In an interview with the Venezuelan daily El Universal, the Cardinal rejected the statements of President Hugo Chavez that Jesus was a “socialist” and he said that the “21st century Socialism” being touted by Chavez is ambiguous.
Noting that during his speeches Chavez constantly encourages people to read Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Cardinal Urosa said, “Evidently he is telling us which road he is taking, and we tell him that it’s not for us, because it does not lead to prosperity.”
Urosa pointed out that the Socialist system with the Marxist-Leninist tendencies, as developed in Eastern Europe, “did not produce any benefit or progress and actually led to serious oppression of the people.”
“Jesus Christ was not a politician,” the Cardinal stressed, and “it cannot be said that Jesus Christ supports either the Socialist or the neo-liberal capitalist system, nor the monarchy, nor the republic.”
In other statements, Cardinal Urosa recalled that last December, the Venezuelan bishops sent a letter to Chavez telling him that they hoped his 21st century Socialism would be “equally devoid of both savage capitalism and Marxist ideology.”
The bishops said they were hopeful it would be “a path of transformation of the country, open to the transcendent and to religion and promoting the inclusion of all Venezuelans through dialogue and peaceful persuasion.”