.- The Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal Eusebio Scheid, has refused to sign a court order obtained by the lawyers of a pro-abortion candidate for the Senate that requires him to silence the priests in his archdiocese on matters related to human life.
Several days ago various groups distributed pamphlets at parishes throughout the archdiocese alerting voters of the pro-abortion stance of Senate candidate Jandira Feghali, who has drafted a measure that would completely legalize abortion in Brazil.
Feghali’s lawyers asked a court to order a search for the pamphlets at the archdiocesan chancery, but no pamphlets were found there.
Later, Cardinal Scheid received an order from the court to ask all pastors and priests “to abstain from any kind of commentary or political-ideological references under threat of disobedience.”
The cardinal refused to sign the order and said “in due time” he would give “an official response.”
“We preach respect for the life and dignity of the person from conception to natural death,” the cardinal said, “but we never speak in the name of any candidate or political party.”
He also strongly rejected claims that the archdiocese was responsible for the distribution of the pamphlets.