Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "In the fight against Covid-19, it is important that everyone works together, in solidarity and without exclusions. The virus does not respect borders, social classes and any other forms of categorization that are often the basis of deplorable discrimination. The watchword is therefore cohesion. Greater co-responsibility is needed in addressing this health and social challenge. A pandemic is not fought alone. Every person must take care of himself and, above all, of the other, who is his brother and sister, with deep respect for social distancing and attention to the health protocols indicated by the health authorities". This is what the Presidency of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) claims in its first message of 2021, which bears the date of January 6.
"The new thing that we are looking for in this year 2021 - it says in the text - requires the cohesion of all citizens of good will in order to face Covid-19 together. The numbers show that the pandemic in Brazil is getting worse and worse. The dead are already about 200,000. Lives lost cannot simply be perceived as statistical tables. They cause pain and grief in the hearts of families".
The Bishops therefore exhort "not to surrender to the indifference of some, to the denial of others or to the temptation to close ourselves off" and not to allow fatigue and misinformation to lead to irresponsible attitudes. Therefore they affirm that "the vaccine is for everyone" and vaccination must be understood "as a social fact, not an individual act, in order for us to achieve the stated goals of the epidemiologists".
To face the pandemic, the criteria of justice, solidarity and inclusion must be followed. "Every institution and segment of society has serious responsibilities in this process" continue the Bishops, assuring the commitment of the Catholic Church "to collaborate as an educational and supportive force towards a new lifestyle".
Finally, they warn that "Brazilian society requires a rapid union and action by leaders, in the various spheres of power, accompanied by science and advice from epidemiologists, so that vaccination begins urgently, because the pandemic is losing lives every day, also aggravated by its economic and social impacts". Particular attention must be paid to the most vulnerable and poor people.
Quoting Pope Francis in the encyclical "Fratelli Tutti", the Bishops underline in the concluding part that humanity exhausted by the pandemic "will find a cure only if it walks together, adopting solidarity as the guiding principle of relationships, so that all have the opportunity to get vaccinated". Finally, they invoke God to "help us learn the lesson of this pandemic, so that we can overcome it and make progress in building a healthier world, based on universal brotherhood and solidarity". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2021)