CARACAS, Venezuela — Christ, who is both God and man, must not be equated with any human leader or personality, warned Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela.
Jesus Christ “was not simply a leader or one of humanity’s great men,” nor was he merely “a social activist,” said Cardinal Urosa during Palm Sunday Mass on March 24.
The cardinal’s statement came in the wake of comments by interim President Nicolas Maduro, calling Hugo Chavez “the redeeming Christ of the poor of America.”
“Jesus Christ is not just any person: He is not a prophet like the ones from the Old Testament; he is not a great saint like St. Joseph, St. Paul or St. Anthony, St. Ignatius of Loyola or St. John Bosco; he is not a boss or leader and benefactor of nations,” Cardinal Urosa said, according to the archdiocesan press office.
“He is much more than that. He is God himself, who became incarnate and like us in order to raise us to the marvelous status of children of God.”
“Christ came into the world to redeem humanity from its sins,” the cardinal explained. “He who suffered the unspeakable torture of the cross, after being subjected to cruel and inhumane torture and abuse, it not just any person.”
Rather, he stressed, Jesus of Nazareth “is God himself made man.”
This truth about Christ was openly proclaimed by St. Paul when he said that “Jesus is Lord,” Cardinal Urosa said.
By speaking in this way, the apostle “was saying that Jesus is God, as that is the meaning of the word Kyrios, Lord, in the language of the Old and New Testament.”
“That is the nucleus, the center of our faith, and of our holy religion,” the cardinal added.
“Jesus is Divinity incarnate himself,” Cardinal Urosa said. “And for this reason, Jesus Christ, while he is immersed in history, he is in a domain, on a level, on a higher plane that is totally distinct from that of the heroes and leaders of history. It is supernatural, transcendent and a religious plane.”
He explained that, for this reason, we must not “equate any human leader or hero or ruler with Jesus Christ, nor offer them religious worship, as we do to Jesus Christ.”
“We cannot equate the supernatural and religious domain with the natural, earthly and sociopolitical domain.”
“It is very important that we keep this in mind and that we state this, rejecting any equating of Jesus Christ with human personalities,” the cardinal said. “Jesus is unique and unrepeatable. He is God himself, whom alone we adore.”