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Chavez Vs. Catholic Church – Round One

John on October 22, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Hugo Chavez has blasted the Catholic Church in Venezuela, calling them “morally unacceptable” for their resistance to his plan to rewrite the Constitution…again:

Last Friday, church leaders issued a strongly worded statement accusing the Venezuelan president of trying to centralize his power with an “authoritarian” proposal.

His proposal also includes a provision that allows security forces to detain citizens without charge during political “emergencies” or major natural disasters.

The latest plan is just one of 58 amendments that would overhaul the nation’s constitution. Chavez helped rewrite the present constitution when he took power in 1999.

Chavez says the amendments are fully democratic and are there to help the country’s transition to socialism.

Voters are expected to approve Chavez’ reform plan in a special election this December.

Chavez made similar comments about the Church back in July, calling them “liars” and “perverts” on that occasion.

The real issue at stake is Chavez lifetime appointment to the presidency. The current constitution includes term limits which would force Chavez out next year. But Chavez, who has already announced that he would like to remain in power until 2021 or beyond, has a process underway:

Reform proposals are currently being drafted by a special committee appointed by Chavez. The committee has not made any of the proposed changes public. Members say they took an oath of confidentiality and cannot divulge details until their proposals are presented to lawmakers, reported The Associated Press.

But groups, including the bishops’ conference, are criticizing this closed-door process. “We don’t think the constitution should be changed in a laboratory or within closed groups,” Archbishop Ubaldo Santana, president of the bishops’ conference, was quoted as saying earlier this week. “Rather, it should be something that involves the entire country.”

Chavez has described this process as “fully Democratic.” Sure it is. In fact, it reminds me of Hillary’s health care task force.

Meanwhile, the Church is exactly right about where all this is leading:

“In this proposed Socialist model, the State and the government would be led by a president who could be continuously re-elected, with extremely wide powers that would allow him control over institutions, property and resources. A Socialist, Marxist, Leninist, Statist model is contrary to the thinking of the liberator Simon Bolivar and is also contrary to the personal nature of the human being and the Christian vision of mankind, because it establishes absolute dominion of the State over the person.”

The bishops pointed out that the experience of other countries that have adopted such systems has led to oppression and the loss of personal freedoms, as well as economic hardships and increased poverty.

Nothing says leftist street cred like electing yourself president for life.Loss of freedoms, economic hardship, increased poverty and, oh, you left out on thing: Ginormous popularity among Western leftists. Of course Chavez has already achieved that with his Bush bashing and visits from Cindy Sheehan. Still, nothing says leftist street cred like electing yourself president for life.

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Category: Secularism & Socialism |

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