Chavez Died “In the Bosom of the Church”

According to sources close to him.

Such cases tend to be a test for how much we really see the Church as the sacrament of Christ’s mercy and how much we see it as a political entity that exists to confirm us in our loves and hates.  I, for one, am delighted to hear this news and hope that he entered into eternal mercy for his sins.  I take such deathbed conversions (like the Good Thief’s or Hans Frank, the Gauleiter of Poland) as great signs of hope.  If those guys can be saved, there’s hope for a jerk like me.

Heartbreaking and Beautiful
God rest the souls of the two police murdered in NYC
A Lion in the American Church
Courtney Lenaburg RIP
  • Laura B.

    Well said, Mark. (and I don’t mean you’re a jerk! I, in no way, would want that thought.)
    My policy has always been, “If God can forgive someone, who am I to say that he can’t or shouldn’t.” And we can’t know, and it isn’t God’s responsibility to tell us if Chavez (in this case) or anyone else “repented enough” or anything like that. We just hope, and we keep praying, and we recognize (to our ability) our own sinfulness.

  • Dave G.

    It’s really not for me to say one way or another. Again, I had no dealings with the man, and neither benefited or suffered under his leadership. Though I am touched at the benefits of many doubts he’s receiving (thank goodness he isn’t an American leader!) Can he truly repent in the end? Can anyone? Sure. But who are we to say? He’s in the hands of a loving, merciful and just God. Just as I’ll be someday. That’s all I need to know.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      I almost missed my daily dose of passive-aggressive nationalism! Thanks, Dave!

      • Dave G.

        No problem Hez, I always enjoy throwing one to the “If only America didn’t exist Jesus wouldn’t have any sins to die for’ branch of the Church.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Good news!!! But he may still need our prayers to shorten his “time” in Purgatory.

  • Stu

    Let’s hope it is true. But let’s also realize that there is a power struggled going on in that country right now and propagandists know no limits.

    Regardless, I will continue to pray for his soul.

    • Pavel Chichikov

      Show some charity, along with hope and faith. You may also need it yourself some day.

      • Stu

        Mr. Chichikov,

        I prayed for him in my Rosary and as I said, I will continue to pray for his soul and I have said that the hope this story is true. I think that is charity.

        But recognizing that those who are still on Earth, may have created such stories for their own political purposes is just being prudent. There is an election coming up and a lot of Catholics will be voting.

        • Pavel Chichikov

          I believe you, Stu. Perhaps the charitable thing to do would be to believe the story about Chavez.

          • Stu

            I don’t believe it is a matter of charity but rather a matter of prudence. I don’t know the source of the story so I cannot judge it’s veracity just like similar stories in the media that his last words were “Please don’t let me die.” I have no way of knowing.

            There are stories of Martin Luther repenting on his deathbed. I’d also like to believe them to be true. But intellectually, there is no way of knowing.

            So my charity continues to extend to Mr. Chavez but that has nothing to do with believing a story in the media.

            • Pavel Chichikov

              I wasn’t there in person either. I guess my reaction has more to do with facing death than with what’s in a news story.

            • Pancho

              Chavez had made public displays of faith during his lifetime. Just yesterday they showed a video clip of him receiving communion on Univision (for those that don’t know, that’s the Spanish-language t.v. network in the U.S.). Because of this I find no reason to disbelieve the story of his deathbed conversion.

              • Stu

                Plenty of US Catholic politicians receive communion as well, even ones who support all manner of things that go against their “faith.”

                • Pavel Chichikov

                  Death has nothing to do with socio/political conflict or politics. The soul goes out into the vastness of what lies beyond.

                  • Stu

                    Agree. But the fact that a politician publicly receives the Sacrament is not proof of his sincerity. History is filled with such examples. And news stories aren’t always true. Let’s hope and pray that he was sincere in the end of his life an for his ultimate salvation. But let’s not “proclaim victory” just because of a news story from an unnamed source. That’s just not prudent.

                • Pancho

                  “Plenty of US Catholic politicians receive communion as well….”
                  Yes, plenty of them do but you seem to be operating under the assumption of “guilty of insincere conversion until proven otherwise to my satisfaction”. That’s a miserly form of hope and prayer.

                  • Stu

                    Well, you can attempt to characterize my beliefs as you see fit. But I have yet to see an Internet mindreader get it right.

