Pacaraima: indignation and solidarity

I was a stranger and you welcomed me in” (Mt. 25, 35)


We, 58 bishops and 27 other representatives of Prelatures and Dioceses convened in Manaus (AM) from August 20 to 23 at the III Summit of the Catholic Church of the Legal Amazon. Summoned by the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the CNBB to discuss the Special Synod for the Amazon we became aware of the violent actions that took place on August 18 in Pacaraima, Roraima. Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we made our indignation at the intolerance manifested against women, men and children, Venezuelan refugees public. The prophet Zechariah warns us:

* Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. (Zc 7, 10)

We express our simpathy for the families that have suffered the violent eviction from Brazil and together with the Catholic people, we show solidarity with institutions and communities that welcome and protect our migrant brothers and sisters.

We recognize that the situation is critical, mainly due to the lack of an integrated and effective action from municipal, state and federal spheres of the Brazilian Government, to ensure a humanitarian welcome to the refugees. We insist that the Venezuelan government overcome the causes of this forced displacement.

We cannot forget that the refugees belong to the peoples of the Amazon and deserve respect for their dignity and human rights. We say ENOUGH to hatred and YES to fraternal welcome.

May the Virgin of Nazareth, Queen of the Amazon, intervene for the peoples of the Amazon, so that the Spirit of God may show us the ways to live as sisters and brothers.

Manaus (AM), August 23rd, 2018


Catholic Bishops of the Legal Amazon and other representatives participating in the III Summit

Cardinal Dom Cláudio Hummes, President of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of CNBB, President of REPAM – Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network

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