Two weeks ago, a pair of bishops interviewed by Brasil de Fato spoke of rumblings in the progressive wing of the National Conference of Bishops (CNBB) and about the creation of “front”, that would exert influence over the debate against the Jair Bolsonaro government.
On Monday, July 27, Brazilian bishops and archbishops published a document called, A Letter to God’s People, in which they harshly criticize the former army captain, especially because of his handling of the covid-19 pandemic, and the political movement he spawned, known as Bolsonarism. “Analyzing the political scenario, without passion, we clearly notice the inability of the Federal government to combat these crises,” they affirm in the document.
“We are systematically witnessing anti-scientific discourses, that are trying to normalize the suffering caused by thousands of covid-19 deaths (…) and the political posses that seek to hold on to power at any cost. This discourse is not based on moral or ethical principles, much less supported by the Tradition and Social Doctrine of the Church,” say the members of the progressive wing.
“Brazil is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history, that can be seen as a perfect storm which we unfortunately, must traverse. The causes of this storm are the combination of an unprecedented health crisis, that is having devastating effects on the economy, with political tensions that strike at the core of the Republic’s foundations, in large part provoked by the president himself, along with certain sectors of society, resulting in a profound political and administrative crisis,” they state in another part of the letter.
According to the bishops, the movement is not restricted to CNBB, but is echoed in churches and parishes across the country, where priests complain of political persecution, stemming from criticism of the Bolsonaro government during services or when speaking privately to the faithful.
“How are you supposed to not feel indignation when God’s name and the Holy word are being used and mixed together with divisive speech, that incites hatred instead of preaching love, speech that tries to legitimize actions that are not in sync with the Kingdom of God and its justice?” they declared in the document.
The document is signed by high-ranking clergymen from different parts of Brazil, among them, the archbishop of São Paulo, the country’s largest city, which derives its name from the apostle Paul. The letter concludes with the following passage:
“Awaken then, from the slumber that immobilizes us and makes us mere spectators to the reality of thousands of deaths, and the violence that plagues all. Let us pay heed to the words of Saint Paul, 'the night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (RM 13:12).'”
Edited by: Leandro Melito