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Card. Porras: I want to be remembered as someone who served his people


Card. Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo is the sixth Venezuelan cardinal. He is 76 years old and he calls himself a son of the Second Vatican Council.

Many consider him to be one of Venezuela's most important figures. He welcomed John Paul II to the country twice. And he is known for remaining close to the people going through a humanitarian crisis.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Apostolic Administrator of Caracas
“I want to be remembered simply as someone who served his people and who did not take advantage of them. I am very grateful to my father who, when I was made bishop, gave me a hug and congratulated me, but said, 'Son, remember where you come from. Don't let it go to your head. Remember that you are here to serve others and not to be served.”

He was a reporter and a scout, and when he was not yet 18 years old, he began studying at the University of Salamanca, in Spain. There he discovered his vocation to the priesthood.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Apostolic Administrator of Caracas
“Back then we didn't have cellphones or anything like that. We couldn't even make phone calls. If you wanted to communicate, you had to write a letter. That experience helped me understand that I had to demonstrate that my vocation wasn't the result of pressure from my family or something I was doing out of convenience. Rather, being alone over here made me say, 'I will either grow in this or look for something else.'”

He is currently the archbishop of Mérida, the apostolic administrator of Caracas and the president of Caritas Venezuela. Responsibilities far from easy in a country submerged in a humanitarian crisis.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Apostolic Administrator of Caracas
“The Church in Venezuela has gone through a series of crises and situations of conflict, with the government, society, ideologies. And being the fruit of the Second Vatican Council gives me tremendous strength.”

He's seen the consequences and persecutions resulting from those ideologies. Because of that, he is sure that his call is to remain there, serving others.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

TR: CT

AA/ Arquidiócesis de Mérida