MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, May 16th 2022 - 16:20 UTC

 

 

Brazil bishops support massive demonstrations, “as long as they are peaceful”

Saturday, June 22nd 2013 - 05:58 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Rio Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta said that protests would not affect World Youth Day, or the planned visit of Pope Francis. Rio Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta said that protests would not affect World Youth Day, or the planned visit of Pope Francis.

Leaders of the Brazilian bishops' conference announced their support for the massive demonstrations sweeping across the country but declined to say how they might affect World Youth Day activities and the visit of Pope Francis in July.

The support was expressed in a document distributed to journalists in Brasilia by Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, bishops' conference president.

The document said the conference “declares its solidarity and support to these demonstrations, as long as they are peaceful, and which have taken to the streets persons of all ages, especially the youth.”

Missing from the document was any mention of World Youth Day, set for Rio de Janeiro July 23-28. But Archbishop Assis told reporters it was the government's responsibility to guarantee the safety of the pilgrims. He conceded that the events of the recent few days may discourage foreign pilgrims from attending World Youth Day.

Earlier, Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro said in a separate statement that the protests would not affect World Youth Day, or the planned visit of Pope Francis. The demonstrations are, he said, “in some ways similar to the spirit of WYD -- the desire to work together for a new world, for a new life, a new society.”

The archbishop said the local committee planning World Youth Day events continues “to focus on the safety of pilgrims as well as the general population during the event.”

He added that the military police and municipal guard will closely monitor the situation.
“I think that there will not be any safety issues, whether for the pope or for those in attendance as we are studying everything down to the smallest details, to all of the minutiae,” he said.

The protests have expanded since the first were organized primarily by student groups in mid-June to protest a 10% increase in public transportation fares. Protesters have since expanded the list of grievances with the government to include high taxation rates, decreased government services and attention to massive public projects such as stadium construction while vital social needs go unmet.

Government officials estimated that nearly 1.2 million people participated in protests across the country June 20. The mayors of Brazilian cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, announced June 19 that they were revoking transportation tariff increases.

“These demonstrations show us that it is not possible to live in a country with such inequalities,” said the bishops' document.

The document also emphasized that the church strongly opposes the violence that has erupted and the destruction of private property as the protests have grown.

 

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • GeoffWard2

    “These demonstrations show us that it is not possible to live in a country with such inequalities,” said the bishop.

    '.. the church strongly opposes the violence .. and the destruction of private property ...'

    .......................
    Not possible - of course it is. Foolish statement.
    The church is also in favour of Apple Pie and 'power to the people'.
    The church .. just another group of political suits.

    Jun 22nd, 2013 - 12:05 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    Not quite how I would put it: delusional and naive would be my description.

    Jun 22nd, 2013 - 05:23 pm 0
  • Escoses Doido

    Conceited Bast**d.

    How dare you even comment on this you devious dishonest theist you.

    sucking up to the masses, bums on seats, bums on seats, that's what you and your church is all about, - Nothing else.

    I'd pay good money to be allowed to head-but that prick.

    Jun 23rd, 2013 - 09:32 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!