AMERICA/BRAZIL - Bishops: the right to freedom of expression does not cancel respect for people and their values

Friday, 13 December 2019 religious freedom   human rights   episcopal conferences  

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "The National Bishops Conference of Brazil (CNBB) rejects the recent events that, in the name of freedom of expression and artistic creativity, deeply attack the Christian faith. To ridicule the conviction of a group, whatever it may be, besides constituting a crime under criminal law, means lacking respect for all people, damaging the search for a truly democratic society that values all its citizens". Thus begins the note published on the feast day of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, 12 December, signed by the President, the two Vice-Presidents and the Secretary of the CNBB "on the lack of respect for the Christian faith".
The Church has never failed to promote art and freedom of expression, underlines the text sent to Agenzia Fides, asking for respect for the "sentiments of a people or groups that live values, often endowed with an inviolable sacredness". "When there is lack of respect in media productions, media becomes violent, real weapons that contribute to ridicule and kill the deepest values of a people".
The Bishops recognize that "we live in a pluralistic society, not everyone has the same convictions. However, as an ethical and democratic requirement, we must respect all people. Nothing allows anyone the right to vilify beliefs, affecting people's lives. The right to freedom of expression does not cancel respect for people and their values". In the conclusion of the note, the Bishops recall that "in this time of Advent, we are called to remain firm in the faith, constant in hope and assiduous in charity" and invite all Brazilian citizens "to unite for a country with more justice, peace, respect and brotherhood". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/12/2019)