Venezuela - Mons. Biord Castillo: “Support the priests, accompany the People who suffer!”

22 March 2018

(ANS - La Guaira) - "Our first duty is to accompany the people who are suffering: we cannot abandon them and to prevent this from happening we must support the priests in their pastoral service." Mons. Raúl Biord Castillo, a 55-year-old Salesian, now in his fifth year as bishop of La Guaira, does not hide the difficulties that the whole country and with it the Church of Venezuela are experiencing during this long-lasting political, social and economic crisis. And for this very same reason, he also has the courage to ask for help.

In the diocese of La Guaira, in the north of the country, the general crisis has aggravated the situation of many families: many children and the elderly are left to themselves, many adults are in a state of apathy and despair, the result being an increase in violence, drug addiction and crime.

"Here in Venezuela, (...) where hunger and poverty have reaped so many innocent victims, the Church is perhaps the only institution that remains credible for its very presence among the people. In the parishes we endeavor to offer thousands of Venezuelans a soup dish of solidarity, or something more," wrote Msgr. Biord Castillo in a letter to the Pontifical Foundation, "Aid to the Church in Need." (ACN)

In fact, the priests, together with many religious and volunteers of the Catholic Church, in addition to offering food to eat, also take care of the elderly and the orphans, see to distributing charity clothing to the poor, accompany the sick and needy ... And meanwhile they continue to proclaim the Good News to children and young people in catechetical groups, bring the Communion to the sick, animate the Bible study groups, organize retreats, form lay catechists who can in turn transmit the Word of God ...

And yet, even the clergy and all the religious are profoundly affected by this crisis: they too must fight for their daily bread, for vital medical care and medicine, and for the essential tools they urgently need for themselves and for others.

Why mons. Biord, in his letter to ACN, launches an appeal: "It is essential to help the priests, to avoid also that, in spite of themselves, they must do other work to sustain themselves, taking away precious time from pastoral care, or that they are forced to emigrate to other countries."

Further information is available on the ACN website.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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