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Press Release

Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga (died 8 August 2020)

[ German ]  [ French ]

We are Church International celebrates the life of Dom Pedro Casaldáliga, who died on 8 August 2020 aged 92. He was a model disciple of Jesus and his Gospel. Born and ordained in Spain he lived since 1968 in Brazil, where he was appointed bishop of São Félix do Araguaia in 1971.

He was a prophetic bishop and last survivor of that extraordinary generation of "holy fathers of the Latin American Church" with a total commitment to the option for the poor. Animated by a firm Christian faith and a deep spirituality of liberation, Dom Pedro dedicated his life to social justice, the struggle against oppression and violence, environmental protection and a new world order based on solidarity. With simplicity and courage he fought for agrarian reform, defended the Indians of the Amazon, and stood by the Latin American peoples who were fighting for their liberation.

Aware of the need for an organized commitment of the Church alongside the poor, he was one of the founders of the Pastoral Commission for the Land (CPT) and the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI). For this reason he suffered persecution, was constantly threatened with death and saw his collaborators killed. He was also often criticized by the Vatican for his requests to "reform the Catholic Church in its structures of power, ministry and doctrinal formulation." He publicly supported the International Movement We Are Church in 1998 and Council 50 in 2015. With the freedom of the mystic and the poet, he knew how to combine the desire for a more free and just society with the hope for an inclusive and synodal Church.

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We Are Church International (WAC) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.

Colm Holmes
Chair, We Are Church International
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