Brazil urgently needs political reform, says head of bishops’ conference


The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil, Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, said this week the country is passing through a time of “grave institutional crisis” and that therefore “profound political reform” is needed.

In noting that “corruption erodes democracy,” the bishop mentioned the recent scandal involving Senate leader Renan Calheiros, who is of the same party as President Lula and who resigned over corruption charges.  Archbishop Rocha called it one of the “darkest” episodes in Brazilian politics.

“The impression that is given is that corruption is common in public life, and that creates a climate of frustration and ethical relativism, which extends to social relationships and to private life,” the archbishop stated.

He said the public is increasingly outraged over the “lack of respect for fundamental values” and that corruption is undermining the public trust in democracy.

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