Chavez Seeks Friendly Ties With Catholic Church

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Chavez wants improved relations between Venezuela and the country

Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, speaks to the media during a press conference after speaking at the General Assembly. 24 September 2009 , Photo Credit: Courtesy of United Nations

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he's seeking friendly relations with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church.

Their dealings have been tense in the past.

Church representatives have accused the socialist leader of becoming increasingly authoritarian and Chavez has charged Cardinal Jorge Urosa with misleading the Vatican with warnings that Venezuela is drifting toward dictatorship.

Chavez said Wednesday that he hopes relations improve between his government and representatives of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference. Chavez spoke a day after his vice president met with members of the conference.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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