition and with the mediation of the Church, there was talk of elections, devolution of powers to the National Assembly and release of political prisoners. What happened?
Cardinal Urosa: Agreements were reached on October 30-31 of last year, but the government has not complied with them and that’s the reason the people are protesting and rebelling.
ZENIT: All right, the government hasn’t complied with them but, in those agreements, is there something that the opposition hasn’t complied with?
Cardinal Urosa: They had not asked for anything important because the important things are precisely the ones the government had to do.
ZENIT: A few days ago the Pope said to a Venezuelan politician: ”I am the Pope of everyone.” We know, however, that everyone wants to say “he is mine.”
Cardinal Urosa: The Holy Father is the Pope of everyone, and no one can claim that he favors a political group. The Pope favors the peace and coexistence of the Venezuelan people and he is extremely worried, as he manifested in his words on April 30; he is worried about the great quantity of dead and wounded, which the government’s repression has caused.