Maduro, Pope Francis agree on regular dialogue with the Church
The Venezuelan leader proposed the pope an alliance to extend Venezuela's welfare program Misión Milagro (Miracle Mission)
- Opponents thank the Pope for his interest in Venezuela
- Maduro agrees on candid and regular dialogue with Episcopate
- Venezuelan Interior Minister meets with Episcopate
- Venezuelan President visits the Vatican
- Pope Francis holds 20-minute audience with Nicolás Maduro
- Nicolás Maduro meets with Pope Francis in Rome
The pope and Maduro further agreed on "the need for a sincere and regular dialogue between the (Venezuelan) Bishops Conference (CEV) and the State for the development of the nation."
For his part, the Venezuelan leader proposed Pope Francis a "social alliance" between Venezuela and the Holy See to extend the so-called Mission Milagro (Miracle Mission), a welfare program aimed at helping low-income citizens undergo a sight surgery for free.
After giving the pope, among other things, a sculpture of Dr. José Gregorio Hernández (1864-1919), Maduro called on His Holiness for the canonization of the man he termed "the saint of the poor."
The Venezuelan President seized the opportunity to meet with his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano. During the meeting, the leaders went through Italy-Venezuela cooperation in the industrial sector, tourism, and security.
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.