Venezuelan Bishops Reject Socialists' Doctoring of Lord's Prayer

Warn That Reciting New Version, Rewritten in Honour of Hugo Chavez, Is Committing Sin of Idolatry

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Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, the archbishop of Caracas, has led calls rejecting a manipulation of the Lord’s Prayer by members of Venezuela’s ruling Socialist party.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela has rewritten the prayer in order to honour late president Hugo Chávez. A party member introduced the “prayer” on the podium of the party congress on Monday, imploring Chávez for protection from the evils of capitalism.

Venezuelan bishops demanded the government and its leaders to stop spreading this modified version of the prayer.

«The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer par excellence of Christians worldwide; it came from the very own lips of Jesus Christ Our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6,9-13), hence, it is untouchable,” they said in statement, El Universal reported.

“The same way as no one is allowed to change the lyrics of the National Anthem to honour a person, no one is entitled to change the Lord’s Prayer or any other Christian prayer, like the Creed. The symbols, prayers, and Catholic religious elements must be respected,» stated the Caracas’ bishops in a communiqué issued on Wednesday.

“He who recites this new and wrongful version of the Lord’s Prayer is committing the sin of idolatry,” they added, and demanded both the government and the Socialist party leaders to avoid spreading this manipulated version of the prayer «so it does not become another motive for division among the Venezuelan people.»

The changed prayer asks that Venezuelans not be led “into the temptation of capitalism” and to deliver them “from the evil of the oligarchy, like the crime of contraband, because ours is the homeland, the peace and life – forever and ever. Amen. Viva Chávez!”

The opposition also condemned the “prayer”, saying such adulation of the late leader was a dangerous personality cult. 

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