Church Leaders Warn Venezuela's Stability at Risk

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Catholic leaders in the Venezuelan Bishops Conference are criticizing the government for failing to provide more details about Chavez

FILE - In this Oct 9, 2012 file photo, Venezuela�s President Hugo Chavez holds a miniature copy of his country's constitution during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela. The ailing president's health crisis has raised contentious questions ahead of the swearing-in set for Jan. 10, including whether the inauguration could legally be postponed. Officials have raised the possibility that Chavez might not be well enough to take the oath of office, without saying what will happen if he can't. The constitution says that if a president or president-elect dies or is declared unable to continue in office, presidential powers should be held temporarily by the president of the National Assembly and that a new presidential vote should be held within 30 days. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela are warning that the country's stability is at risk due to President Hugo Chavez's complications after cancer surgery in Cuba.
Catholic leaders in the Venezuelan Bishops Conference are criticizing the government for failing to provide more details about Chavez's state nearly a month after his Dec. 11 operation.
Government officials have called Chavez's condition delicate and say he is fighting a severe respiratory infection.
The Bishops' Conference said in a statement that the country faces a potentially dangerous situation amid uncertainty about Chavez's condition and that "the nation's political and social stability is at serious risk."
Chavez describes himself as Christian but has had repeated verbal clashes with Catholic leaders, who have previously accused the president of being increasingly authoritarian.


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