AMERICA/BRAZIL - Fraternity Campaign: born in the Catholic Church, but wants to address the whole of Brazilian society

Tuesday, 14 March 2023 hunger   lent   local churches  


Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - Yesterday, March 13, a solemn session of the plenary session of the House of Representatives was held in Brasilia, dedicated to the Campaign for Fraternity 2023, whose theme is "Fraternity and Hunger" and the motto "Give them something to eat yourselves" (Mt 14:16). "We want to pay homage to the initiative of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, which leads to reflection and community commitment for actions of solidarity that can combat this scourge that afflicts a considerable part of the Brazilian population", motivated the request for the session, presented by Ms. Juliana Cardoso and Mr. José Guimarães.
According to information gathered by Fides, the session began with the singing of the national anthem and the presentation of the video of Pope Francis for the Fraternity Campaign 2023, followed by the message of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, who accepted the request: "In this house where the representation of the Brazilian people manifests itself in a direct and legitimate way, we cannot avoid reflections and debates in the face of extreme situations"... "We do not have the right to remain inactive until the citizens of this country are confident that they will be able to cook their next meal. We must act, and act fast, because hunger is pressing", he said.
Mr. Cardoso recalled in his speech that Lent in Brazil is marked by the Fraternity Campaigns, which have been taking place since 1962, with themes that dialogue with society. He then cited previous campaigns, which have focused on the environment, the culture of violence, indigenous populations, among others, and this is the third time that the Church has drawn attention to the drama of hunger.
The Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference (CNBB), Monsignor Joel Portella Amado, Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, thanked, in his wishes to the country's legislature, the initiative aimed at stimulating reflection and, above all, action , on hunger in the country. "I do not think it is exaggerating to say that these thanks come from all the people who are experiencing the sad and shameful situation of acute food insecurity in this country", said the Bishop. After tracing the history of the birth of the Fraternity Campaign and its objectives, he pointed out that this initiative only exists in Brazil, although other countries are experiencing similar experiences as Easter approaches.
This peculiarity, according to the bishop, implies a great responsibility in the choice of the theme and its dissemination throughout society, since "it was born in the Catholic Church, but it is not something self-referential, it wants to address the whole of Brazilian society". In 2023, the theme of hunger was chosen, Archbishop Portella recalled, also citing surveys carried out in the country that describe the reality and the cry for food. "The hunger of one person must torment us; how can we not think of the hunger of millions of our brothers?", he highlighted. "We must act to overcome it so that our country does not see its democracy threatened by the existence of sons and daughters who absurdly experience food insecurity.... If we believe in democracy, we must unite to protect it whenever it is threatened; and hunger is a threat to democracy". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2023)