Friday, March 24, 2006

Presidential Infallibility

Hugo Chavez wants to meet the Pope and is moving heaven and earth to do it.

His envoy to the Vatican, Iván Rincón Urdaneta, recently said that an audience could happen as early as spring time.

The Catholic church is the most trusted institution in Venezuela, with trustworthiness ratings consistently hitting 80%. It is also a pebble in Chavez’s shoes.

During a recent mass commemorating the day of the Divina Pastora virgin, one of the most revered catholic icons in Venezuela, Cardinal Castillo Lara lambasted the government in very unusual terms. He referred to Chavez as an “arbitrary despot” leading a “rotten political plan” to the instauration of a “dictatorship”. Castillo Lara got to the point of comparing Venezuela under Chavez with a "tragic peast lived 150 years ago".

An audience with the Pope would neutralize this kind of attacks and capitalize Venezuelans devotion.

Besides, Chavez wants to reform the constitution so he can stay in power for life, like the Pope. This could be an oportunity to also learn about canonic law and that peculiar concept: Papal infallibility.


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