Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that Venezuelan priests “must be urged to remove the cassocks behind which they hide to try to infamously manipulate people who do not believe in them and go to the battle”
Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez on Wednesday asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolás Maduro to appoint a commission to review the Concordat signed between Venezuela and the Vatican. The Venezuelan leader said that the agreement grants the Catholic Church some privileges that violate the Constitution.
"I want you (Foreign Minister Maduro) to review with a team of experts the agreement that Venezuela signed with the Vatican. We are going to review it (...) We are going to examine the agreement signed -by (former President) Rómulo Betancourt, I think- with the Vatican. Such agreement grants the Venezuelan Church some privileges over other churches. It turns out that this (Venezuela) is a secular State and the agreement violates the Constitution," Chávez said.
Chávez said that Venezuelan priests "must be urged to remove the cassocks behind which they hide to try to infamously manipulate people who do not believe in them and go to the battle."
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."