Colombia and Venezuela Burning: Is the Vatican Coddling Communists?

Editor’s note: The following comes from Domingo Caro, a contributor well versed in politics and the Church in South America.

Colombia has been terrorized and turned into a drug-dealing country by communist subversion for decades. The worst force in this regard has a name: the “Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia” (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), or FARC. After President Uribe (2002-2010) struck them hard, they decided to change their strategy and secure power through elections, as Hugo Chávez himself did in neighboring Venezuela.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has played an active role in this strategy. Last year, he signed a “peace” agreement with FARC and proposed a referendum to approve it. The campaign for the approval was relentless; all the polls were manipulated to show huge support. The pope got involved in favor of the agreement, which had been promoted by him and Raúl Castro, but the people of Colombia refused to be deceived and voted “no.”

Pope Francis’s intervention was harshly criticized, and with weighty reasons, by Spanish-American Catholics. The blog El Quijote Siglo XXI pointed out the following: the 297-page agreement was the surrender of Colombia to a form of communism designed by Raúl Castro. In those pages, the State agrees to impose on children’s education and on a variety of policies the ideology of gender [1], to give a salary for years to members of the guerrillas, to forgive the abundant crimes against humanity committed by FARC, to allow FARC to own radio stations to promote “21st-century socialism,” and to have some seats in Congress and to keep the money gained from drug-dealing.

When the agreement was signed, Pietro Cardinal Parolin said, “[T]he Holy Father has followed with attention the efforts of past years in search for reconciliation and harmony, and he has encouraged such efforts, without taking part in the concrete solutions[.]” But Francis went beyond this. He declared, “I promise that when this agreement is approved and protected by the referendum, then I will visit Colombia in order to teach peace.” He was so sure that the Colombian people would approve the agreement in the referendum!

The pope had reasons to be sure. He had pressed with his papal authority for its approval, and the proposed public question was deceitful: “Do you support the Final Agreement for the end of the armed conflict and the construction of a stable and lasting peace?” Was not Francis taking part in a fraud, an attempt to drag a Catholic people into approving its own destruction?

The story does not end here. The people were not deceived by propaganda and papal cajoling. However, Santos went on with the application of the agreement, and so did Raúl Castro, FARC, and Francis. Next September 1, FARC will become a political party, and next September 6, Francis will go to bless the ensuing “reconciliation” and “harmony.” The Conference of Bishops has promoted this visit and so has accepted the papal blessing of the deception of the Colombian people.

Such has been the Vatican diplomatic line in Colombia under Cardinal Parolin and Pope Francis.

In neighboring Venezuela, the Vatican has followed exactly the same line. The Christian people in both countries are confused. But in Venezuela, where the perversity of this diplomatic line is more visible because of the genocide the people are suffering – a catastrophe Francis and Parolin have ignored – the confusion is being expressed boldly. Even José Luis Rodríguez, a famous popular singer, threw a challenge to the pope: “The silence of the pope is astonishing and turns him into an accomplice in the recent deaths and the deaths to come in this drug-dealing regime. What is wrong with you, Bergoglio?” Also: “The pope is closer to the communist left than to Christ. Define yourself, Bergoglio!”

The Vatican has criticized the opposition more than the government. Pope Francis has never condemned the tyrannical repression in Venezuela; instead, he has always called “the government and all members of Venezuelan society to avoid any new form of violence and to search for negotiated solutions.” He has therefore ignored the oppression to which the Communist government has submitted the people and has ignored the classical doctrine of the right of the people to defend themselves from tyranny. Pope Francis and the Vatican have been promoting “dialogue” and “negotiations” with a totalitarian tyranny, which has used the authority of the Vatican to gain time to overcome several crises (in 2014 and in 2016).

Does Pope Francis not know that the tyranny has full power and is oppressing a defenseless people?

