At least, that’s the impression I got last time I thumbed through any of the four Gospels. Too bad this site, calling itself the Catholic World News, hasn’t gotten that message…and apparently, neither has a politically uncelibate Venezuelan archbishop, who routinely violates his vows with the opposition:
A spokesman for the Venezuelan bishops’ conference has denounced the formation of a new religious sect called the Reform Catholic Venezuelan Church, which has pledged its support for the country’s President Hugo Chavez.
Archbishop Roberto Lückert Leon of Coro, the vice-president of the Venezuelan episcopal conference, told El Nuevo Herald that the new sect is “a parallel church that Chavez has created.” The group is being subsidized by contributions from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, the archbishop said, and is recruiting priests who have been disciplined by their own bishops because of “scandalous” behavior.
The Reform Catholic Venezuelan Church does not require priests to be celibate. The group also allows divorce, and proclaims that “homosexuality and bisexuality are not sins in and of themselves.’ But the sect is uncompromising on one issue: “We completely support the socialist project led by Chavez,” announced one of the group’s leaders.
Funny, I haven’t heard anything about a new religious sect forming in Venezuela–not from any reliable source, anyhow. But, according to El Nuevo Herald, there IS a new church…IN MIAMI. And it is under the auspices of the Anglican Church, run by a primate of Venezuelan and Canadian nationality. So much for it being a breakaway Roman Catholic sect in Venezuela. It’s a Protestant one! Just like what Martin Luther did in Germany in the 1500s, albeit on a smaller scale. And in Miami.
Which begs the question: What is the archbishop getting his cassock in a twist about? If it’s not his church, it’s not his problem. Hell, it’s not even based in his country.
Oh wait, I see: They allow divorce, they’re not anti-gay, they don’t demand celibacy. Well DUH! They’re Protestants, and those things are all pretty mainstream for Anglicans, especially here in Canada. Even if they still are anathema to Roman Catholics, though, there are still plenty of rank-and-file Catholics who disagree with those prohibitions. (Consider the number of Catholic women who are on the Pill, or who have had abortions–and whose priests know it, and refuse to kick them out of the church.)
The accusations of government funding, I predict, will prove to be lies. This is not about a new church receiving government funding, it’s about the Catholic church being cut out of it. And also about it being cut out of the status of power-behind-the-throne. Archbishop Lückert, thanks to his virulent anti-Chavismo, apparently believes he’ll be absolved, but history will not be kind to him.
And, if Jesus is listening, I’m pretty sure he’s pissed, too.
PS: On a related note, Venezuelan political analyst Vladimir Acosta notes the obvious…that the Roman Catholic Church is playing dirty politics in Venezuela, specifically on behalf of the rich exploiters. And on a more disgusting note, here’s a recent example of what the professor is on about: a priest haranguing his parishioners using an upside-down Venezuelan flag on the altar. His sermon? Something to the effect of “What, don’t you sinners have the balls to kill your duly elected president?” And this at, of all opportune occasions, an infant baptism!