January 29, 2002
Most Reverend Baltazar Porras Cardozo
Archbishop of Merida
President, Episcopal Conference of Venezuela
and all Bishops of Venezuela
Dear Brother Bishops,
From January 28-30, 2002, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, women religious and lay people, delegates of the Bishops Conferences of Canada, the United States and Latin America, as well as Africa, Asia and Europe, have met at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with experts of various international institutions to study the issue of Humanizing the Global Economy, in order to seek alternatives to problems affecting the most impoverished people of the third world.
We have been shocked and deeply regret the delicate situation that the Church of Venezuela is experiencing. It is always dangerous to mock the Church in her doctrine, in her life and in her pastors. Not even the Papal Representative has been immune from such attacks.
We express our solidarity with the pilgrim people of God in Venezuela, particularly with its pastors. We are moved by the spirit of unity and communion, essential elements in the life of the Church. We want to be with those who suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
Our prayers are with you, convinced of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: Do not fear! I will be with you until the end of the world (Mt. 28, 20).
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Cardinal Bernard Law, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, Bishop Wilton Gregory, Archbishop Brendan OBrien, Bishop Jorge Jimenez, Bishop Carlos Aguiar, Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo, Bishop Oswald Gomis, Msgr. Peter Schonenbach