AMERICA/BRAZIL - Brazilian Bishops denounce culture of corruption which uses nation’s structures of power for its own benefit substituting power schemes for the debate of ideas

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Brasilia (Fides Service) - On the occasion of a national holiday September 7 the Catholic Bishops of Brazil issued a statement expressing concern for widespread suffering caused by serious on-going corruption at all levels of public life provoking a crisis, leading people to lose confidence in the country’s political leadership and provoking a choral demand for political reforms.
“The people of Brazil need to find new hope through knowledge of the truth, restitution of stolen public goods - in effective collaboration for authentic purification of our national institutions” the Bishops said in the statement adding that the nation expects every Brazilian to make courageous decisions to give a new face to the country’s democracy: “In a changing world more than ever, communities and individuals are called to share responsibility for building a nation with its own identity valorising the treasure of our own cultural origins”.
The present crisis represents an old political ailment: “A culture of corruption fed on historical corporatism is using the nation’s structures of power for its own benefit, substituting power schemes for the debate of ideas”. This is why the national crisis challenges every citizen to work for change, a new project of society attentive to the needs of the people, the poorest sectors in particular.
Moreover, recalling that participation in political life through social movements, unions, social pastoral and political parties is a conquest and part of Brazilian historical heritage, the Bishops urge people not to reounce this duty because of the evil activity of some thirsty for power and self-gain at any price. They encourage Christians to be active in the world of politics because political involvement a way of exercising charity.
At the end of the statement recalling that all through history the people of Brazil have shown they have the will and the ability to overcome situations of crisis, the Bishops say they hope the present political crisis will be an opportunity for the country’s democratic institutions to mature, for greater commitment to promote the truth which frees and to fight for a Brazil of more justice, solidarity and freedom where “justice and peace embrace”. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 6/9/2005, righe 30, parole 411)