AMERICA/BRAZIL – Towards the elections of October 2: the bishops meet the candidates

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AMERICA/BRAZIL – Towards the October 2 elections: The bishops meet the candidates


Brasilia (Agenzia Fides). – Brazil will hold general elections on Sunday, October 2. The purpose of these elections is to elect the President and Vice President of the Republic, renew the Chamber and Senate, and elect 27 state governors. A second round will be held on October 30, if none of the presidential candidates receives 50% of the votes. The polling stations will open between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The election of the President of the Republic is the main focus of the bitter, polarized, and violent electoral campaign. Among the 12 candidates, incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro, of the far right, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known to all as “Lula”, 76, for decades a leader of the left, who had already was president from 2003 to 2011 and who was arrested in 2018, in the middle of the electoral campaign which led to the victory of Bolsonaro, are the main contenders. The Supreme Court of Brazil declared that the convictions against him were null and unenforceable in 2021. According to the Datafolhaex agency’s latest poll, Lula has 45% of Brazilians’ voting intentions, compared to 34% for President Bolsonaro.
The elections are being held in a divided nation that is in serious economic and social crises, exacerbated by the pandemic. The message at the conclusion of their 59th General Assembly referred to the social framework as “very grave” and called for urgent changes. The Brazilian Bishops were invited to “participate in the elections and vote with conscience, responsibility”, choosing the projects of candidates who are committed to the integral defense and protection of life in all its stages without forgetting human rights and our common home. “All Christians are urged to think about building a better planet through dialogue, the culture of encounter, and in the struggle for justice, peace, and security” (see Fides, 30/4/2022).
Today, the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, (CNBB), has begun its agenda of meetings for the candidates for the elections. This Protocol, which, among its objectives, aims primarily to ensure the non-partisan status of the Church, treat men and women alike, and respect the autonomy of the faithful in their expression of their votes, was established by the CNBB. The CNBB will present each candidate’s contributions to the construction of a fairer, more united, and more fraternal nation. It will also address the following themes, as defined in the Protocol: Holy See-Brazil Agreement; Defense of the Common Home; Defense of Democracy; Defense of the Secular State; Integral Defense of Life; Economy of Francis; Education and Poverty and Social Justice.
The Archbishop Belo Horizonte and Msgr. Walmor Oliveira De Azevedo and Geraldo Alckmin, Vice Presidential candidate, were seated at the Metropolitan Cura of Belo Horizonte, on September 13.
After listening to regional proposals and analysing them in the Permanent Council, the CNBB prepared the “Protocol for meeting of candidates for electoral offices in 2022”. Its 11 points state, among others, that “all meeting request will be accepted”, that “candidates to the Presidency in the Republic will receive by the President of CNBB” and “the Secretary General will receive candidates for the Presidency in the Republic”, both accompanied by their
Requests for meetings with respective communication and political consultants must be sent to the CNBB via the official channels. Meetings will be held in presence and in compliance with all health regulations. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/9/2022)



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