Chavez as divine retribution? Or Cardinal Castillo Lara off the deep end?

Lets get one thing straight: I enjoy seeing Chavez get a good tongue lashing as much as the next guy. But reading Cardinal Castillo Lara’s scathing Divina Pastora homily-cum-campaign-speech, I can’t shake the sense that the guy went way, way too far. Towards the end, he actually compares Chavez to the bubonic plague, musing that “perhaps our lord Jesus Christ has wanted to teach us a tough lesson for our faithlessness.”

Is it just me, or is there a whiff of theological devaluation about this particular method of divine retribution? Time was when the good lord punished infidelity with plagues of locusts and such…these days? He sends down tinpot populists, I guess.