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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/19/20

Venezuela's Four Most Sinful Priests

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From left to right, Cardinal Baltazar Porras, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, leading Jesuit priest Luis Ugalde and Provincial Leader of the Society of Jesus Arturo Sosa. (Supuesto Negado)
From left to right, Cardinal Baltazar Porras, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, leading Jesuit priest Luis Ugalde and Provincial Leader of the Society of Jesus Arturo Sosa. (Supuesto Negado)
(Image by venezuelanalysis website)
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By Julia Cardozo - Supuesto Negado

Apr 18th 2020

Easter week is a very significant time for Venezuelan traditions, both for the Catholic and non-religious population. [In normal times,] some dedicate the holidays to reflection, prayer, and faith, while others spend it resting, having fun or taking trips. In any case, the majority expect the representatives of the Church to offer words and actions in favour of peace, respect, dialogue and conciliation at this time. However, this is not what certain right-wing religious leaders promote. Here we expose four members of the Catholic hierarchy who have participated in the destabilisation of the country in recent years.

Easter week is a very significant time for Venezuelan traditions, both for the Catholic and non-religious population. [In normal times,] some dedicate the holidays to reflection, prayer, and faith, while others spend it resting, having fun or taking trips.

In any case, the majority expect the representatives of the Church to offer words and actions in favour of peace, respect, dialogue and conciliation at this time.

However, this is not what certain right-wing religious leaders promote. Here we expose four members of the Catholic hierarchy who have participated in the destabilisation of the country in recent years.

Baltazar Porras

Made a cardinal by Pope Francis, the former archbishop was previously the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV) which participated very actively in the April 2002 coup d'e'tat.

He has confessed his involvement in that period in various audio-visual testimonies, in which he appears celebrating the breakdown of the constitutional order and failing to recognise the will of the people.

Several images also show him sitting next to the generals and admirals who kidnapped President Hugo Chavez and who set up the conditions for the triumph of a de facto government.

Documents unveiled by WikiLeaks have also exposed that this religious leader requested that the then US ambassador to Venezuela "speed up US intervention in Venezuela to do away with Hugo Cha'vez as soon as possible" on January 6, 2005.

Having previously served as archbishop of Merida City since 1991, Porras has never abandoned his hate campaign against the Bolivarian governments. Despite the majority of the people voting for these governments, he insists on ignoring these results and even incites violent and unconstitutional acts.

Luis Ugalde

This Jesuit priest and former rector of the Caracas' Andres Bello Catholic University also played an important role in the events of April 2002. Days before the coup, he was among the main figures at the celebrated pact in the La Esmeralda mansion alongside [coup leaders] Pedro Carmona and Carlos Ortega [where much of the coup plotting was carried out].

He currently holds a senior position on the board of the world Jesuit organisation, which is striking when one considers that the purpose of this order is "the salvation and perfection of others." This is precisely the opposite of what this priest helped bring about on Llaguno Bridge in 2002 [when right-wing snipers from Caracas' Metropolitan Police shot at the Venezuelan people].

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