Saturday, April 17, 2021

Bishops of Brazil Statement "We cannot be silent when life is threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and violence is established..." FULL TEXT



Release CNBB: The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) released this Friday, April 16, the message of the Brazilian episcopate that gathered, online, at the 58th General Assembly of the CNBB, addressed the people at this grave moment.
In the text, the bishops affirm that given the current situation that Brazil is going through, especially in times of pandemic, they cannot remain silent when life is “threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and the violence is established”. The bishops assure that they are pastors and that they have a mission to care. “Our hearts suffer with the restricted participation of the People of God in the temples. However, the sacredness of human life requires us to be sensible and responsible ”, they say.
In the message, the bishops reiterate that at the present time they need to continue to observe the sanitary measures that concern the face-to-face celebrations. They gratefully acknowledge that families have been a privileged space for experiencing faith and solidarity. “They have found in the initiatives of our communities, through subsidies and online celebrations, the possibility of experiencing the domestic Church intensely. United in prayer and care for life, we will overcome this moment ”.
The bishops affirm that the three powers of the Republic have, each in its own specificity, the mission of leading Brazil in the dictates of the Federal Constitution, which advocates health as a "right of all and duty of the State" and that the moment demands competence lucidity. "Discourses and attitudes that deny the reality of the pandemic, disregard health measures and threaten the Democratic Rule of Law are unacceptable," they say.
They also make a strong call for the unity of the Churches, entities, social movements and all people of good will, around the Pact for Life and for Brazil: “Let us assume, with renewed commitment, concrete initiatives for the promotion of solidarity and solidarity. sharing. The journey towards a new era is challenging, however, we have the privileged opportunity to rebuild Brazilian society on the foundations of justice and peace, following the path of fraternity and dialogue. As Pope Francis encouraged us: “the Easter announcement is an announcement that renews hope in our hearts: we cannot give up!”.
FULL TEXT MESSAGE FROM THE 58TH CNBB GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO THE BRAZILIAN PEOPLE
We expect new heavens and a new earth, where justice will dwell. (2Pd 3.13)
 
