Bishops: It is morally inadmissible to disrupt the constitutional mandate
President of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference (CEV) Monsignor Diego Padrón remarked that although it is not in the Church's duties to construe the Venezuelan Constitution with respect to the presidential swearing in-ceremony scheduled for January 10, any decision made will guide the "common good of the country"
"In view of the uncertainty stemming from the president's illness, the political and social panorama remains unclear. Several constructions of the constitutional provisions about the president's swearing-in for the new presidential term have arisen. It is clearly stated, in the words and the spirit of the Constitution, that next January 10 the term in office for the current president ends, and a new term begins for the reelected president," Padrón explained.
"Otherwise, holding an election on October 7 would have been nonsense. The aim of this meeting (of the CEV) is not construing the Constitution publically, yet it is important to point out that the common good of the country and defense of ethics are at stake. Disrupting the construction of the Constitution to achieve political goals is morally inadmissible," Padrón remarked.
"If the Constitution is left aside, institutions will be left aside as well, with the consequent power struggles, violence, anarchy, and lack of governance. This meeting is aligned with the Venezuelan people; it is a part of it, and therefore, it categorically rejects any attempt to manipulate the Constitution to favor the interests of any political stance and weaken democracy," he noted.
The members of the Catholic Church commented in their annual report that people are confused and upset about the way authorities have reported on President Hugo Chávez's health condition. "Despite the 25 official statements on the health of the Head of State, there has not been any official statement issued by a Venezuelan medical team. The Government has not fully informed the people. It is the people's right to access information. However, the Government has been reporting, with clear difficulties, about its political truth."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.