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Venezuelan Bishops: The pope is moved by the situation of the country

2017-06-09

While surrounded by a cloud of journalists, the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Diego Padrón, explained some details of his meeting with Pope Francis. For example, the pope's reaction to the reports he was given about the nutritional emergency in the country or the list of the nearly 70 people killed during the protests.

MSGR. DIEGO PADRÓN
President, Episcopal Conference Venezuela
"We saw that he was really moved by the situation, he was very thoughtful and, at the same time, he expressed that we, as an Episcopal Conference, certainly have all his support and all the support of the Holy See. Also that the Venezuelan people have all his closeness and also all of his support".

The bishops also strongly deny that there is some kind of division between the Church of Venezuela and Pope Francis.

MSGR. DIEGO PADRÓN
President, Episcopal Conference Venezuela
"We want to tell the pope that he can feel that we are in perfect harmony and communion with him. This has completely been a propaganda from the government to create division. The government is going to respond and the first thing it will do is to say that we are conspiring against the government, and that we came to Europe to conspire".

However, the bishops are very calm and say that they have not come to Rome to provoke the government, but have come due to the gravity of the situation causing suffering in their country.

MSGR. DIEGO PADRÓN
President, Episcopal Conference Venezuela
"It is an unusual situation. It is alarming and we also have a serious problem of repression that is becoming more brutal every day".

They say that, on this occasion, they did not ask the pope to mediate to solve the conflict, because last time the Church tried, it didn't work. The bishops hope that Venezuela's civil society will be able to lead the solution to the crisis in a peaceful way.

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