Jair Bolsonaro: 'Brazil above everything and God above everyone'
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As Brazilians prepare to return to the voting booths on Oct. 28, Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro decided to honor his campaign slogan, "Brazil above everything and God above everyone" by signing a declaration of commitment endorsing core Catholic values.
The declaration was signed on Oct. 11 and presented to the public on Oct. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil. The Protestant candidate (who once declared to be "a Catholic who's been attending a Baptist church"), came very close to an outright victory in the first round and has been quoted as the cause of "a seismic shift in Brazilian politics." The pledge was written by nonpartisan, independent lay organization Brazilian Catholic Vote.
Bolsonaro's notable declaration affirmed that, if elected, the candidate will promote:
the full right to Life, from conception to natural death, fighting any law or decision that favors abortion, euthanasia, human embryonic research and human cloning; true marriage, as the union of man and woman; the Family, as instituted by Church Teaching, and the right to educate their offspring; respect to the Catholic Faith and all of Her symbols, rites, manifestations and temples; and confessional religious education.
Bolsonaro also agreed to combat "gender ideology; the liberation of drugs and prostitution; poverty and any kind of slavery; judicial activism," etc.
A few days later, Bolsonaro, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, was visited by an auxiliary bishop of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte. According to Professor Hermes Rodrigues Nery (president of the National Pro-Life and Family Association and member of the board of directors of movement for life "Brazil Without Abortion"), Bp. Antonio Dias Augusto Duarte is "one of the best pro-life bishops in the country."
And finally, on Oct. 17, Bolsonaro attended an audience with the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cdl. Orani João Tempesta, where once again the candidate signed a document committing to Catholic principles, ratifying his opposition to abortion, his fight "for the innocence of children" and his defense of the traditional family and religious freedom.
[Bolsonaro] signed a document committing to Catholic principles, ratifying his opposition to abortion, his fight 'for the innocence of children' and his defense of the traditional family and religious freedom.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro's opponent, Fernando Haddad, from the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT), reached out to the secretary-general of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB), Bp. Leonardo Ulrich Steiner.
In a meeting in the headquarters of the CNBB in Brasília last week, Bp. Steiner and Haddad discussed "the issues that most concern the bishops of Brazil."
According to CNBB's official statement, these would be "the legalization of abortion, the protection of the environment, special attention to indigenous people and descendants of Brazilian Maroons, the defense of democracy and the rigorous combat of corruption."
Speaking to the press after the meeting, leftist Fernando Haddad gave ambiguous answers regarding the bishops' request of "commitment to life," saying just that "defense of life in all of its manifestations is the biggest principle of the Catholic Church."
But Haddad's government plan states that "based on the constitutional principle of secularity of the State, we will promote women's integral health for the full exercise of their sexual and reproductive rights" — a euphemism for "promotion of abortion."
The plan also says it'll implement the National Program for Human Rights (PNDH), which includes several measures for the legalization of abortion in Brazil. Haddad's proposals also include a "re-foundation ... of democracy in Brazil, against the advancement of conservatism" and the creation of a regulatory "pluralistic" body to supervise the media. CNBB claimed that Fernando Haddad "didn't come to ask for support" and that the CNBB is an institution "open to dialogue."
In another desperate move to try to win the Catholic vote, Fernando Haddad and his vice presidential candidate, professedly non-Christian Manuela D'Ávila (from PCdoB, the Brazilian Communist Party), have attended a Mass in the city of Campo Limpo. Not only have they received explicit support from Fr. Jaime Crowe during the celebration (which is illegal, as the Brazilian electoral code forbids political campaigns inside churches), but they have also participated in the Eucharist, a sacrilege which enraged many Brazilian Catholics (Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law forbids the administration of Holy Communion to those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin).
Catholic journalist and pundit Bernardo Pires Küster, currently the biggest denouncer of Liberation Theology in Brazil, had warned Catholics about the likelihood of sacrileges and left-wing propaganda coming from Liberation Theology priests at this point of the electoral race and urged Catholics to speak out against any irregularities.
Speaking to Church Militant, Küster declared:
Bolsonaro is following the voice of Brazilian people. The pro-family voice against abortion, against gender ideology, against Marxist indoctrination in schools. The voice that supports the end of violence, that supports the citizens' right to bear arms for protection, so in the end, Bolsonaro's following principles that the Church has always defended. These are godly principles, as Holy Mother Church thus affirms, and they are good for life, because they are based on Natural Law, on God's revelation to the Church. A possible presidency from Bolsonaro could only bring good to the life of Brazilian families. He's only following the cry of the people, being obedient to Church teaching, because the Church is mother and teacher of mankind, and we only have to gain.