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Rome Reports

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Pope writes letter to Venezuelan government and opposition

Clashes between protesters and security forces killed 41 people in the streets of Venezuela. Now, for the first time since the protests began, government and opposition sat down for talks. Pope Francis sent a message asking them to embrace mutual respect, patience and the courage to achieve peace. He called on them to overcome their differences with "the heroism of forgiveness,â? and urges them be courageous "for the sake of their people and the future of their children.â? In a separate letter, the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said he's hopeful peace will come soon. The former apostolic nuncio to Venezuela wrote that "my heart is still with you,â? and added that the peace process is "a good opportunity that cannot be wasted.â?  Cardinal Parolin also renewed his willingness to mediate between both sides. Read here the letter. JRB/PM/RCA RR JM -BN Up:JRB #Papa