Brazil: The Bishops' Reply

When Brazil's army overthrew Leftist João Goulart in 1964, the generals declared war on Communism, corruption and — it would almost seem — the Roman Catholic Church. Fearful that Brazil's liberal, reform-minded church was spreading agitation in the depressed Northeast, the generals hauled in priests and bishops alike for questioning, forced several into "voluntary" exile, and cracked down on such "subversive" church organizations as labor syndicates and classes to teach adults to read.

Led by Recife's spunky little (5 ft. 4 in., 120 Ibs.) Archbishop Helder. Pessõa Cámara, 57, the church fought back. Four months ago, Cãmara refused to...

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