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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
November 7, 1969     Arkansas Catholic
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November 7, 1969
 

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PAGE 14 THE GUARDIAN, NOVEMBER 7, 1969 Church in Brazil Taking Steps to Combat Voodoo; Adult Education Stressed Rio de Janeiro (NC)-- The widespread participation of Bra- zilian Catholics in voodoo has caused the Church in this country to make changes in its religious instruction policies. Of the 83 per cent declared Catholics here, 67.7 per cent of them attend Macumba or voodoo sessions, 75.4 per cent believe in amulets and 62 per cent have faith in sacrificial offerings, us- ually made to the spirits. And yet 98.5 per cent have their children baptized in the Catholic Church. Auxiliary Bishop Jose de Castro Pinto of Rio de Janeiro, in an interview with NC News Service, confirmed these statistics and blamed the "superficiality of Cath- olic instruction in Brazil" for the facts they reveal. The faith of these people is evi- dent only three times in their lives -- at baptisms, marriages and funerals," he said, "but now the Church is changing. Short cour- ses for parents on religious ob- ligations are required before the baptism will be performed." Although there is strong reac- tion against this, the Church is also demanding instruction of both parents and child before first Com- munion, formerly a social event and nothing more. Agreeing with the pastor of Rio de Janeiro's Union Church that Brazil's real problem is a reli- gious problem, the bishop said that the Church is making a study to determine the sociological as- pects of the Macumba. "The religious aspect has al- ready been stated," the bishop said, "and it was found that there are nearly 30,000 voodoo centers and meeting places in the Rio de Janeiro area alone. Macumba gives the impression of being a popular protest against all imported and insufficiently adapted religious forms." The bishop confirmed that this form of spiritism is condemned by the Church and lashed out at from the pulpit, but he admitted that it continues to grow. Macumba is a practicing tell- gion, not a superstition here, and for the illiterate -- 50 per cent of the population -- represent the deep-rooted fetishes br6ught to South America by the African slaves, "But the Macumba spiritism is not the only problem the Church is having in Brazil," the bishop said. "The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil is creating one that is just as serious. This fast-growing, now number- ing well over 200, are followers of a Brazilian bishop who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church some years ago. "Of these men 90 per cent don't have the faith," the bishop said, "but exploit those in Rio's outlying areas, perform weddings for divorced Catholics, and pass themselves off as priests and bis- hops. For the illiterate, thephrase, 'We Catholics say,' is enough. Funds are raised in the major cities, more and more Brazilians are exploited, and many of the 'priests' are arrested on morals and other charges. To Brazil's uneducated, this is the Roman Catholic Church." Bishop de Castro Pinto admit- ted that his hands were tied. "When the government or the Vatican pounces on these people, they shout religious persecution. By law they cannot wear cassocks or call themselves 'Roman Cath- olic,' but enforcement is difficult. They use deceptive methods to draw men into the priesthood and then ordain them without training, sometimes within one week. And they particularly seek out those men expelled from Roman Catho- lic seminaries." When asked if any members of the Catholic Apostolic Church had attempted to join the Roman Cath- olic Church, the bishop said some had been accepted, but as lay Chris- tians, not as ordained Catholic clergy. Another problem facing the Ro- man Catholic Church in Brazil is the lack of religious vocations. Less than 50 per cent of all the priests in the country are Bra- Ready for Thanksgiving Clothing Appeal Holding on to each other for support, these unhappy Latin American children do not know where to turn. Any help must come from outside their family, village, country -- primarily from generous Americans. For millions of despairing children in 70 countries around the world, Catholic Relief Services, overseas aid and development zilian. Father Fernando Comes de Melo, acting as interpreter for Bishop de Castro Pinto, and himself director of the foreign missions for Brazil, confirmed this. "The illiterate have no spirit- ual background, do not grow up in an atmosphere of Christian family life and have no education," he said. "They do not qualify for the priesthood, while the mid- dle class, with a minimum of education, must seek the best- paying vocation to provide assis- tance for their families." Father de Melo said that few vocations come from the educated class. "The well-to-do all claim to be Catholic," he said, "but more in a vision of themselves than in a vision of the Church. They don't even contribute financially to the Church, so funds must come from other countries." The only answer so far is to continue bringing foreign mission- North Little Rock Bozo's B,g Top Toy Shop "We Welcome Your Layaway ... Small or Large." SK 3-5948 *M adam Alexander Dolls. *Bozo Party Accessories and Cake. *Many Party Favors to Select From. Vali Hi 4620 J.F.K. *Stuffed Animals, Large or Small. *Games and Gifts for All Ages. *Educational Books and Toys. COMPLETE LINE OF NAME BRAND TOYS Postage Stamp Trains - Hobbies - Wood Models & Accessories Wood Doll Houses & Furniture - Science Kits & Accessories. OPEN. 10 A.M.- 6 P.M. F-EL.___ - BANKAMERICARq FRIDAYS UNTIL 8 P.M. nd Elaine Hemann of Immaculate Conception Parish. ---- agency of American Catholics, offers the hope for health, adequate food and a future free from despair. Children like and millions of men and women, too, of race and religion, will share in the the Annual Thanksgiving Clothing Please help make this harvest bountiful. Mount Sr. Mary Aca, Classes El0000.c:t Officers Little Rock -- Students have been elected for all classes at Mount St. Mary Academy here. Marcia McNutt has been elected aries into Brazil. "We are asking that they focus their efforts on vocations," Father de Melo said, "but not just re- ligious vocations but any lay vo- cation such as teaching, medicine or social work that will aid and educate the poor through the Church." When asked if there was any- thing Americans could do to help the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil, Bishop de Castro Pinto said there was, but only if they axe well prepared. He was deft- nite in the rules he set down, but said they were his personal ideas and that others might not agree. "First, Americans coming to Brazil must be well versed in Portuguese," he said. "Then, they must have something to give, but to give our way because we know what we need. They must plan to live as Brazilians, not asAmer- icans temporarily engaged in so- cial work." Stressing that Americans not go to Brazil with the idea of im- porting their culture and their ideals and imposing them on the people, the bishop added: "It is most important that Amer- icans become 'one with us,' a part of the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil, and that they are able to give a real witness of the faith. "We would be grateful for help of any kind, but it must be our way, in vision of our plan; other- wise, we cannot succeed." Keep Current Read The Guardian president of the ving with her willl vice president; Shirle retary; and surer. Senior be Sister M. Elisa, Sister M. Jolitta, ILS.M. Margaret Kelly will junior class. Assisting Judy McNeil Mayes, secretary; and McMath, treasurer. Christine, R.S.M., and leen, 1LS.M., are for the class. Dolores Cullivan hasbee! president of the ring with her will be Kay vice president; Jeanette retary; and Rosie PrusSe surer. Co-ordinators are M. Corlite, R.S.M., and Maria Guadalupe, R.S.M. Rose Marie Wrape the freshman class as With her will be Kathy vice president; Patricia secretary; and Clarice treasurer. Sister Norton, and Sister Carolyn, co-ordinators. Several clubs and activitYg have been organized for Co-editors for the hewspaper, are Stephanie Elaine Engster. Cyrene is business manager. Sister Elisa and assistant  is Mrs. Lyn Edge. Directing Press Club for the school Margie Martin, president; anie Cox and presidents; secretary; Cyrena surer. Regular class acl gresslng with the help new faculty members dition of three new art studio, journalism a special six new courses added curriculum this term i French III, Spanish III Trig and Analytics hess Training, and agement.