Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - The Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB) and the National Council of Christian Churches (Conic) are opening the fifth edition of the "Ecumenical Fraternity Campaign" (CFE) on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. For health reasons, the opening will be broadcast virtually with the distribution of a video with messages from the representatives of the churches on the CNBB social networks. Following the broadcast of the opening video, journalists will be able to attend a press conference with representatives of the Church via the Zoom platform. The Ecumenical Fraternity Campaign is held on average every five years. The initiative brings together various Christian confessions, enhancing the wealth shared between the Churches. According to the note from the CNBB sent to Fides, the theme of this year's Campaign is "Fraternity and Dialogue: commitment of love" and the motto "Christ is our peace: he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh", taken from from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (2:14). Promoted by the CNBB every year during the Lent season, the 2021 Fraternity Campaign is celebrated in an ecumenical way, in collaboration between the different Christian Churches, to invite Christians and people of good will to think about suitable ways of overcoming polarizations and violence, with a focus on respectful dialogue and the witness of unity in diversity, inspired by the love of Christ.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janeiro and the General Secretary of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference, Bishop Joel Portella Amado, underline that the decision to open the campaign in a virtual way was made by mutual agreement between the organizers, "to avoid crowding at a time when the pandemic reaches numbers that scare us". For the Bishop "it is necessary to testify to the importance of health measures through the use of all available technical resources".
As part of the campaign, a collection will take place across Brazil on Palm Sunday to support social projects with the proceeds. In 2019, the National Solidarity Fund supported more than 230 projects. In 2020, no collection was carried out due to the pandemic. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/2/2021)