Archbishop Aldo Pagotto of Paraiba accused Brazil’s Workers' Party of “misinformation and manipulation of consciences” in an effort to win the upcoming presidential run-off election, slated for Oct. 31.
In a video released Oct. 11, the archbishop said the party’s actions on behalf of its candidate, current Presidential Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff, are aimed at “deceiving voters” into believing that she does not favor any legalization of abortion in the country.
Despite assurances from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the party is clearly committed to promoting “the culture of death in our country,” Archbishop Pagotto said.
Abortion is currently illegal in Brazil, except in cases of rape or when the life of the mother is at risk.
In the current campaign, Rousseff has cited her Catholic upbringing and described herself as pro-life. However, in an internet video produced in 2007, she is shown arguing that, “Today in Brazil, it is absurd that abortion has not yet been legalized’.”
The archbishop charged that since the 1990s the Workers' Party has been in league with international organizations that have financed the expansion of contraception and abortion in Brazil.
“Ever since it rose to power, the Workers' Party agenda has been the complete legalization of abortion in Brazil,” he said.
Archbishop Pagotto recalled that the Lula administration had argued for United Nations recognition of abortion as a “human right” in 2005. At the same time, the archbishop noted, Lula wrote to the Brazilian bishops and assured them, “by the faith he received from his mother” that he had no “intention of legalizing abortion in the country.”
Shortly after sending that letter, Lula sent a bill to the National Congress that would have legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
In addition, the archbishop noted, the Lula administration has advanced the so-called “Brazilian Consensus,” which recommends that abortion be legalized in Brazil and throughout Latin America.
These acts, the archbishop said, refute the assurances of Rousseff and Lula in the current campaign.
“As pastor I cannot settle for this kind misinformation and manipulation of consciences,” the archbishop stated.
“When democracy becomes this type of demagoguery in order to win votes, a dictatorship is on the horizon,” he warned.