In a statement released on January 20th, the Bishop’s Chamber of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB, in Spanish) criticises the president’s way of dealing with certain public issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.
“The president of Brazil has deliberately avoided making decisions, many of which are expressely recommended by cientists, to ensure that the Brazilian people have access to the most basic form of the right to health,” reads a passage of the document.
In another statement, bishops of the Anglican Church insist on that, in the opinion of the Bishop’s Chamber, there exist “enough grounds for the accountability of the president and the proper process for impeachment.” Among these grounds, the most important are “the deliberate failure to fulfill official duties, the conscious manifestation of disregarding life, the standing-for torturers and the subtle threat of a coup d’état during the 2022 elections.”
Read the whole statement:
“… we cannot remain silent in light of such malice.”
The Lord undertakes actions of Justice and righteousness towards the opressed.
Psalm 103.6 (Book of prayers, IEAB)
The current Brazilian context leads to a crucial point in terms of ethics. In addition to the challenges and the unhappy policies applied by the government for facing COVID-19, there is, above all, a problem to be dealt with using the force of the model and presence of Jesus. These are actions that are beyond the partisan politics area and daring in terms of our faith to the Gospel.
Compassion for the suffering of the por, the vulnerable and the ill is a feature that tells we are people committed to the Word of Jesus. We shall remember the parabole of the final judgement in which Jesus says: ‘truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Mathew 25:45)
The president of Brazil has deliberately avoided making decisions, many of which are expressely recommended by cientists, to ensure that the Brazilian people have access to the most basic form of the right to health. He and his administration have recommended “early” treatments without scientific support, which later they tried to deny, in addition to discouraging the use of face masks and other real prevention measures. The recent breakdown of the health system in Manaos and the information that the government was warned beforehand about the risk of not getting enough oxygen, without any prevention measure of any kind, is a proof of the absolute disregard about the people he swore to see for.
We, the bishops of the IEAB, express our complete support to all people working in the field of science, taking care of the common good of all creation. We believe that vaccines save lives. Vaccination is safe and is performed by qualified professionals. We highlight that it is essential that we all be vaccinated, because in that case-scenario we will protect ourselves and everyone. During such a delicate time in human history, vaccinating is a show of love towards ourselves and others. (Mathew 22:37-39.)
The deliberate failure to fulfill official duties, the conscious manifestation of disregarding life, the standing-for torturers and the subtle threat of a coup d’état during the 2022 elections are grounds enough for the accountability of the president and the proper process for impeachment. Mercy, as an essential element of Christian life, cannot merge with complicity in the cases in which it is necessary to assume a prophetic attitude. Jesus taught us that people who followed him had to behave different to the ones who rule in tiranny, because the brand of Christian power is the brand of the service (Mathew 20:25-27)
The president’s statement in the morning of January 18th, 2021, saying that democracy and dictatorship are defined by the Armed Forces is a clear sign that the president is ignorant to the constitutional limits, denying the popular sovereignty accomplished by means of a long fight against dictatorships filled with sacrifices. The statement also represents a threat in relation to the defeat of denial and the loss of political arena within the very conservative circle that constitutes the president’s political support base.
We feel the fatigue that leads us into exhaustation, but the Holy Spirit moves us in our duty to stand against such things. For these reasons, which we have stated over and over again in our pastoral letters, and also when we express our support to diverse entities, movements and good-willed people in the advancement of the claim for impeachment of the president, we cannot remain silent in face of such malice. We also dissasociate from any religious segment that, evoking the Gospel, legitimises, supports and encourages these cruel, inhuman and unacceptable practices.