At its 57th General Assembly meeting in Aparecida do Norte (SP) the Brazilian episcopate, elected on Wednesday (8) Bishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo as the new president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) – maintaining the progressive line of the institution , in alignment with the ideals of Pope Francis.

In a message after the election, Archbishop Walmor preached the defense of the most vulnerable. “Our eyes should be on the poorest, strengthening our actions in the exercise of charity, love, the search for justice,” he stated.

For the president of the CESE Father Marcus Barbosa, the choice reflects the options of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “The Holy Spirit led the Assembly to elect a good Presidency, which will keep us on the path of the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The option should be always the one of the Church. And there should be no room for disputes of ideological interests, but to keep Jesus options firm and alive: love for God, which unfolds in the commitment to the brothers, especially the most fragile and poor”, he says.

Ecumenical celebration

A group of six leaders from different Christian denominations gave a proof of unity on Tuesday, May 7, during the Ecumenical Celebration held in the midst of the General Assembly of the CNBB. Together with the Catholic episcopate, the different religions expressed their common goal of strengthening unity among Christians.

Besides the bishops of the 57th Assembly, also participated in the celebration  pastor Silvia Genz, president of the IECLB; Father Gregorio Teodoro of the Antiochian Orthodox Church; the Lutheran pastor Inácio Lemke, president of the National Council of Christian Churches (CONIC); Pastor Anita Wright, moderator of the United Presbyterian Church (IPU); the pastor of IPU, Sonia Mota, executive director of the Ecumenical Service Coordination (CESE); and Pastor Paulo César Pereira, president of the Baptist Alliance of Brazil (ABB).

“In these difficult and delicate times, it is too beautiful to see our Churches not only with words or speeches, but with actions that are very relevant to a society so turbulent and unjust to the poor. The response of the Churches has always been, but today, even more, it must be your Testimony! To be salt and light in the world! Yeast in the dough! “, celebrates the president of the CESE before the ecumenical meeting and the election of the new directorate of the CNBB.

(With information from the CNBB and Estado de São Paulo)