Brazil: the bishops host a tv debate among presidential candidates

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The Conference of Bishops has announced that it will host a debate among the aspiring presidents. Cardinal Damasceno Assis and the other bishops will ask the questions

Giorgio Bernardelli Taken from Vatican Insider


The bishops will ask questions to the presidential candidates in person. And in a very particular place: the building of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida. It is an initiative announced in these days by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil in view of the elections that will take place on the 5th of October.


The debate will take place on Tuesday 16th of September at 9.30pm and will last two hours; it will be broadcast live by eight Catholic networks and at least 230 radios and Internet portals. Together with the outgoing president, Dilma Rousseff, who is running for reelection, the other six main candidates will also be present, among whom the economist Aécio Neves da Cunha and the environmentalist Marina Silva are the most substantial challengers according to the polls.


Television debates are common in many of the world’s democratic countries, but the standout aspect of the initiative is the direct involvement of the Conference of Bishops of Brazil. It was its president himself, the cardinal archbishop of Aparecida Raymundo Damasceno Assis, who met the representatives of the different parties to determine the rules of the debate. And he will be the one to introduce the debate and ask the first question in the name of all Brazilian bishops. The debate will be moderated by the director of Tele Aparecida, Father Josafá de Jesus Moraes, and will take place in an auditorium that sits 8 thousand people; all 350 Brazilian bishops have been invited to attend. Some of them, explains a note from the Conference of Bishops, will also ask the  aspiring presidents some questions “on the themes of health, education, housing, agricultural and political reforms and the abortion law”. They will then pass the baton to the journalists of Catholic media for the third part of the debate.


“We want our electors to exercise their right to citizenship with freedom, responsibility and consciousness, thinking of the good of the country, starting from the knowledge and proposals that the candidates will exhibit” explained Cardinal Damasceno Assis about the point of the initiative. “In this way, the debate will offer elements, so that the electors can discern who to vote for, thinking not only of their own advantage but of the common good”.


The Archbishop of Aparecida has also explicitly asked all bishops to invite the priests and the religious and lay people in their dioceses to follow the event. In many local Churches, similar debates are being organised, among the candidates running for a seat in parliament.

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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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