Letter of Support for Church in Brazil and Defense of Human Rights, December 10, 1981

Year Published
  • 2011
  • English

December 10, 1981

Cardinal Frei Paulo Evaristo Arns, OFM
Archbishop of Sao Paulo
Rua Nococa, 71
Caixa Postal 916
01000 Sao Paulo, S.P.

As we observe the thirty-third anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we wish to communicate once again our deep appreciation and admiration for the evangelical witness repeatedly offered by the Church in Brazil in defense of the fundamental rights of people.

Specifically, we write to you as Pastor of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo to support the rights of the workers in your Archdiocese to organize freely and to press their just grievances. We were disheartened to learn of the conviction last month of the eleven union leaders, including Luis Ignacio da Silva who was received some months ago at our episcopal conference headquarters in Washington. We can only hope that this judgment will be overturned on appeal.

We want also to express our full support for the courageous efforts of the CNBB and of individual dioceses in defending the priests and religious now under detention or indictment for supposed violations of national security laws. The witness of these priests and religious and of their pastors continues to inspire fellow Christians and all who seek to defend human rights throughout the world.

Fraternally in the Lord,

Most Rev. John R. Roach