Brazilian bishops threatened with death after urging pro-life election vote
October 26, 2010
Three Brazilian bishops-- Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos, Bishop Benedito Beni Dos Santos of Lorena, and Bishop Nelson Westrupp of Santo André-- have received anonymous death threats after urging Catholics not to vote for Dilma Rousseff, the frontrunner in the October 31 presidential election. In 2007, Rousseff called for the legalization of abortion in the world’s largest Catholic nation.
Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, president of the CNBB, decried the death threats and emphasized that “the bishops have a unanimous position of defense and respect for life.”
The three are bishops of the conference’s South Region 1, whose prelates have urged Catholics not to vote for Rousseff, prompting a remarkable reaction from the justice and peace commission of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB). “The CNBB does not suggest any candidate, and recalls that the choice is a free and conscious act of each citizen,” the commission stated two weeks ago. “Faced with this great responsibility, we urge Catholics to consider ethical criteria, especially unconditional respect for life, family, religious freedom, and human dignity.”
- In the face of death threats received by some bishops, Episcopal Conference reaffirms that Church will always defend life, "in all its stages and dimensions" (Fides)
- Public rift among Brazil’s bishops over presidential election (CWN, 10/15)