In an interview with Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil's largest-circulation daily, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that any politician who comes to Brazil will have to rule making deals according to the Brazilian reality.
"If Jesus Christ came here and Judas had the votes he had in any party, Jesus Christ would have to call him to make a deal, because that's the way the forces in the Congress work."
"In this country neither the biggest Shiite nor the biggest rightwinger will be able to set up his government outside the political reality. Between what you want and what you can do there is a difference as large as the Atlantic ocean," he stated a little later in the same interview.
For Lula, the fact that he continued backing senator José Sarney, a former president, as president of the senate despite all the charges of corruption and nepotism against the congressman is a matter of "institutional security".
He also explained as an "institutional relation" all the connections he maintains with other shady characters also involved with corruption charges, including former impeached president Fernando Collor de Mello, senator Renan CalheirosÂ and the PT's (Worker Party) former-treasurer, Delúbio Soares.
The president reminded that he is not a friend of many of these people: "The citizen who admires Lula has to know that this person (Collor, Renan etc.) was elected democratically and that the voter of these people is as good as the voter who did not vote for them."
Talking about the global economic crisis he once again called it a "little wave" and confessed he was disappointed with the Brazilian businessmen posture during the crisis.
"One of the things that I have been telling, one of the things I don't accept in my debates with businessmen it that there was a sudden halt in some sectors of the economy during the months of November and December, which in my opinion was unnecessary."
Lula's candid declarations generated a series of rebukes from politicians, commentators and even from the Catholic Church. Responding to the commentary that Christ would have to ally himself to Judas to govern Brazil, the secretary general of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) , Dom Dimas Lara Barbosa, reminded that "Christ did not make alliances with Pharisees."
And the bishop explained what he understands by Pharisees: "people who seem to be a thing on the outside, but are something else inside." "Without a doubt, Judas was one of the disciples of Christ. But I want to remind you that Christ didn't make alliances with Pharisees and Sadducees."
"Are things that bad?," the bishop asked reporters jokingly when he was informed about Lula's declaration."
The general secretary use the occasion to also remind that the poor in Brazil many times are maintained at the society's margin and stressed that the Catholic Church is still defending a bill that would prevent the candidacy to public post of people with problems with the Justice.
"The public service demands a minimum of ethical behavior from those who wish to serve," he argued.
Are the Pharisees mentioned by the bishop the politicians with a dirty record, a reporter wanted to know. "When I talked about Pharisees,Â I was not referring to political parties. But God knows people's heart,"
answered the catholic leader.
Opposition politicians harshly criticized the president. Roberto Freire, the national president of the PPS party said that Lula's popularity has made him "lose his sense of reality." Freire says that Lula "exaggerated" comparing himself to Jesus, and to boot "offended" his allies by associating them to Judas.
Senator ílvaro Dias from the PSDB accuses Lula of "supporting promiscuity" with this declaration. For senator ílvaro DiasÂ "the president's arrogance gets worse and worse". "He shows more and more authoritarian vocation. He scorns the ethical issue and supports the promiscuity that led his the party to be charged with the Mensalão (big monthly allowance). This is a price too high for a project of power because he shows, when he says that, that he doesn't have aÂ country project, but a power project."