AMERICA/BRAZIL - Bishops condemn misuse of faith for winning votes and call for responsible voting

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) – The Justice and Peace Commission of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB), has issued a statement condemning the use of the Christian faith in the electoral process, expressing concern for the actions of many groups that, in the name of the Christian faith, “have created difficulties for a free and informed vote.” The runoff election between candidate Jose Serra of the Social-Democratic Party (PSDB) and Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers' Party (PT), will take place October 31.
The report of the Justice and Peace Commission also criticized the South Region 1 of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB), who advised the faithful not to vote for the candidate Dilma Rousseff. The national leadership of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference condemned the text published by the region and stressed that it does not represent the mind of the entire Bishops' Conference. Indeed, the President of the CNBB published a text showing the importance of this moment for responsible action. The memo sent to Fides says that "the CNBB is a body at the service of communion and dialogue among the bishops, and of the Church's pastoral program planning in Brazil, and will work to build a just, fraternal, and unified society." For this reason, "the CNBB does not suggest any candidate, and recalls that the choice is a free and conscious act of each citizen." The note continues: "Faced with this great responsibility, we urge Catholics to consider ethical criteria, especially unconditional respect for life, family, religious freedom, and human dignity." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2010)