Brazilian Bishops' Conference Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Pope Notes Its Role as Instrument of Communion

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

BRASILIA, Brazil, OCT. 16, 2002 ( The Brazilian episcopal conference, which was founded in Rio de Janeiro to be an instrument of unity among the country’s bishops, has celebrated its 50th anniversary.

In a letter written last February to Bishop Jayme Enrique Chemello of Pelotas, president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), John Paul II said the «CNBB is an organization destined to remain in the course of history as an instrument of affective and effective communion among all the bishops and of efficient collaboration with the diocesan ordinaries of each particular Church in the triple mission to teach, sanctify and govern the sheep of their flock.»

«It is true that, since Oct. 14, 1952, the Church in Brazil, faithful to its glorious past, has opened profound ways of continuity in evangelization, coupled with a better understanding of the exigencies of the growth of the Kingdom of God in this world,» the Pope added.

«Continuity with the past and openness to the challenges of the future must be the constants of ‘concern for all the Churches’ on which the Apostle Paul did not hesitate to base his ‘toil and hardship’ for the good of all our brothers in the faith,» the Holy Father said.

There will be three days of religious and cultural celebrations to highlight the anniversary. Bishop Chemello concelebrated a solemn Mass in Brasilia’s cathedral on Monday, together with a number of cardinals, bishops and priests.

On Tuesday, the bishops attended a cultural event at the Ulisses Guimaraes Auditorium of the University of Sao Paulo. Today, in the framework of conferring the Margarita de Plata award — an honor instituted by the conference in the 1960s for national film productions that promote human, ethical and spiritual values — the bishops were to see a film on Bishop Helder Camara, by director Erika Bauer.

Bishop Camara, as first secretary-general of the episcopal conference, was a great promoter of this institution at its birth.

As of 2000, almost 144 million of Brazil’s 168 million inhabitants were Catholics, according to the Church’s Statistical Yearbook.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation