Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, issued an official statement this week condemning the anonymous attacks on homeless indigenous people, which in less than a week have left six dead and another ten seriously wounded.
The cardinal said he was profoundly saddened by “the tragic news of the massacre of our brethren, who are part of the neglected and suffering population of our beloved city.”
“Such violence and cruelty is unacceptable and should be vigorously repudiated. The Church has cried out many times regarding the need to come to the aid of those who are forced to live in our streets, without shelter. She does so out of a duty of humanity and because of her faith in Jesus Christ, who wishes to be identified in each person, especially in the poor and handicapped,” the Cardinal said.
Likewise, he questioned the value of projects to improve the city, “if a significant part of its population suffers from the worst of miseries, is defenseless and subject to all kinds of violence.”
The Cardinal asked that “this be a moment in which all of us, our entire society, reflect deeply upon our social responsibilities and not run away from what should be done above all else—to care for human beings, for each human being.”
He recommended that people have an attitude of sorrow and “remain in suffering silence, because words mean so little,” and he encouraged authorities to carry out their responsibilities in response to these acts.