Sat 25th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Brazilian bishops: ‘Government wrong to prioritise World Cup over needs of population’

By on Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will be played

The Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will be played

The Brazilian bishops’ conference has criticised the country’s government and organisers of the World Cup for putting the competition above the basic needs of the Brazilian population.

The bishops said there was an “inversion of priorities, with public money that should have been used in health, education, sanitation, transportation and security” being used to build enormous stadiums.

With the World Cup kicking off later today with Brazil taking on Croatia, the conference also criticised organisers for the removal of families and communities so that stadiums could be constructed.

“In places like Brasilia and Manaus, huge stadiums have been built for the competition. These cities do not even have strong football teams, so that after the Cup we are wondering what they will be used for,” said Archbishop Anuar Battisti of Maringa, head of the tourism department at the bishops’ conference.

The bishops also criticised the decision-making process, which “excluded millions of citizens from participating and being informed” about specific plans for the World Cup.

Archbishop Battisti said the Church now wants the government to guarantee that people living on the streets will be secure, not harassed and expelled from their locations by police and government officials, as some local media have reported in cities hosting the games. It also asks that no police violence be perpetrated against street demonstrators.

In turn, the bishops committed to help fans and players have access to moments of spirituality and encounters with God, remaining a strong presence throughout the World Cup. They also pledged to look out for the more vulnerable groups of society, such as the homeless, and help raise awareness of the possible increase of sexual tourism during the event.

Catholic entities were expected to promote a march through the capital, Brasilia, on June 11, to remember victims of sexual exploitation. The march is part of a campaign, Play in Favor of Life — Report Human Trafficking, created by the Conference of Religious of Brazil to help prevent sexual exploitation before, during and after the World Cup.

Brazilian religious say more than 30,000 women religious, nearly 8,000 priests and 2,700 religious brothers are involved in the campaign.

“What we want to show the world is that ethics and social commitment in Brazil are alive and well,” said the archbishop. “We want the event to be remembered as the Cup of dignity and peace.”

COMMENT POLICY

The Catholic Herald comment guidelines
At The Catholic Herald we want our articles to provoke spirited and lively debate. We also want to ensure the discussions hosted on our website are carried out in civil terms.

All commenters are therefore politely asked to ensure that their posts respond directly to points raised in the particular article or by fellow contributors, and that all responses are respectful.

We implement a strict moderation policy and reserve the right to delete comments that we believe contravene our guidelines. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when com
menting…

Do not make personal attacks on writers or fellow commenters – respond only to their arguments.
Comments that are deemed offensive, aggressive or off topic will be deleted.
Unsubstantiated claims and accusations about individuals or organisations will be deleted.
Keep comments concise. Comments of great length may be deleted.
We try to vet every comment, however if you would like to alert us to a particular posting please use the ‘Report’ button.

Thank you for your co-operation,
The Catholic Herald editorial team