The Bahia Museum of Art received hundreds of people to listen to the prophetic inspirations of Benedictine monk Marcelo Barros and Methodist pastor and feminist philosopher Nancy Cardoso. Barros and Nancy met on November 8th in Salvador (BA), on the Ecumenical Panel “Listening to the cries: Popular resistance weaves hope!”. Carried out in partnership between CESE and Brazilian Cáritas Regional Northeast 3, the idea of the event was to provide a moment of reflection in the face of the setbacks in progress in Brazil.

“The country has not changed, what has changed was the balance of power”, announced Nancy Cardoso, in an attempt to shed light on the post-election scenario. The advancement in the guarantee of rights by feminist movements, women’s movements, traditional populations, indigenous peoples, LGBTQI, among many others, is pointed out by the theologian as the cause of the revenge of the elites. The later, in this sense, rearticulated and correlated forces with conservative wings of other sectors – as political, military, agribusiness, religious caucus. “And they turned against us”, Nancy explained.

Focusing on the field of the faith confessions, Nancy addresses the power of fundamentalism – which has the power to paralyze the interpretative process and thus the ability to intervene (placing this interpretation in the market’s ideology). “We’re going to need lots of spaces to re-ask questions and review answers.  We will have to dispute the word of God and relearn to read the Bible”, she points out the need for popular rearticulating to contest these fundamentalist narratives in order to move towards the radicalization of democracy and the guarantee of rights.

The re-discussion of the dimension of class struggles within identities (e.g., black, feminist, indigenous, quilombolas (traditional African-Brazilian populations) will be the turning point for the creation of a working majority, in the view of the theologian. “We need to resume our capacity to understand ourselves as a working class. We’re going to have to make ourselves believe again.”

Should we rely on religious institutions to pass through this moment of hate spreading and intolerance? For the Benedictine monk, Marcelo Barros, the expressive vote of faithful of Christian churches to the elected president finds institutional support in the churches.

The focus is to build popular resistance within our own groups and do not wait for institutions, Marcelo Barros advises. “We have to discover the synergy of love to reorganize hope, to regain revolutionary faith to liberate God, living solidary love, universal love in the class struggle. ”

Musical performances and poetic expressions also permeated the panel, which is part of the program of the Solidarity Week, held in partnership between Brazilian Cáritas Regional Northeast 3 and the Ecumenical Service Coordination-CESE.  The entities celebrate 30 and 45 years, respectively, in the struggle for the defense and guarantee of rights.


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