Dealing with institutionalized hypocrisy

Furthermore, “given the weakness of the human and technical resources of the state bureaucracy, as Catholic ecclesiastical authorities do not only dominate education, public health and assistance works , they also detect total exclusivity in the granting of birth, marriage and death records” ( 2006). Evangelical marriages were not recognized, but equated with concubinage, and mixed marriages were prohibited (Prien 2001). The burial of non-Catholics (heretics, therefore) was refused by the ecclesiastical administration, to whom they were entrusted or public cemeteries (Mariano 2006).

This reading, however, must not strictly reflect the religious freedom experienced by scholars throughout the 19th century. It is a very long period, where a material of reality is not touched in the situation of non-Catholics in the country, it undergoes profound changes, mainly in the policies of migration and foreign protests that appear in Brazil from 1850 – changes that came accompanies new laws and government measures and even new legal interpretations.

Law 1144 was passed

which allowed mixed and non-Catholic marriages to be carried out6, the first of which are not carried out by Protestant clerics, under penalty of a fine, but only by Catholic clitics and are still subject to a declaration of commitment to the Catholic education of children (Prien 2001). In 1863, 3,069 was issued or decree, which established that public cemeteries reserved a separate place for the burial of academics7.

  •  He also interpreted legal issues that prevent Protestant worship in the national language and, therefore, preached to Brazilian Catholics who
  • suffered setbacks in the late 1950s, when three renowned jurists of the time – Caetano Alberto Soares, José Tomás Nabuco de Araújo (Joaquim’s
  • father Nabuco) and Urbano Sabino Pessoa de Melo – gave a favorable opinion to the Protestant pastor, founder of the Evangelical

Church of Rio de Janeiro, Rev. Robert Reid Kalley8, against the accusation that they suffer part of the Apostolic Nuncio of spreading a Protestant faith, with an aggravating factor. , listen around the conversion of two ladies of the nobility (Gabriela Augusta Carneiro Leão and Henriqueta Soares de Couto) 9. The government was satisfied with the explanations allowed by Kalley, making a new interpretation of the constitutional article regarding religious freedom.

As for non-Catholic confessions, their freedom of worship was lost, under the terms of the Constitution, during restrictions – confirmed by the laws and regulations subsequently edited. In fact, according to the interpretation given to the constitutional text, non-Catholic cults are used only for foreigners and in their language (without proselytism, therefore). They would also be held in the home itself or in prayer houses with no external form of the temple; in short, places of worship that were not “recognizable as Christian churches by a tower, breasts or a cross” (Prien 2001: 40), under penalty of a fine5.

In addition to showing a milestone

in the interpretation of religious freedom in the Empire Constitution, this episode is also interesting because it highlights a correlation of forces and agents that help to illustrate the ankle picture of religious freedom during a part of the imperial period. In fact, in research carried out with the historiography of Protestant religions in Brazil,

there were no reports of persecutions suffered or graves suffered by missionaries who settled in the country – and less than part of the government. Some authors, who may have a greater interest in victimizing non-Catholic religions during the imperial period, emphasize the obstacles to the state of establishment in Brazil, however, do not offer facts that corroborate these hypotheses. On the contrary, the reports made in such works seem to point in another direction10.

The difficulties presented by the demonstrators in the exercise of religious freedom during the Empire seem to have resulted more from actions and heard in the Catholic clergy of any act practiced by the government, which, according to the analyzed reports, was not opposed to the attacks of the Protestant missionaries – as it is observed in the case of reviewing Kalley. The involvement of the Catholic clergy as an agent contrary to the religious freedom of academics, however, must be observed with exception,

Due to diachronic variables

in addition to the organizational complexity of groups of groups that integrate the Catholic Church, as it is possible to use reports of work between Catholics and Protestants depend on data11, on the location12 or even on the side involved – whether liberal or conservative (ultramontana).  Even so, the picture that draws in the period closer to the end of the Empire revealed, in fact, a more critical and combative Church in relation to the freedom to enjoy as non-Catholic religions13.

  • In this context, one can quote an attitude of Dom Vidal, denouncing an “incessant work of protesting against the country” (Vieira 2007:
  • 314), or as words of Dom Antonio de Macedo Costa, when dedicating the catechism book he launches in 1875 to the “Augusta Immaculate
  • Virgin Mary, protector of the Empire of Santa Cruz; who never managed to get Catholic roots in this land of Protestant impiety” (Vieira 2007: 314).

This challenging position was further fueled by the fact that Catholicism suffered official and exclusive controls, in a specific distribution of burdens and bonuses that does not exist in the relationship between State and religion. From the point of view of Catholics, the country was experiencing a real paradox, since “Catholicism, the official state religion, was surrounded and criticized in all ways; or Protestantism, officially under legal public variables, the fact that enjoy freedoms and favorites “(Vieira 2007: 314).

As Dom José Pereira da Silva Barros says, , because:
The dissidents, without embargo of the civil power, advertise in Brazil more gratuitously, preaching as their private descriptions and publicly, distributing forged bibles and full pamphlets of heresies, affronts and diatribes against the Church, its chief, its cult and its ministers ; baptized and renamed; they married those who sought it, foreigners and nationals,

even in connection with direct impediments recognized by civil laws; they had their cemeteries and buried their dead in them with ceremonies of their rites and without any dependence on ecclesiastical power; they owned their temples in very different forms from private dwellings and they celebrated their services to us publicly, with doors open to all the people; they lived at last in the Empire, as if they lived in a Protestant country.
If in addition to freedom there were no limits on cults, it was because non-Catholics took advantage of Catholics in enjoying immunities. It will seem absurd and strange, but it is true of the facts (Vieira 2007: 314-5).

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