October 5, 1997 |
Gilberto dos Santos Durval is a Catholic--so he insists with emotion. As he watched the arrival of Pope John Paul II last week, goose bumps covered his arms and tears streamed from his eyes. "He is God's messenger on Earth," said Durval, a round, jovial man whose tone shifts to hushed reverence when speaking of the pontiff.
October 12, 1991 |
Father Edmilson Ribeiro's Catholic parish on the southern edge of Natal has six churches and a total population of more than 60,000, but Ribeiro is its only priest. His difficulty in keeping in touch with the people is all too common among priests in Brazil, which has more baptized Catholics than any other country. "The father can't give that personal attention, case by case," lamented Ribeiro, 43, a round-faced man with close-fitting cap of black hair.
August 8, 1998 |
There is a magic word that Brazilians use to describe their talent for artful compromise. The word jeito translates roughly as a knack for solving problems, whether bureaucratic entanglements or social conflicts. It applies to the melding of religions that allows tens of millions of Brazilians to call themselves Roman Catholics while practicing rites of African origin.
September 23, 1995 |
A greedy, corrupt and lascivious preacher in a popular miniseries on Brazilian television bears a strong resemblance to Bishop Edir Macedo, the country's most famous evangelist. Macedo's followers are furious. The miniseries has been airing weeknights on TV Globo, the network that dominates Brazilian television. Now, a smaller network, owned by Macedo's Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, is on the counterattack.
March 25, 1989 |
More than half a billion Scriptures were distributed around the world last year, making it the biggest yearly total since the United Bible Societies came into being 43 years ago. The total of 692,754,925 was an 11% increase above 1987 as reported by the United Bible Societies, which now has work in more than 180 countries. Figures were up for all global regions and all categories of Scripture. Bible distribution rose by 10.1%, with more than 14 million placed in circulation.
October 22, 1991 |
In a 10-day journey to Brazil, Pope John Paul II has raised issues and set guidelines for a major conference of Latin America's bishops next year marking the 500th anniversary of Roman Catholicism in the Western Hemisphere. More than 30 homilies, speeches and other pronouncements in Brazil spelled out the Pope's commitment to social and economic justice, while stressing spiritual needs and rejecting church alignment with political ideologies.