If Jesus would have used rubber bullets and tear gas on his opponents, Jesuit Jesus Gazo might worship him too.

Top Catholic Church leaders regularly accuse Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez of fomenting class hatred and becoming increasingly authoritarian but Gazo, who serves proudly as a Chavez advisor, said he believes the Church just doesn’t know the soft and cuddly Chavez like he does. In fact, Gazo believes the Church has been fooled. “It makes me sad that the official Church has been deceived by the country’s minority, a part that identified with the right and with the dominant economic groups,” said Gazo recently.

In case recent news reports have left you questioning whether Chavez is a good Catholic, Gazo has said don’t worry because Chavez has “a very strong theological formation.” Reporters going missing, quelling protests with mass murders, and forcibly silencing dissenting voices are all sound theological responses to dissent. Didn’t you hear? That whole turn the other cheek thing was so 1st century.

Critics of Chavez have pointed to the mass corruption in the Chavez government but Gazo said the corruption in the government and the violence isn’t Chavez’s fault. This from vcrisis.com:

Asked about the infighting and the backstabbing prevailing among Chávez’s followers father Gazo said: “I think this is a sad spectacle. They are fighting each other to see who is going to be the next president. The manner PPT and MVR are fighting is shameful . . . their members are trying to grab positions and authority, forgetting that they would be nothing without Chávez.”

Fr. Gazo repeat after me, “We are nothing without God. Not Chavez. God.”

The Canadian Embassy policy newsletter mentions the good jesuit: “The time had now come, the Jesuit said, to persuade Mr. Chávez to take firm action against those who had betrayed him or his own credibility could evaporate.”

I agree. If Jesus would have just taken “firm action” against those who betrayed him, Judas, Pilate, and even Peter would’ve been running scared. That would make the New Testament not as inspiring but a lot more fun to read.

Gazo said Chavez knows who he has to go after too. He said, “Chávez has in his hands names of the corrupt ones.”

And Chavez is going to separate the wheat from the chaff too! Hooray! Viva la Revolucion!

But Gazo’s love is not limited to Chavez. Let’s remember he is a priest so he also holds a deep and abiding love for…Castro. Ha! You thought I was going to say Jesus, right? No Gazo loves Castro. “Castro is a dictator according to the criteria of Western Democracy,” said Gazo. “He has stayed in power because the people of Cuba want him.” (And they’d be killed or shipped off to prison if they say a word against him)