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The following is a letter penned by contributor Raymond de Souza. It has been edited for brevity. The author expresses alarm about pushes to canonize Brazilian archbishop Hélder Câmara, who died in 1999. Church Militant has covered this controversy previously.
Dear Friar Jociel Gomes,
Greetings from the United States,
The Apostolic Nunciature of Washington, D.C. sent me your website, where I could learn how the life of Dom Hélder Câmara is being presented, in order to promote [his] eventual beatification, of which you are the postulator.
The text, perhaps personally prepared by yourself, says "Currently, the cause is in the diocesan phase, in which the ecclesiastical court is listening to witnesses, and the historical and theological commissions are preparing their opinions and reports."
Having known ... the role of Dom Hélder since my youth, I can also testify to contribute to the process. And as a Brazilian, although resident abroad for many years, I know well of Dom Hélder's activities through the years until his death in 1999.
Therefore, I would like to add some aspects of his life that are not present in the description in order to complete the report to be presented to the Holy See.
Dom Hélder is said to have "stood out for the defense of the poorest, of human rights and in the proposition of new paths for the Church."
An important element was missing: His youth was passed in the Nazi fascism that plagued Brazil in the time of Plinio Salgado. Father Hélder himself was secretary of the Tupiniquim Führer [Tupiniquim is an indigenous ethnic group in Brazil] and made a point of wearing the green shirt of nazi-fascism under his cassock on the day he was ordained a priest.
As for the "defense of human rights," he remained silent like a mummy, without saying a word about the oppression suffered by the peoples of the countries under the yoke of communism, as well as the victims of terrorism in Brazil and Latin America in general.
Moreover, among the "new paths to the Church" he proposed, he became famous for his complete opposition to the encyclical Humane Vitae and his support for divorce, not to mention the strange idea that science could one day create life artificially.
His "dynamism and diplomatic skill" is praised, certainly referring to his support for the inclusion of communist China in the United Nations and Cuba in the concert of American nations. [These are] oppressive, tyrannical regimes, which Cdl. Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) called "the shame of our times."
His performance at Vatican II was notable for his support for the priestly ordination of women.
The formation of the basic communities should have been an excellent community action, but Dom Hélder diverted them to Liberation Theology, which served to deceive the poorest classes in Brazil, making them puppets of Marxist political propaganda. Cardinal Ratzinger himself called Liberation Theology "the betrayal of the cause of the poor." ...
"Defender of Human Rights during the Brazilian military regime" — no doubt, but he did so in a one-eyed way: He only opened the right eye to what the Right wing did wrong and never opened the left eye to what was done by the Left wing, especially by terrorists in Brazil and the governments in the enslaved countries, notably on the human rights of Cubans, Chinese and other people under the Iron Curtain.
"Dom Hélder received the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1972. Also known as 'Dom da Paz' and 'brother of the poor ...'" — although he declared in Chile, shortly before the takeover of Salvador Allende, a Marxist, that he "respected the memory of Camilo Torres and Che Guevara, and in general of all those who feel obliged to choose violence."
Finally, it is said that he "possessed remarkable oratory skills and gathered crowds at Masses and conferences, attracting the attention of Catholic youth." His demagogic way of speaking undoubtedly attracted many among those who did not know the whole truth about him, but only what the demagogic propaganda promoted, as I could personally witness at a conference in Montreal. ...
I hope that the information given here will be sufficient to archive once and for all the process of beatification of the "Red Archbishop of Brazil" and that the false and highly undeserved title of "Servant of God" will be removed from his name.
May Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, help you, Friar Jociel Gomes, to promote the whole truth about Don Hélder Câmara, preventing demagoguery and options favorable to communism from ever soiling the name of the Holy Church, creating the scandal of beatifying him without any merit.
Sir Raymond de Souza, KHS, KofC