Letter from Nazareth about the role of the Catholic Church in Venezuela

We received an interesting letter from a reader of Marxist.com, an ex-minister of the Catholic Church, about the case of Nixon Moreno. Nixon is the leader of a Venezuelan right-wing students' movement. He has been "studying" for 12 years at the Los Andes University (Merida) where he set up his movement called M-13.

Since the Bolivarian Revolution started, this movement has organised a long series of counter-revolutionary activities, especially in opposition to any progressive reform of the education system. In one of these "political actions" in 2006, a policeman and a policewoman, guilty of being loyal to the Chávez government, were surrounded and attacked by a mob of M-13 Fascists. The policeman was shot and seriously injured. The policewoman, Sofía Aguilar, was stripped of her clothes and sexually assaulted by the courageous leader himself, Nixon Moreno. She was saved by a woman who witnessed the aggression, called other police agents and, after the Fascists had been dispersed, provided her with new clothes. This policewoman recognised Nixon Moreno and denounced him as a rapist.

In Venezuela, as anywhere, if somebody is accused of having raped somebody else, he is expected to be put on trial. In the trial, if his guilt cannot be proven, he will have the possibility of defending himself and his case dismissed. Instead of submitting himself to the law, the valiant Nixon decided to flee the country. And which country did he turn to? To the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See, i.e. the Embassy of the Vatican State!

Now, it is anomalous and even medieval for the Roman Catholic Pope to have his own little kingdom with its "embassies" around the world, but using this to harbour rapists is frankly a scandal. The Venezuelan judiciary has demanded that Nixon be handed over to Venezuela, but the pious Vatican "ambassador" has so far refused to do so, and recently declared that Nixon Moreno will continue to benefit from "the right to asylum".

This is the letter we received:

Dear Editor of In Defence of Marxism,

My Name is Joshua. I'm always reading the Fine Articles Thou and Thy Collaborators write about World Politics. Yes, we do have some Theological Disagreements but, as far as Earthly Matters are concerned, I cannot fail to appreciate your Consistent Stance on the side of the Oppressed and the Downtrodden. I've always had quite a Left-Wing Leaning myself, although You would probably define Me as a Socialist of the Utopian kind.

Now, to the point. When our Church Pub was but a Small Business (basically, a Family-run Enterprise involving just Me, My Dad and a Few Others... a long long time ago), we used to have a Strict Policy about the Type of Customers we accepted on the Premises. I remember once, working as a Bouncer at the Temple of Solomon in West Ham (or was it Jerusalem? can't remember, the place closed long ago), when I gave a good Kick in the Butt to a Bunch of Merchants who deemed it appropriate to run their Trafficking within the Premises. We had a Jolly Good Laugh at Them Sinners!

A Workman Myself, I always tried to encourage Working-Class People to feel Welcome in our Pub, while we were usually suspicious and a tad unfriendly towards Wealthy and Greedy Fellas; there was a Fine Joke in those days, that it was easier for a Camel (a cigarette, I mean) to pass through the Eye of a Needle than for a Rich Guy to make it into our Premises.

I was sacked soon afterwards - I was probably considered too stubborn and old-fashioned. The Church hath now become a Big Chain and hath opened on all Five Continents, but I do believe some of the Good Old Habits have been lost. To me, the Merchants look more than Welcome on the Premises in these times - I think the New Management even own a Bank in Rome.

As Thou canst understand, I do not have a High Opinion of the Gentlemen running the Business now. And yet, Thou canst only imagine my Surprise and Disgust when a Friend in Caracas, Venezuela, told Me that a Scoundrel and an Impenitent Sinner called Nixon Moreno, a Fascist and a Rapist, hath been withheld from Justice by the New Owners of the Roman-Catholic Multinational! This is a Great Shame indeed and it is very embarrassing for My Family to risk being associated with the Misconduct of such Company. With the present Letter I want to make it clear that we have absolutely Nothing whatsoever to Do with that.

Thy Friend and Comrade,
Joshua Ben Joseph from Nazareth, Galilea
also known as Jesus, the Christ

(published on In Defence of Marxism on September 30, 2008)

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