Basic Ecclesial Communities: indoctrination platforms for the Brazilian Left
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A documentary series is highlighting how lay Catholic groups in Brazil are being used to push communism in the country — and the Vatican has been put on notice.
The Brazilian Bishops' Conference is currently celebrating the "Year of the Laity," aiming "to stimulate the participation of the laity as salt, light and yeast in the Church and in society." But it's not turning out so well for Brazilian Catholic journalist Bernardo Pires Küster, who embraced his layman duty and thoroughly reported on the discussions that took place during the 14th Interecclesial Meeting of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in his hometown of Londrina.
Küster first decided to give his account of the event after spotting a poster from the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) stating: "Elections without Lula are fraudulent" (in reference to socialist icon Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, two-term president of Brazil and sentenced to 12 years for moneylaundering and corruption in the same week as the Interecclesial Meeting).
Basic Ecclesial Communities emerged in the 1960s as a legitimate reunion of small Catholic groups, with the intention to offer the laity the opportunity to participate in the life and mission of the Church. But soon after their foundation, BECs in Latin America were hijacked by Liberation Theology and consequently played a fundamental role in the creation of the Brazilian Workers' Party. The material gathered by Küster and presented in fourdocumentary-style videos shows that the BECs are again serving as an indoctrination platform for the reorganization of the Brazilian Left.
Küster asked the archbishop of Londrina, Geremias Steinmetz, to clarify the situation, as His Excellency was hosting the event. Steinmetz has been archbishop of Londrina for only eight months, but he has already allowed an LGBT week at a Catholic university. According to some of Küster's sources, Steinmetz denies Holy Communion for those who kneel — a violation of Catholics' rights under Church law.
Meanwhile, the BEC meeting, in full "ecumenical" spirit, celebrated open-air Masses with African-inspired drums and dancing, and the cheerful intoning of a song that pays tribute to pagan deities in Candomblé, an African-Brazilian pagan tradition whose rituals involve the invoking of spirits. LGBT flags were waved during the liturgy, but most upsetting by far was the profanation of the Holy Eucharist: the body of Our Lord handled poorly and irreverently, with consecrated particles falling all over the gymnasium (see video below).
The plenary sessions of the assemblies voted on matters like "the control of the Judiciary system," and submitted a motion to reject the Regional Federal Court, which condemned Lula, claiming the Court's move was "judicial fraud."
Many members of the organizing committee of the 14th Interecclesial Meeting are connected to Brazilian Workers' Party: Their communications assistant was a member of the Party, and one of their advisors was Marcia Lopes, another Party member and sister of Lula's right-hand man Gilberto Carvalho.
But the most authoritative figure in the meeting was the Dominican friar known as Frei Betto. He is one of the most prominent militants in the world of Liberation Theology, and has been involved in the organization of every Interecclesial Meeting since the 1970s. Frei Betto isn't just Lula’s friend; he was also close to Fidel Castro, even being honored with a literary award in Cuba in 2009 from the hands of Raul Castro and Hugo Chavéz themselves.
Explaining his book-length interview with Fidel Castro, Fidel and Religion, Frei Betto affirmed that "Fidel might not be a Christian in faith, but he is a Christian in his practices." The preface of Betto's 2016 biography was written by his communist dictator friend.
In another book, Sinal de contradição("Sign of contradiction"), the friar affirms that "the future Latin-American man and woman will be the offspring of the marriage between Che Guevara and St. Teresa of Ávila."
And in a book on spirituality cowritten with former Franciscan friar Leonardo Boff, Frei Betto proclaimed that "the Eucharist is the most socialist of sacraments." He's still a columnist on national newspaper O Globo, where in 2014 he published an article titled "Is God Gay?" propounding on the importance of "re-reading the Gospels through the gay optics."
In a biography of Lula, Frei Betto confirmed the Brazilian Workers' Party's connection with the BECs: "The [the Brazilian Workers' Party] proposal ... met all the expectations of the BECs."