AMERICA/VENEZUELA - For the Bishops the Constituent Assembly is "not necessary and dangerous for democracy"

Caracas - The Venezuelan Bishops' Conference yesterday issued a Pastoral Exhortation as a conclusion of the Extraordinary Plenary Assembly held from 16 to 18 May .
With regards to the Constituent Assembly, the Bishops say: "After listening to many members of the people, we believe that the request of such a Constituent is not necessary and is dangerous for Venezuelan democracy, for human and integral development and for social peace".
The exhortation, sent to Fides, points out some aspects of the situation in which the people are living: hunger, violence, lack of respect for human rights, desperation. "But in the face of this situation, there are challenges - continues the text -: commitment to peace, solidarity and prayer".
Together with this exhortation, CEV published the letter of reply to Elias Jaua Milano, President of the Preparatory Commission of the National Constituent Assembly, wanted by President Nicolas Maduro. "The need is to complete the Constitution, not to reform it", reads the letter, signed by Mgr. Diego Padrón of Cumaná and President of CEV.
The Standing Committee of CEV declares its willingness to receive Elias Jaua Milano on May 19 to further deepen and discuss the reasons for this decision of the Episcopate. This meeting, the Bishops write, will be an occasion to expose the reasons for our position and, moreover, "to express our concern for the serious problems that our country today lives and the painful consequences of sadness, suffering and death caused in the concrete life of the Venezuelan people".
On May 9, Jaua claimed to have sent a letter of request to the Bishops' Conference to be received in order to expose the scope of the Constituent's initiative after CEV's decision not to attend the Commission's meeting together with religious groups.