In his regular Sunday mass in St. Peter's square, Pope Francis called for "an end to violence" and "a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis" in Venezuela.
"May our Lady of Coromoto intercede for that beloved nation," the Pope said, and extended his condolences "to the families who lost their children in the demonstrations".
At least 94 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government of President Nicolas Maduro began in early April. In addition to those killed, over 1,200 have been injured, dozens of public buildings and infrastructure including hospitals and schools have been attacked, while countless small businesses have been looted.
Opposition leaders have repeatedly rejected calls for dialogue, and have promised to disrupt President Nicolas Maduro's initiative to convoke a National Constituent Assembly.
Pope Francis has repeatedly urged dialogue between sectors in Venezuela and has called upon clergy in that country to support talks.
"I assure you that I am following with great concern the situation of the beloved Venezuelan people in the face of the grave problems that afflict it," said the Pontiff in a message to Venezuelan bishops in May. "I feel a deep sorrow for the confrontations and violence of these days, which have caused numerous deaths and injuries, and which do not help to solve the problems, but only cause more suffering and pain."
The Catholic leader called on Venezuelan church leaders to warn against"any form of violence," adding that "the serious problems of Venezuela can be solved If there is a will to establish bridges, to dialogue seriously and to comply with the agreements reached."
In a speech with international administrators from the Italian-Latin American Institute (IILA) Friday, the Catholic leader stressed the importance of dialogue, stating that one-way communication was the source of corruption.
The Pope addressed the organization for its 50th anniversary in a papal conference.
Pope Francis’s speech revolved around the general necessity of communication on every social and state level. He gave approval of IILA’s objectives but recommended they shift their endeavors from science to developing history, culture and natural resources, connect with diverse peoples.
“Some countries are going through difficult times on a political, social and economic level", the Pope told delegates.
The increase of poverty, unemployment and social inequality of the last 10 years has become a burden for many South American countries. He asked IILA to seek out the potential needs of each country and create a culture of dialogue in order to meet these requests.