At this very moment, in Brasilia, the consecration of the largest Latin American country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is taking place.
(Brasilia) Brazil is having a great day today. [Yesterday] But that is not the case everywhere. If not in the Apostolic Palace, at least in Santa Marta, the Vatican has other concerns: universal brotherhood, climate change, a right to unlimited migration, and more recently, rejection of the sovereignty movement. This does not only apply to the US and, because of the upcoming elections, above all the EU, but also Brazil. There today President Bolsonaro consecrates his country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But the Episcopal Conference and Santa Marta signaled lack of interest and the official Catholic media keep the consecration under wraps.
Pope Francis would have liked to continue to see the Labor Party (PT) in power in Brazil, but it failed because of its own corruption. Jair Bolsonaro was elected as the new Head of State and Government last autumn. His coalition consists of several decidedly Christian parties, some of them are evangelicals. He is a Catholic, but married to a free-church member. In Brazil, it may therefore happen that the Head of State and Government quoted a Bible verse on Twitter. This morning President Bolsonaro welcomed the Brazilians with the tweet:
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32. This message is always ahead of our mission. Good morning everyone!
This Twitter message is related to the particularity of today. Today, at 7 pm Central European Time, the consecration of Brazil to the Immaculate Heart of Mary took place in the federal capital Brasilia. It took place not only in the presence of President Bolsonaro, but directly in the Presidential Palace. President Bolsonaro gave the act of consecration the mark of highest state authority by his signature.
The consecration is, regrettably, not an act of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference, but goes back to the initiative of the Catholic laity. The consecration was performed by Don Fernando Areas Rifan, the Apostolic Administrator of the Apostolic Personal Administration of St. John Maria Vianney. The Apostolic Personnel Administration, which is the world's only de facto diocese in the traditional rite.
The driving force of the consecration are the Marian Congregation and other Catholic organizations, as well as the Frente Parlamentario Catolico, in which Catholic federal MPs have joined forces.
Initiative by two members of parliament
The idea itself comes from the two deputies Chris Tonietto and Eros Biondini. They emphasized that the consecration was also and precisely a state act, with which the whole country was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The veterinarian Biondini, who also studied political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, became famous in Brazil for the country's largest Catholic music event, which he launched and organized. The now 48-year-old moderated a few years a music program of the Catholic TV channel TV Canção Nova. In 2006 he was elected deputy of his native country Minas Gerais. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Brazilian Federal Parliament. The main focuses of his parliamentary work include the political renewal of Brazil, the resistance against attempts to make the hypothesis of allegedly human-induced climate change, or the idea of "controlling the climate,” the basis of politics, instead he wants to focus on the strengthening of the family and the protection of unborn children. In 2017, he voted in favor of the law criminalizing the killing of unborn children.
Christine "Chris" Nogueira do Reis Tonietto is a lawyer and member of the Catholic Cultural Center Don Bosco. She became known in 2017 for her initiative against insulting the Catholic Church and the Catholic faith in the Brazilian YouTube comedy Port dos Fundos. In the parliamentary elections in October 2018, she was elected a member of the Federal Parliament. Her broadcasts and Twitter messages ended her mostly with "Viva Cristo Rei!" (High live Christ king).
Tonietto wrote on Twitter today:
"We will be there with the entire group of Catholic MPs to which I belong. We express our deepest support and pray to God to bless our beloved Brazil, the land of the Holy Cross!”
When the governor of Alabama signed the Abortion Abolition Act, Tonietto wrote on Twitter on May 16:
"A big day for the right to life."
On May 17, she was able to further spread the message of the next strengthening of the right to life of unborn children:
"With a 66-vote lead, the Missouri State legislature voted for several abortion laws that severely curtail this shameful practice in this state."
Tonietto supports the initiative of President Bolsonaro, who recommends the "anti-communist catechism" of the Steyler Missionary and Archbishop of Diamantina, Geraldo de Proença Sigaud, who died in 1999, to those who say they are Catholic but defend communism. During the Second Vatican Council, Archbishop Sigaud belonged to Coetus Internationalis Patrum and was considered in Brazil as the fiercest opponent of Helder Camara, the archbishop of Olinda and Recife.
Cool disposotion taken by Episcopal Conference and Santa Marta
The Brazilian Bishops' Conference, which has long been inspired by the liberation theology, behaves coldly towards the new head of state, especially since Pope Francis clearly expressed his sympathies (and antipathies). They are silent on the Consecration to Mary. Nothing can be heard from Rome of the cordiality with which Francis thought of the two former Presidents Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of the Labor Party. Lula da Silva, sentenced to twelve years in prison for corruption, even received a statement of solidarity in prison from the pope.
Instead of looking forward to having Catholic interlocutors among the deputies, the Episcopal Conference and Santa Marta refer to allied journalists of the Pinprick Initiative. The discussion was, openly or suggestively, about “political abuse" of religion.
Because the President of the Republic dedicates his land to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Because Catholic MPs had the idea for this consecration and put it into action?
The politicization of the Church leads to worrying dead ends, is how episcopal reactions to the consecration of Brazil to Mary go.
Nevertheless, the consecration is a great day for Brazil.
Whoever wants to spread the word about the Consecration, has the opportunity to do so, among other things via the Twitter hashtag #OrePeloBrasil (pray for Brazil).
Text: Giuseppe Nardi / Andreas Becker
Image: Twitter / Chris Tonietto (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org