State Court in Brazil Rules Against Atheists and Permits Installation of Marian Statue of the Virgin of Aparecida
Brazil authorizes installation of giant statue of Virgin of Aparecida after a court battle. The State Court of Justice of Sao Paulo approved the installation of a giant statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, in the city of Aparecida. The legal battle had been going on for more than 2 years by an atheist association that tried to prevent its construction.
The stainless steel monument is about 50 meters high. On the 29th of March, 2022 Brazil authorizes installation of statue. Photo screen shot from image by: Folha Regional Pacaembu.
The atheist association had tried to prevent its construction. The pieces of the work, which remained in the construction stage, are located near Via Dutra, the main highway between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The judges determined last March 9 that the work is justified because the main economic focus of Aparecida is religious tourism, which attracts thousands of people and promotes local commerce. On October 21, 2019, Judge Luciene Ferreira Allemand accepted the lawsuit of the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics to prohibit the installation of the work, after considering that the alleged use of public funds and the alleged donation of municipal land was made for promote the Catholic faith. Subsequently, the municipality appealed the decision and, after litigation that lasted more than two years, the magistrates of the Ninth Chamber of Private Law of the Court of Justice of Sao Paulo (TJSP) reversed the ruling and confirmed that at that time no violated the principle of secularism of the State by the mayor."Aparecida is the Marian capital of Brazil, and this judicial decision came to recognize the religiosity of the Brazilian people ," said the mayor, after the ruling. The court order also ruled that 5 other sculptures of the patron saint of Brazil that were placed in different parts of the city in 2017 should not be removed either.on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the discovery of the original image of the Virgin Aparecida in the Paraíba do Sul river. The Marian images that were to be removed are located in the roundabouts of Aparecida do Norte, in São Paulo, a city of great importance for the Catholics, since the Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida is located there, the second largest in the world after the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. «The national order was respected, to the detriment of the judicial activism so present in our days. The history of our country, so closely linked to the Catholic religion, was preserved," said Miguel da Costa Carvalho Vidigal, lawyer and director of the Union of Catholic Jurists of Sao Paulo in Brazil (Ujucasp), congratulating the decision of the Ninth Chamber of Private Law that authorizes the installation of the great Marian statue.