23/12/2010NEWS IN ENGLISH – Bishop attacks congressional salary increase
Marcos Chagas Reporter Agência Brasil
Brasília – During an ordinary end-of-the-year ceremony at the Congress, members of parliament presented the bishop of Limoeiro do Norte in the state of Ceará, dom Manuel Edmilson Cruz, with the Dom Helder Câmera Human Rights Award (“Comenda dos Direitos Humanos Dom Helder Câmera”). But in his acceptance speech the bishop did not follow the playbook. First, he refused the award. And then he told an embarrassed audience why.
The bishop said he could not accept the Dom Helder Câmera award because of the quickie decision last week by senators and deputies to increase salaries for senators and deputies by 61.8% at a time when some Brazilians had to wait years to get treatment for cancer in public hospitals. He added that it was an affront to the Brazilian taxpayer who paid his bills with sweat of his brow and the dignity of his labor. The bishop went on to say that because of the salary increase the Dom Helder Câmera award, named after a person (Câmera lived from 1909 to 1999) who was a champion of social justice and human rights (especially during the military dictatorship), had been disfigured. Dom Manuel added that he refused the award humbly and did not intend to give a lesson to anyone,
Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English
Link – Bispo de Limoeiro recusa comenda no Senado em protesto contra reajuste de parlamentares