A Pontifical Foundation campaigns to help Venezuela
The Mexican office of a Pontifical Foundation called Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has started a campaign to help Venezuela, a country that is currently experiencing grave social, political and economic problems.
The campaign is entitled: ‘Venezuela Needs You.’
ACN highlighted that “Venezuela is experiencing a severe political and economic crisis,” and further explained that according to the International Monetary Fund, inflation in Venezuela will reach 13% in 2018 —the highest in the world. As a result of this spiralling inflation more than four million people had to leave their homes in the last two years.
“The Venezuelan people need to be spiritually fortified,” said ACN, a foundation that is trying to help the Venezuelan people by providing public support for families in need, collecting donations from other dioceses, bringing hope and help to the sick and building community.
Marco Mencaglia, director of ACN projects for Latin America said that the Pontifical foundation has been present in Venezuela for quite some time but especially in the “last two years where the country and indeed the local clergy are facing a very challenging situation.”
“Here the Church does not only help the Venezuelan people, but it must face its own difficulties, which include a shortage of food and medicines, even famine. These are the biggest difficulty of the country and the local Church,” said Mencaglia.
He added that the work of the Church “was very significant and has saved many lives and souls. Because of its social and pastoral work, the Church in Venezuela has touched the heart of the Venezuelan nation.” But Mencaglia insisted: “Venezuela can no longer be sustained by its own funds —they need our help.”
Fr. Mario del Valle Moronta, the Bishop of San Cristóbal which is situated on the border of Venezuela and Columbia told ACN: “We live in challenging times. These are moments of crisis, of hunger, and we see our emigrants who have to leave their country to look for a better place to survive. ” Fr Marion explained: “We have a lot of political, social, and moral difficulties… yet, in the middle of the crisis, we are responding to the difficulties with faith, charity, hope and perseverance.”
Fr Víctor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid is the bishop of Cúcuta in Columbia. He said: “We want to be witnesses of charity in the middle of this social disaster; a hand that helps its suffering brothers with love.” He continued: “There is a human drama at the border of our country, a drama of terrible suffering. Our Venezuelan brothers do not have medicines to remedy their illnesses; they are hopeless, and they have suffered a lot.”
He added that the diocese of Cúcuta collected more than 400,000 food parcels to help the needy in Venezuela.
Fr Ochoa Cadavid reminded us about the founder of Aid the Church in Need, the late Fr Werenfried van Straaten, who began the charity, distributing food [to refugees]at Christmas in 1947.
“We wanted to follow his example, helping our brothers in need,” he said.
Benefactors can donate to ACN by credit card, Paypal or by Oxxo.
Translator: Ildikó Ungvári