                    That aside, just because I see someone receive the Sacrament once, I don’t assume they are going to Heaven (myself included). And just because an unnamed source says that a noted dictator and avowed socialist was reconciled, I don’t take that as “Gospel Truth.” It’s just here-say. So I don’t assume he converted nor that he didn’t. I don’t know. And quite frankly, neither do you.

                    I continue to pray for his soul like he needs it. I hope others do the same for me and don’t just assume on a weak standard that I was a saint.

                    • Pancho

                      I’m only going by your comments. When you write, “propagandists know no limits” and “may have created such stories for their own political purposes” it implies a skepticism that it really happened. When you write, “Plenty of US Catholic politicians receive communion as well, even ones who support all manner of things that go against their “faith.” it implies doubts of Chavez’s sincerity if it did happen.

                      His illness has been covered non-stop in the Spanish-language media, and he and his rule have been covered constantly in that media so I’m well aware of his faults and the capability of his supporters to “spin” things to their advantage. From all I’ve seen a death bed conversion does not strike me as strange for a showy, dramatic man like Chavez.

                      Nobody is claiming that Chavez is a saint. Most of us are just happy he apparently died in the arms of the Church. If you’re skeptical that he did, fine that’s your right to do so but it is always best to give someone the benefit of the doubt, particularly if he’s on his death bed.

                    • Stu

                      I’m not doubting Chavez.

                      I’m applying healthy skepticism to the news report just like I would to any other news story with an unnamed source.

                      Lector emptor.

                    • Pancho

                      Then let us pray that the story is true.

                    • Stu


                  • Stu

                    And the CNA news report has been updated to read, “A source in Venezuela has revealed…” instead of the earlier “According to sources close to him.”

  • MikeTheGeek

    I certainly hope the report is true and that he has safely escaped the clutches of the Evil One. I hope Hitler repented in the milliseconds between the trigger pull and the final blackout. I hope Stalin repented while he lay there paralyzed and his “friends” jockied for power. And the same for Mussolini, Tojo, Napoleon, Genghis, Tamerlane, Mohammed, and every other self appointed tinhorn god in the history of humanity. However, I will say that if, when I wake up on that Great Day of Resurrection, the first three people I see are Hugo, Adolf, and Josef, I am going to be more than a bit concerned…

    • Pavel Chichikov

      Do you think Golgotha was just for you?

      • Bill

        Don’t be snotty Pavel

  • Marthe Lépine

    Did not Jesus that there would more rejoicing in heaven for one sinner who repents than for 99 good men who have always tried to be good? It seems to me that meeting Hitler and Stalin at the “pearly gates” should be a matter for rejoicing, not for concern. And… what about the two men praying in the Temple, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector (or something like this)?

    • Stu

      I think you guys misread Mike.

      I think his point is that if he sees those individuals, his fear is that he may be in Hell.

      • Marthe Lépine

        It seems to be much the same thing as assuming that he went to hell and expressing surprise if it is found out that he did not… I wonder what the people who had been victims of the crimes of the “Good Thief” thought about his “appearance of salvation”?

    • Pavel Chichikov

      I like the way you look at things.

  • Ed the Roman

    Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?

  • Pavel Chichikov


    History will end
    With the last historian,
    When the one remaining human
    Gives up his burden

    Cumbersome the human soul
    Heavier than lead or gold
    Longer than the world is told
    And God Himself
    For one was sold

    They will tire of the weight
    Of love and hate
    Of what these can create -
    Finite happiness
    And fear incarnate

    They will suborn the bees
    To be their spies
    And from the gates of Paradise
    Pretend to steal the keys
    But they will lie

    Their spirits will surrender
    To chaotic splendor -
    It will disperse
    Into a curse
    Of madness and disorder

    Only then will God receive
    The joy of those who still believe
    As their oblation
    And those will be
    His love, His chosen nation

    March 7, 2013

  • Pavel Chichikov

    @4:29, directed to Marthe Lepine.

  • Imrahil

    Forgive the pettiness but it’s “General Governor”. Using the German term Gauleiter looks like having an accuracy it does not have.

    Speaking of Nazis, but if you by any chance come across the very touching story of Rudolf Höß… who was commandant at Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. Moved by the friendliness of his Polish wardens and the zeal of his priest (or so), he was finally led back to Holy Communion which he received under tears… (Interesting also in that what originally, as far as human insight goes, caused him to become what he became before, was that the priest as friend of the family broke the Seal about a boyish trick.)