Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas urged an end to violence in Venezula in 2012 including political conflict, calling for officials to be impartial during the country’s upcoming general elections.
“It is important there be true political freedom and freedom of expression, that there be no political violence of any sort,” the cardinal said in a New Year’s message to local Catholics.
“It is particularly urgent that the National Electoral Council act as a truly impartial arbiter and that equality, equity and transparency in the upcoming elections be guaranteed,” he added.
Cardinal Urosa recalled that in his message for the World Day of Peace – also commemorated on Jan. 1 – Pope Benedict XVI said building peace requires that people be educated in compassion, solidarity, collaboration and care for others.
“These words urge all Venezuelans, especially those in positions of authority and power, in the political, economic and social spheres, to decisively work for peace in Venezuela,” he said.
The cardinal lamented local conflict, particularly “the rate of violence that has intensified in last two weeks.”
“Let us not be swept up in violence, which stems from hatred, selfishness, arrogance, ambition and lust,” he underscored. “If we want to be happy in this new year and always, we must follow Jesus, God incarnate, the author and source of true and authentic happiness.”