In the recent crisis, the one that started in April, the Vatican followed the same path. I have already quoted a public statement made by Francis in April. In his Easter Message, he insisted on the same line. And there is indubitable evidence that Cardinal Parolin is directly responsible (as he was in 2014 and 2016) for the disastrous course followed in the last month by the opposition leaders, associated under an organization called MUD (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, the Democratic Unity Roundtable). These leaders have tried to reach a “negotiated solution,” in the apparent conviction that Cardinal Parolin’s support will move the officials of the Venezuelan tyranny to negotiate with them. This appears clearly in a letter sent by one of these MUD politicians, Julio Borges, the president of the Venezuelan Congress, to officials in the Venezuelan government. Borges speaks of the dialogue Cardinal Parolin has proposed in a recent letter from the Vatican. Don’t the Vatican officials and the opposition leaders know that communist tyrannies do not abandon power through persuasion [2]?

On July 28, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, gave some statements to the Chilean press that are worth contrasting with the Vatican’s attitude:

[T]he crisis in Venezuela is not the result of the lack of dialogue. … It is not the result of polarization and a potential clash between two equivalent forces that demand mediation. … [T]he crisis is due to a dictatorial record of a regime that commits extremely grave and massive violations of human rights with total impunity and does  not give accounts to anybody.

We are facing a dictatorship, a tyranny that concentrates the whole power, and which holds on to power. In this context, the president of Chile refuses to name things as they are and states that this regime was democratically elected[, which] is inconsistent with Chile’s position in the Organization of American States[.] …

The gravest issue is that she suggest a dialogue between government and opposition. This is a grave mistake, and at this moment, a head of state well informed of Venezuela’s situation should not make such a grave mistake. …

The 30th of July, the regime will try to protect itself with a little varnish (they cannot get more than that) of a democratic popular exercise but with a clearly fascist structure, which is going to make even harder a democratic, negotiated, and reasonable solution in the short term to this situation, in which the Venezuelan people are absolutely defenseless.

So it seems that we have come to the situation in which a popular singer and the executive director of Human Rights Watch are a moral authority more credible than Pope Francis and Parolin’s Vatican. No wonder Colombian Catholics are upset, saying Pope Francis is not welcome and that he and the bishops who support him are outside the Catholic Church.

Recently, a well respected Catholic, Don José Galat, who is the founder of a TV channel (Teleamiga) and the president of a university (de la Gran Colombia), broadcast a set of TV shows in which he showed what he understands as Pope Francis’s departures from the Catholic Faith in matters of the Sacrifice of the Mass (which has been called by Francis a “memorial”) and of the respect for the Commandments (see one episode here). The bishops of Colombia have reacted by forbidding priests to appear on Galat’s channel. At this point, a radio station interviewed Galat aggressively, calling him “proud” and schismatic. His reaction went beyond his previous more meditated positions, and he stated that Francis is not pope because his election was null – and that even if he were pope, he is a heretic. The reaction of the bishops was instant: they declared immediately that Don José Galat is excommunicated latae sententiae. Would that the bishops reacted with such exemplary speed when the central teachings of our faith are denied and the central tenets of Catholic morality are questioned by priests, religious, and laity!

Don José Galat has, I think, gone beyond what canonists think to be right concerning the papal election. However, can one really be surprised that a good Catholic who loves divine Truth and the people of God is upset and now is stating that Pope Francis is not welcome in Colombia?

Schism is brewing in the Church, not harmony and peace. How could it not grow when the Vatican shows such partiality toward the archenemies of Catholics – no less than well known communists, FARC and Raúl Castro included?

[1] See the final peace agreement, Preamble, pp. 3; sections 2.2.4; 2.3.5; 3.4.1; 3.4.2;;; 5, p.  126;;;; 5.1.2.I; 5.2; 6; and the Protocol about monitoring and verifying the application of the agreement, p. 233, July 31, 2017)

[2] There is the belief that in the Soviet Union, the communists did relinquish power peacefully. But this is false. There was a coup d’état against Yeltsin, which failed. This failure is what led the communists out of power for a while in Russia.

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