Brazil, last elections as Bishop for Dom Egidio Bisol

He will turn 75 on 23 December Sun Egidio Bisolbishop of Vicenza of the Brazilian diocese of Afogados de Ingazeira since 2009 and close to finishing his assignment. “I’m tidying up the drawers »Says Dom Egidio, a native of Bassano has been in Brazil for 46 years, whom we contacted to comment on the result of the last presidential elections. “In all these years – he says – I have never seen a climate of confrontation so heated in an electoral campaign”.

Afogados de Ingazeira is located in the north-east of Brazil, more precisely in the state of Pernambuco where Lula was born in 1945 «who here took almost seventy percent of the preferences in the ballot on October 30th – says Bishop Egidio -. In the north east of the country, Lula’s social policies are deeply felt and on the other hand Bolsonaro’s “non-social” policies weighed more. This too, however, goes to fuel a certain prejudice towards the north-east by the southern states. They also occurred frequently episodes of racism ».

More generally, «Bolsonaro’s arrogant style has contributed to creating a climate of” war “, especially since Lula was granted the right to stand as a candidate. Bolsonaro allowed himself to be “won over” by the radical right by rejecting the advice of the democratic rightand this has made elections a choice between democracy and a border regime with illegality “. “Bolsonaro’s continuous attacks on the electronic voting system and the Federal Court, as well as the army of supporters who shared an avalanche of fake news on social networks also contributed to strengthening this perception in the voters – continues Bisol -. These facts made many people think “. But these are the current conditions of Brazil, especially of the strata poorer than the population, which weighed on the outcome of the elections: “The return of hunger, an economy that has lost its way, the growing inattention to the most vulnerable and women, an equivocal foreign policy … these are all elements – he argues Bisol – who had already created a climate of conflict sharpened by the elections ».

Once Bolsonaro has been archived, however, the problem of “Bolsonarism” remains. “Even thoughtoo – reports Bisol – his aggressive attitude pleases many people who think it is essential to arm themselves to defend themselves, that you can do what you want with the Amazon, that the pandemic has been “inflated” (688 thousand deaths from 2020 to today , ed), that the future of the indigenous people will be to assimilate to the whites and that the lands recognized to the Indians can be exploited by gold diggers and timber traders ».

But Bolsonarism also weighed on the Catholic Church. “They have been four complicated years, there have been constant tensions with the government in office. I believe that what happened must be studied very carefully, also because the use of religion in politics deserves a separate chapter. We have a lot of work to do within the Christian community where, I think, there is a lack of knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church which implies, as indeed has happened, that many social issues have been labeled as a new wave of communism. The Catholic right took advantage of Bolsonaro to strengthen itself, even in open conflict with the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference, pointing to the bishops as “communists”, a word that still has a lot of hold on the population. Little by little, however, the lies will reveal their short legs. The present moment reminds us that even as a Church we must roll up our sleeves and do everything possible to make people understand that dialogue, fraternity, peace and ecology are evangelical themes, not political ones “.

In short, there are still many efforts to be done and despite a parliament where the right still holds the majority of seats, “the political class seems to open up spaces for possible agreements with Lula – concludes Bisol -. Even the military does not seem interested in authoritarian adventures but the rift in society remains, the inability to engage in dialogue. It will take a lot of goodwill also on the part of the Church to disarm the hands and the heart, to make rationality prevail over the emotions that dominated the electoral campaign ”.

Brazil, last elections as Bishop for Dom Egidio Bisol – La Voce dei Berici