Bishops of Brazil issue urgent call for end to violence

.- In a strongly worded statement, the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (NCBB) has issued an urgent call to end the spiral of violence caused by organized crime in the country.

The escalation of organized crime in recent months, mainly in Sao Paulo, has become a major issue in Brazilian politics, especially after a criminal gang kidnapped a journalist and was able to get the most popular local television network to air a video outlining complaints over the Brazil’s prison system.

In their statement, the bishops expressed their repudiation of “the spiral of violence our country is experiencing” and their “solidarity with all those who are suffering the cruel reality of organized crime, which is present in various States.”

The bishops reiterated the Church’s support of authorities in their search for “an immediate solution at all levels” in order to, “overcome the law force with the force of law.” They also made some proposals for addressing concerns regarding violence and the prison system, such as rooting out the “culture of impunity” by holding those who commit wrongdoing responsible for their actions, alleviating over-population in the country’s prison system, and reforming and beefing up the country’s police forces.

“We need to root out the causes of organized crime,” the bishops maintained, “as well as the networks of corruption at various levels.”

“We need to show more solidarity with the poor by combating misery, hunger and social marginalization, which makes us easy prisoners of the criminal world,” they added.  “We must clearly and effectively embrace the spiritual and ethical values without which society is at enormous risk,” the bishops warned.

Jesus Christ teaches us the way to build peace, which is the fruit of justice, the rule of law, respect for others, dialogue, and mutual forgiveness,” the statement said in conclusion.

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