The meeting of the Bishop’s Council for Pastoral Care of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil (CNBB) begins today, Tuesday, May 28. The meeting’s agenda includes the analysis of the economic situation, the deliberations on this year’s calendar of meetings and the discussion on the Fraternity Campaign, the Four-Year Plan and the Episcopal Pastoral Commissions. The Bishops will also approve the last decisions of the General Assembly. In addition to these topics, two other issues will be addressed urgently: violence and lack of access to public education in some sectors of the population.
These two themes are widely reflected in the news published every day by the media, reported Fides News Agency. The situation of violence directly affects Pastoral care in prisons. Even today on the front pages of the newspapers there is the news of the 55 deaths in the prison of Manaus, the result of clashes between groups in this center that hosts more than three times the population it should welcome: the Penitentiary Complex outside the city of Manaus, in northern Brazil. In the same center in 2017, another 56 people died, again due to clashes between internal groups.
The second major concern of the Pastoral care in Brazil, according to the note sent to Fides by the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), is the lack of access to the public education that the indigenous people suffer. CIMI reports that nearly 18,000 natives will have to stay home this year without being able to go to school.
The leaders of the Wapichana and Macuxi peoples were in Brasilia for a hearing with the Ministry of Education in which they presented their serious situation. The lack of public education services, apparently, is due to the lack of resources of the Ministry of Education itself.