VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called on Venezuela’s political leaders to resolve their differences through respectful dialogue and he urged the nation’s people to reject all forms of violence as the country seeks to move ahead.
Venezuelans went to the polls April 14 to elect a successor to President Hugo Chavez, the socialist who died of complications from cancer March 5.
The National Election Council said Nicolas Maduro, who promised to continue the policies of Chavez, won the election by just 1.8 percentage points. His opponent, Henrique Capriles, raised questions about the validity of the vote and demanded a recount.
The announcement of Maduro’s election by such a close margin set off a week of competing protests and celebrations around the country, which officials said led to the deaths of eight people.
After reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer at the Vatican April 21, Pope Francis told visitors in St. Peter’s Square that he was “deeply concerned” about the unrest in Venezuela and hoped “just and peaceful” paths could be found to overcome the crisis.
“I ask the dear Venezuelan people — particular the institutional and political leaders — to firmly reject any kind of violence and to establish a dialogue based on truth,” respecting each other and seeking the common good together.
“I ask believers to pray and work for reconciliation and peace,” the pope said.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: