Three Brazilian bishops—Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos, Bishop Benedito Beni Dos Santos of Lorena, and Bishop Nelson Westrupp of Santo André—have received anonymous death threats after urging Catholics not to vote for Dilma Rousseff, the frontrunner in the October 31 presidential election. In 2007, Rousseff called for the legalization of abortion in the world’s largest Catholic nation.
The three bishops have urged their priests to urge their Catholics congregations not to vote for Rousseff, prompting a remarkable reaction from the justice and peace commission of Brazil.
“The CNBB does not suggest any candidate, and recalls that the choice is a free and conscious act of each citizen,” the commission stated two weeks ago. “Faced with this great responsibility, we urge Catholics to consider ethical criteria, especially unconditional respect for life, family, religious freedom, and human dignity.”