.- Every Lent, the Catholic Church in Brazil sponsors the âFraternity Campaignâ. To help launch the drive this year, Pope Benedict has sent a letter of support to Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana, the president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.
This year the campaign is dedicated to the theme: "Fraternity and defense of life", which is supported by the motto: "Choose, then, life".
In his message to Archbishop Lyrio, the Pope makes it clear that "all threats to life must certainly be resisted.â He also reminds Brazilians that in his inaugural address at the most recent Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops he said that âthe paths being followed by a culture without God and without His commandments, or even against God, lead to 'a culture against human beings and against the good of the Latin American people.ââ
The Holy Father also points to the final document of the Aparecida conference which, "shows us how meeting Christ is the starting point from which to oppose these paths of death, and to choose life. Just as it is also the starting point for a full recognition of the sacredness of life and the dignity of human beings.â
"In inaugurating this year's Fraternity Campaign", Pope Benedict adds, "I again express the hope that the various institutions of civil society will show their solidarity with the popular will which, in its majority, rejects everything that runs counter to the ethical requirements of justice and of respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural end".
A poll carried out by the Datafolha firm in Brazil has revealed just last month that the vast majority of Brazilians (87%) think that having an abortion is âmorally wrong.â Despite this finding, the government has continued to carry out a campaign of abortion promotion.
Benedict XVI concludes his message by invoking the protection of the Lord, "that His charitable hand may reach over all Brazil, and that new life in Christ may reach all human beings in their personal, family, social and cultural dimensions, spreading its gifts of peace and prosperity, and reawakening in all hearts feeling of fraternity and co-operation.â