SÃÆ’O FRANCISCO RIVER: ’DOM’ CAPPIO ENDS FAST, “BUT I REMAIN ALONGSIDE POOR”

Monday
05:16:51
December
24 2007

SÃÆ’O FRANCISCO RIVER: ’DOM’ CAPPIO ENDS FAST, “BUT I REMAIN ALONGSIDE POOR”

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Brazil: Misna; “I ended my fast, but not my battle”, begins a letter of ’dom’ Luiz Flavio Cappio read last night in Sobradinho (Bahia), in the chapel of São Francisco, along the banks of the homonymous river. The Franciscan Bishop of Barra was in ’fast and prayer’ for 24 days to save the São Francisco River, until he collapsed on Wednesday evening after a Supreme Court ruling authorised the resumption of works in the project for the diversion of Brazil’s third course of water. ’Dom’ Cappio left the hospital of Petrolina to celebrate a mass, attended also by the Bishop of the local diocese and Juazeiro: “Yesterday I completed 36 years of priesthood, 36 years at the service of the inhabitants of the ’favelas’ of Petropolis (Rio de Janeiro), in the outskirts of Sao Paolo, and the people of the endless sertao of North-East Brazil.

Yesterday we witnessed with disappointment the powerful celebrating the demonstration of servility of the judicial powers. When I collapsed yesterday I received the assistance of those that accompanied me in these long days of sufferance”, said the Franciscan Bishop in his letter. “But our battle continues founded on what rises above all: faith in the God of life and the organised mobilisation of the poor. Our main battle is to guarantee the life of the Rio São Francisco and its people, guaranteeing access to water and real development for the entire population of all of the semi-arid, not only a part. This is worth a life and I am happy to dedicate myself to this cause that is part of my mission to the God of life, live water that is Jesus and that gives himself to those that live massacred by structures that generate oppression and death.

One of our greatest joys in this period was to see the population stand up and react in conscience of the strength of union, children and youths singing hope, speaking out with arms raised and eyes looking toward the future that we desire for our dear Brazil. A future for all, in which everyone, without any exception, has the right to eat, drinking water, to cultivable land, dignity and citizenship. I received with love and respect the solidarity of all, close and far. I received with joy the solidarity of my fellow Bishops, fathers and pastors that demonstrated in such a fraternal manner their understanding of the gravity of the moment we are living. Through its courageous stand, the CNBB (Brazilian Bishops Conference) gave us back hope of seeing it return to what it always was in better times: faithful to Jesus and the Gospel, an institution dedicated to the great causes of Brazil and its people with a clear and determined stand in defence of dignity of the human being and inalienable rights, above all standing alongside the poor and marginalised of this nation. I listened with profound respect to the appeal of my family, friends and sisters and brothers in battle that always wanted me alive to fight for life. In a fight against the destruction of our bio-diversity, our rivers, our people and against the arrogance of those that instead want to transform all into trade merchandise and money.

In this great movement formed starting from Sobradinho we experienced an unprecedented moment of intense communion and solidarity. After these 24 days, I end my fast, but not my battle that is also yours, that is also ours. We want to widen the debate, spread true information and make our mobilisation grow.

Until we have defeated this project of death and conquered real development for the semi-arid and São Francisco River. It is for you that have fought with me and undertaken the same path that I suspend my fast. I know that I can count on you and you can count on me to continue our battle to ensure that «all have life and in abundance»”, concluded ’Dom’ Cappio. After mass the Bishop returned to the hospital of Petrolina to continue his recovery. (Translation of article by Francesca Belloni) [BO]

Source by Misna


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