Vatican City – The situation in Brazilstruggling with a very tough election campaign for the ballot between Bolsonaro and Lula, is followed with great concern by the Church. A series of events in the largest Catholic country in Latin America, according to the newspaper Uol Noticias, not only alarmed the Vatican but also shaken relations between the two countries which, according to reports from Mirticeli Medeiros, notoriously well informed , would be at an all-time low. To begin with, there would be difficulties in communicating with the Brazilian government. The cracks began to become more salient after the 2019 Amazon Synod. Jair Bolsonaro at the time said the Abin (Brazilian intelligence agency) was closely monitoring the synod, citing alleged “threats to national sovereignty” by the Vatican . For this reason, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri – former apostolic nuncio to Brazil and, at the time, responsible for the Synod of Bishops – was forced to organize several talks with the then ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See, Luiz Felipe Mendonça Filho, to clarify the situation and explain that the Synod did not represent an affront to the Brazilian Republic.
Lula in the ballot with Bolsonaro is counting on the “blessing” of Pope Francis (his great friend) and playing the religious card
During the ad limina apostolorum visits of the Brazilian bishops to the Vatican, in recent months, several prelates have informed Francis of the difficulties they face in this scenario. Added to this is a torn country situation, with huge pockets of black misery and a growing gap between rich and poor. The religious factor in Brazil could actually be decisive for the runoff on October 30, between Bolsonaro and Lula, both chasing votes in the area. From the beginning, religion has been placed at the center of Bolsonaro’s campaign (from the latest polls favorite among evangelists, while Catholics would opt for Lula, also thanks to his personal friendship with Pope Bergoglio).
Meanwhile, the tension has risen to the point that Bolsonaro supporters have insinuated that Lula was using satanic practices, to the point that the former Brazilian president had to officially deny having taken part in black masses, reassuring himself that he was a good Christian. .
Elections in Brazil, Lula-Bolsonaro ballot: the cheers of Lula’s supporters
In Brazil there are about 50 million Evangelicals (25% of the population) but the evangelical world is not homogeneous, starting with one of the most prominent figures: Marina Silva, of the Church of the Assemblies of God (Pentecostal), and known for its ecological and feminist position, very little in line with the vision of Bolsonaro who, however, enjoys the broad support of the leaders of all the other Pentecostal churches close to his ultra-conservative line.
The former president Lula da Silva can instead play the Bergoglio card for the ballot. A newspaper recently published a letter to the Pope in which Lula, before the vote, admitted that he feared the second round. Lula would have written that “the battle is far from over. In addition to the 12 days of electoral campaign that remain in this first round, we have all the risks of a possible second round and therefore the need, in case of victory, to ensure the passage. Dear friend Pope Francis. It is with great respect and affection that I write to you at this time. My first word is of gratitude for his unforgettable gestures in the letter he sent me while I was in prison and for the warm welcome he gave me to the Holy See. “