Moved by the hope that flows from the Gospel, we Bishops of Brazil, gathered online, at the 58th General Assembly of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil-CNBB, from April 12 to 16, 2021, at this grave moment, we addressed our message to the Brazilian people.
We express our prayer and our solidarity with the sick, with families that have lost their loved ones and with all those who suffer most from the consequences of Covid-19. In the certainty of the Resurrection, we bring in our prayers, particularly, the deceased. At the same time, we express our deep gratitude to health professionals and to all the people who have donated their lives on behalf of the sick, provided essential services and contributed to facing the pandemic.
Brazil is experiencing a deepening of a serious health, economic, ethical, social and political crisis, intensified by the pandemic, which challenges us, exposing the structural inequality rooted in Brazilian society. Although everyone suffers from the pandemic, its consequences are more devastating in the lives of the poor and vulnerable.
This reality of suffering must find an echo in the hearts of Christ's disciples [1]. Everything that promotes or threatens life concerns our mission as Christians. Whenever we take positions on social, economic and political issues, we do so as required by the Gospel. We cannot be silent when life is threatened, rights are disrespected, justice is corrupted and violence is established [2].
We commend the testimony of our communities in their tireless and anonymous search to alleviate the consequences of the pandemic. Many brothers and sisters, bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay Christians and lay people, moved by the authentic Christian spirit, expose their lives in aid to the most vulnerable. With Pope Francis, we affirm that “prayer to God and solidarity with the poor and the sick are inseparable” [3]. Community initiatives for sharing and solidarity should always be encouraged more. It's Time to Care!
We are pastors and our mission is to care. Our hearts suffer with the restricted participation of the People of God in the temples. However, the sacredness of human life requires us to be sensible and responsible. Therefore, at that moment, we need to continue to observe the sanitary measures that concern the face-to-face celebrations. We gratefully acknowledge that our families have been a privileged space for experiencing faith and solidarity. They have found in the initiatives of our communities, through subsidies and online celebrations, the possibility of experiencing intensely the domestic Church. United in prayer and care for life, we will overcome this moment.
In civil society, the three powers of the Republic have, each in their own specificity, the mission of leading Brazil in the dictates of the Federal Constitution, which advocates health as "the right of all and the duty of the State" [4]. This requires competence and lucidity. Discourses and attitudes that deny the reality of the pandemic, disregard sanitary measures and threaten the Democratic Rule of Law are unacceptable. It is necessary to pay attention to science, encourage the use of a mask, social distance and guarantee vaccination for all, as soon as possible. Emergency assistance, worthy and for as long as necessary, is essential to save lives and boost the economy [5], with special attention to the poor and unemployed.
It is necessary to ensure greater investments in public health and due assistance to the sick, preserving and strengthening the Unified Health System - SUS. Systematic attempts to dismantle the social protection structure in the country are inadmissible. We strongly reject any initiative that attempts to release government officials from the application of the constitutional minimum budget in health and education.
Education, weakened for years by the absence of an efficient national educational project, suffers even more in the context of the pandemic, with serious consequences for the future of the country. In addition to effective state public policies, engagement in the Global Educational Pact, proposed by Pope Francis [6], is essential.
We are also concerned about the serious problem of the multiple forms of violence spread in society, favored by easy access to weapons. Disinformation and hate speech, especially on social media, generate boundless aggression. We note, with regret, the use of religion as an instrument of political dispute, justifying violence and creating confusion among the faithful and in society.
The care for the common home deserves constant attention, submitted to the voracious logic of “exploitation and degradation” [7]. It is urgent to understand that a preserved biome fulfills its productive function of maintaining and generating life on the planet, respecting the right balance between production and preservation. Desertification of the land arises from the desertification of the human heart. We believe that "human freedom is capable of limiting technique, guiding it and placing it at the service of another type of progress, healthier, more human, more social, more integral" [8].
It is increasingly necessary to overcome social inequality in the country. For that, we must promote the best policy [9], which does not submit to economic interests, and is guided by fraternity and social friendship, which implies not only the approximation between distant social groups, but also the search for a renewed encounter with the poorest and most vulnerable sectors [10].
We make a strong call for the unity of civil society, Churches, entities, social movements and all people of good will, around the Pact for Life and for Brazil. Let us assume, with renewed commitment, concrete initiatives to promote solidarity and sharing. The journey towards a new era is challenging, however, we have the privileged opportunity to rebuild Brazilian society on the foundations of justice and peace, following the path of fraternity and dialogue. As Pope Francis encouraged us: “the Easter announcement is an announcement that renews hope in our hearts: we cannot give up!” [11]
With faith in the Risen Christ, the source of our hope, we invoke God's blessing on the Brazilian people, through the intercession of São José and Nossa Senhora Aparecida, patron saint of Brazil.

Brasília, 16 de abril de 2021.

Dom Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo
Arcebispo de Belo Horizonte – MG
Presidente da CNBB

Dom Jaime Spengler, OFM
Arcebispo de Porto Alegre – RS
1º Vice-Presidente  

Dom Mário Antônio da Silva
Bispo de Roraima – RR
2º Vice-Presidente

Dom Joel Portella Amado
Bispo Auxiliar do Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Secretário-Geral da CNBB

 

[1] cf. Gaudium et Spes, 1.
[2] cf. CNBB, Mensagem ao Povo de Deus, 2018.
[3] Papa Francisco, Mensagem para o IV Dia Mundial dos Pobres, 2020.
[4] Constituição Federal, art. 196.
[5] cf. CNBB, OAB, C.Arn´s, ABI, ABC e SBPC, O povo não pode pagar com a própria vida,10 de março de 2021.
[6] cf. Papa Francisco, Mensagem para o lançamento do Pacto Educativo Global, 12 de setembro 2019.
[7] Papa Francisco, Laudato Si´, 145.
[8] Papa Francisco, Laudato Si´, 112.
[9] Papa Francisco, Fratelli Tutti, Cap. V.
[10] cf. Papa Francisco, Fratelli Tutti, 233.
[11] Papa Francisco, Mensagem 58ª. AG CNBB.

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