03 April 2014, The Tablet

Church awaits approach from Maduro


An offer from the Vatican to send an envoy to act as mediator in the continuing political crisis in Venezuela has been welcomed by both President Nicolás Maduro and the main opposition parties, writes Isabel de Bertodano.

Last week Mr Maduro accepted that an outside facilitator was needed, suggesting the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was formerly nuncio in Caracas. The Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said the Holy See and Cardinal Parolin were “willing and desirous to do whatever is possible for the good and serenity of the country”. At the weekend Cardinal Jorge Urosa said that the president had failed to contact the nuncio in Venezuela, which he would need to do if a Vatican mediator is to be involved.

Huge anti-government protests have continued since February, expressing anger over  crime, inflation and food shortages.

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