Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - Today, September 7, Brazil celebrates Independence Day from Portugal, sanctioned on September 7, 1822, and for the occasion the Brazilian Bishops issued a brief message, titled with the Bible verse "Hope does not disappoint" (Rom 5,5).
"The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil - CNBB, on the occasion of the celebrations of September 7, Independence Day, reiterated that Brazil is a free, sovereign and religious country. It is one of the ten largest economies in the world, has a vast and varied territory, with more than 200 million Brazilians. It testifies to a history built in diversity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence". This is how the text sent to Agenzia Fides begins.
The Bishops are aware of "living a sad moment in our history" as "the absence of ethical and moral values causes a deep political, economic and social crisis". The historic social inequality runs the risk of being further aggravated by the dismantling of public policies.
"We take note of the difficulties of the moment - continue the Bishops - but we believe in the ability of the Brazilian people to overcome adversity, always through peaceful demonstrations. Each institution is called upon to carry out their duties in a democratic rule of law, in favor of the Brazilian people, never for private or corporate interests. The Constitution of 1988, the result of a process of popular participation, preservation of Brazilian democracy, must be defended arduously".
In the final part of their message the Bishops recall that the municipal elections will be held on October 2, a chance for the "Brazilian people to speak through the ballot box", and are invited to an "active and conscious participation". Finally they reaffirm that "Independence Day is an occasion to reaffirm the commitment of the Brazilian people for democracy through dialogue and the tireless pursuit of peace, to jointly build a fraternal Brazil and in justice". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/09/2016)