During the presentation of the Brazilian bishops’ upcoming Lenten campaign “Fraternidad y Defensa de la Vida (Brotherhood and the Defense of Life),” Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid of Rio de Janeiro called on Catholics to only vote for those who are committed to defending the right to life. He also illustrated the need to protect life by sharing an unknown story about his niece.
“The promoters of death should never be in government,” Cardinal Scheid said. “We don’t need people who are going to legalize abortion in Brazil.” “Politics must defend life and never attack it, much less harm it with laws that go against nature itself,” he added.
Cardinal Scheid recalled the case of pro-abortion Congresswoman Jandira Feghali who ran for the Senate during the previous elections and lost despite having 28 point advantage in the polls. “You remember the case of the famous congresswoman who last time lost despite a 28 point lead in the polls, because as a doctor, she simply wanted to kill children,” he said.
“Normally,” he went on, “life is born as the fruit of love. But it can result from a misfortune, through accident, through abuse, by an evil act, an act of brutality, or through aggression…but even so, that life is unique and precious and cannot be destroyed.”
Cardinal Scheid then shared the story of the ten-year old daughter of his niece, who is also his goddaughter, named Aline. “After she was born, Aline was abandoned on the street in Rio Grande do Sul. Saved by a young couple, she was adopted by my niece.”
“I don’t know the story of the mother of my beloved Aline. We can’t judge her for this grave decision of leaving her child on the side of the road, but certainly this was a woman who was alone.”
“Therefore,” he added, “it’s not enough to just defend the life of children. When we defend life, especially that of the unborn, we must also make practical decisions to help pregnant women who do not know what to do to help their child.”
Cardinal Scheid concluded by pointing out that in calling on people to vote against abortion, “I am aware of the weight of my voice as pastor. But I am speaking in the name of a majority of mothers, father and leaders of the country,” he said.