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Subject: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil


Posted by Patrick
On Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 07:19:06

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When I visited Ouro Preto this year, one of the tour guides in one of the churches told me that the Portuguese colonial rulers did their best to prevent the establishment of monastic orders in Brazil, especially the Jesuits, because they feared that the monks may become agitators for the rights of indigenous people or even for Brazilian independence from Portugual.

Generaly speaking, the secular left in Latin America tends to portray the Catholic Church as having been an agent of colonialism and an accomplice to the oppression of indigenous people during the colonial era. This view of history is epitomized in the murals by Diego Rivera in Mexico City.

But others argue that the role of the Church in Latin America was much more complex, and that quite often the Church defended the rights of poor people and indigenous people against either the government, oppressive landlords, or commercial interests. They point to the asasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador in our own era as the result of his standing up for the rights of the oppressed.

I know it's hard to generalize, but I would be interested in hearing anyone's opinion of the historical role of the Catholic Church during the colonial era in Brazil.

I am neither Catholic nor anti-Catholic. I have no agenda or axe to grind. I know this is a potentially sensitive or controversial subject, but that's what this Forum is all about.


RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by shiny
On Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 11:09:22

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IMHO - The church has always been the secret puppet or ally of the rich and powerful.

Most religions preach a "turn the other cheek" and "non-violence" doctrine. What better way to keep the poor and oppressed from uprising?

All great lies are inter-woven with some truths. Churches help people by providing services like soup kitchens, shelter, etc. but they harm people in the long run by teaching them to believe in false hopes of divine justice while they suffer in the REAL WORLD.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Sick
On Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 15:15:36

Message:
This is a very interesting topic. When I was in grad school, a professor of mine asked the question "Why are countries that were colonized by Catholic nations so economically underdeveloped to this day?"

What you have both said I tend to agree with, but I have a slightly different twist on it. I don't see much of a difference between Catholic dogma and leftist dogma. I believe both have a vested interest in keeping people poor, or at least not rich. Afterall, that is their main constituency.

Leftist movements throughout Latin America have often been supported by factions of the Catholic Church. And the Church admits, in the past, it has been complicit in support of dictatorships that encompass the entire political spectrum. This is a main tenet of Liberation Theology, which has become popular with certain Catholic factions over the past 40 years or so. Liberation Theologists are generally associated with leftist ideology and movements. Friar Betto of Brasil is a good example. I believe Romero was as well.

By the way, The Jesuits were expelled from Brasil in 1759 because they were seen as a threat to the crown and those in power (the wealthy).
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by El Hombre
On Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 23:22:28

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>"Why are countries that were colonized by Catholic nations so economically underdeveloped to this day?"

Although I haven't yet looked into it and don't currently understand it, I have always heard about the Protestant Work Ethic as being an explanation to such a question.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Sick
On Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 23:46:13

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Yeah, Max Weber posited that theory. It's iffy at best.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Zé Sabedoria
On Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 07:38:04

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>Although I haven't yet looked into it and don't currently understand it, I have always heard about the Protestant Work Ethic as being an explanation to such a question.

Aí!!! Um outro ataque de gas!! Você não tem algum respeito para as convenções de Genebra, Zé Burrão?!?!?!?
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by El Hombre
On Friday, May 24, 2002 at 15:51:52

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There, there... Look, Paul, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, but if something needs saying, it's gonna be said, whether you like it or not. Okay? So get over it, buddy. Go and eat some worms or something. :)
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Fernando
On Friday, May 24, 2002 at 21:43:09

Message:
I understand that the church has its parcel of blame about the South America and specifically Brazil’s situation today. At that time the Catholic Church took a lot of gold and land from the natives and used slavery for their wealthy. In the year 2000, Brazil celebrated 500 years from discovery and a document from the Catholic Church was issued where the Church asks for pardon. I tried to translate a home page, which I found interesting describing that period.
This passage explains the Church participation “One of the main institutions throughout our history is the Catholic Church. In Brazil since the beginning of the colonial period, the Church always was in the power side, either in the Colony, Empire and Republic.
The first representatives of the Catholic Church, the Jesuit priests, had arrived in Brazil in 1549, with the first General Governor, Tomé deSouza; The Church expansion followed the proper settling expansion in so far as for each new established Village, a chapel was raised. However, the Jesuits main action gave front to the Indians, who would have to be taught the catechesis as part of the counter Reformation movement, following the Trento council decisions, seen as a rule to expand the Catholicism to some peoples of all continents. The catechesis mass action to the Indians was possible in so far as the Church of Rome had come to the conclusion that the Indians had soul, therefore could be saved.
The Jesuits force and politics influence and the black slaves traffic interests, made the State forbid the Indians slavery, remaining however this possibility for the "Just war", responsible for the Indians slavery, exactly in lesser number when compared with the black slavery.
The Jesuit presence also had great importance in the colonial cities, where the few schools that existed were controlled by them”.
This passage is about the document disclosure by the Church “On March 20, 2000 the “Folha de São Paulo” news paper obtained a document copy kept under secrecy by Brazil Catholic Church. It was about a 21-page letter that circulates since the beginning of March among the bishops that formed the Brazilian episcopate. The letter contains the Church intention in apologize publicly for the "errors of the past" and for the "present faults". In the document, the Church already announced that it would ask for pardon for the abuses committed against the Indians during the colonial period, besides recognizing its proper omission on the black slavery subject.
The newness of the text, is a set of 11 pages reserved for a Brazil analysis in the end of XX century, placing the catholic community as co-responsible for the social inequality and violence nowadays. On this subject, the text affirms that in 80 years Brazil could have surpassed the model that "favored the profit of a minority wasting”, having however occurred the opposite, with the increase of the distance between the people and the Politician class.”

RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Carioca
On Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 18:02:02

Message:
Even an institution like the church, as people-loving as it is, is not perfect. Of course the church has committed its share of mistakes.

In my opinion, it seems to me that this kind of forum topic can only be discussed by Catholics, and Catholics only. It builds suspicion to read some comments only to believe that some non-Catholcs wrote it in an attempt to put down the religion.

Cut it out.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Br
Posted by Jo
On Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 03:54:40

Message:
My theory: The Catholic Church has primarily used priests as the intermediaries between God and man. Therefore, it's not important for the poor to read the Bible. The priests told them what it said. Public education in the colonized countries was not a priority.

The Protestant Churches, on the other hand, expected people to read and know the Bible for themselves.Even though many of their ministers told them how they should interpret it, they were expected to become literate. Public education was a priority in Protestant countries.

Literacy, perhaps in addition to the emphasis on work, is the greatest difference between the development of the countries.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Br
Posted by Jo
On Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 03:56:26

Message:
My theory: The Catholic Church has primarily used priests as the intermediaries between God and man. Therefore, it's not important for the poor to read the Bible. The priests told them what it said. Public education in the colonized countries was not a priority.

The Protestant Churches, on the other hand, expected people to read and know the Bible for themselves.Even though many of their ministers told them how they should interpret it, they were expected to become literate. Public education was a priority in Protestant countries.

Literacy, perhaps in addition to the emphasis on work, is the greatest difference between the development of the countries.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Br
Posted by Zé Sabedoria
On Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 09:36:59

Message:
>There, there... Look, Paul, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, but if something needs saying, it's gonna be said, whether you like it or not. Okay? So get over it, buddy. Go and eat some worms or something. :)

Que é isso, Ze Burr?o. Meu nome é Joaquim Machado, n?o é Paul. Manda um e-mail pra mim. Moro em bairro que chama Sión em Belo Horizonte.

Deixa seu gas e sua bosta para aqueles que acreditam sua bobagem, tu idiota!
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by liberdade
On Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 22:38:39

Message:
Required reading: "The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," by Michael Novak.

Also: "Claiming the Virgin: The Broken Promise of Liberation Theology in Brazil," by Robin Nagle.


RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by El Hombre
On Monday, May 27, 2002 at 00:50:04

Message:
>Meu nome é Joaquim Machado, n?o é Paul.

Paul's my nickname for ya, matey. Where I come from it's a sign of endearment to call someone called Jaoquim Machado from Belo Horizent Paul. :)
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Hah!
On Monday, May 27, 2002 at 08:25:58

Message:

Sabadoria: ". . . Joaquim . . . Belo Horizonte."

Dummy: " . . . Jaoquim . . . Belo Horizent . . ."


Where civilized people come from, the nickname for anybody who can’t spell what he’s copied and pasted an inch above is El Retarded.


RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by El Hombre
On Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 00:23:09

Message:
Take it easy, fellas. Now I know you're very upset, but let's don't spoil Patrick's thread here now, eh? If you wanna vent your outrage at me for ruffling your feathers, you know where to find me. But I think this thread is about the historical legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil, if I'm not mistaken. It's only fair to Patrick if we don't digress now, don't you agree?
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Fernando
On Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 10:50:56

Message:
I disagree with Carioca, the topic is very interesting and opinions are welcome. The discussion is about the Catholic Church role in Brazil history, which I think, was huge! I know that “Religion” is a polemic topic, as well as Soccer and Women, everyone has a different taste! Every institution or person commits mistakes, and this is OK, but persisting with the same mistake for centuries is NOT!
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Mr Brasil
On Monday, June 17, 2002 at 19:27:14

Message:
I see the Catholic Church being attacked by flaming liberals and radical conservatives. Liberals say that the Church is totally pro capitalism. Conservatives say the Church is socialistic. The Church is neither liberal nor conservative. It walks a line of perfection because it is the true faith . Even though the institutional part of the Church has made many mistakes the Church's core which is Mystical Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and its traditions have held it together . That is why the Catholic Church is the most ancient "man made" institution because it was divinely established and continues to be divinely guided.
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Sick
On Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 13:20:04

Message:
Mr. Brasil, if the Church is so "divinely" guided, then could you explain why countries colonized by Catholic nations (namely the entirety of South America) are so poor and underdeveloped to this day?
RE: Historical Legacy of the Catholic Church in Brazil
Posted by Fernando
On Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 17:14:57

Message:
Mr. Brasil You don't need a church to have faith or to follow Christ words. But, only praying doesn't help! Men needs to practice what was taught by Christ, act. What is the true faith?

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