Note: This article is translated from the original post in Spanish written by the Provincial Secretariat of the Province of Candelaria.
VENEZUELA–The Religious of Venezuela have elected the Augustinian Recollect Fray Eddy Omar Polo as the new President of the Conferencia Venezolana de Religiosos y Religiosas (CONVER). Superiors and representatives of the more than 150 congregations and institutes of consecrated life that make up the confederation of religious elected the Vicar of the Province of Santo Tomás de Villanueva in Venezuela.
Fray Eddy Polo occupied until now the position of vocal of CONVER. In this manner, he will replace Francisco Méndez, a Salesian and out-going president of the religious conference. The newly-elected President will be accompanied by Sr.Luisa Córdova, Fr. Alejandro Iglesias, Sr. Fabiola Hernandez and Sister Julia Pardo as Board Members.
His work has started as soon as he ascended into the position. The election of Fray Eddy Polo as President of the Confederation of Religious of Venezuela has coincided with the call of the President-in-charge, Juan Guaidó, to end the regime of Nicolás Maduro. Given this, Fray Polo says that it is necessary to “determine the actions to be taken as a Church,” as indicated in an interview with the Catholic weekly Vida Nueva. He has already talked with bishops and different religious congregations to have a definite position about the current situation of the country.
The new president of CONVER supports the initiative of Guaidó: “We knew and we were aware that a movement for freedom in Venezuela could happen at any moment”. So far, in Venezuela the situation is one of uncertainty: “There is very little that is known inside the country, but we have the encouragement that it is a moment of hope and more energy to be able to move forward and I think this is what we expect, at this time”. Given this, he believes that “our closeness to the people is very important”.
From his new work, Fray Eddy Polo hopes “to foster and strengthen communion, to make a living force within the Church, to work according to the responsibility we have with society and towards the people of God.” To do this, in the context of Venezuela, he asks that “we always speak the same language as Christ’s, because everything else is added as justice, reconciliation and peace.”