The Heralds of the Gospel were sought by the SBT and, for more than an hour, answered the questions raised by trainee reporter John Silva. The interview was held in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, in Caieiras, São Paulo, and was attended by Revmo. Pe. Alex Barbosa de Brito, member of the Virgo Flos Carmeli Clerical Society of Apostolic Life, and several members of the Women's Sector of the Heralds of the Gospel, as well as families and co-workers of the Association.
The interviewer asked about alleged physical assaults carried out by the Institution, which were the subject of media release this past week. But even before responding to the charge, Revmo. Pe. Alex Barbosa de Brito clarified that we are facing persecution against the Catholic Church and, particularly, against the Heralds institution of the Gospel. That is why it would be necessary for the press, before publishing complaints as if they were true, to analyze the information acuity.
Watch the answer in full:
The Ep. Alex recalled the nationally known case of the Base School, an institution whose members suffered a true "stoning", by public opinion, thanks to the media, and only now, several years later, the truth came to the fore.
With regard to the charge of physical assault, the said priest considered it to be a "fantasy". When asked about torture cases, he claimed to be an "empty accusation", since the tortured or torturers do not appear. What exists – he explains himself – is that in some press agencies, this issue was related to the Ceremony of Crisma, in which the celebrant slaps a slight slap in what is being confirmed.
It then makes a synthetic explanation of this singular rite:
[O bispo (ou o celebrante devidamente autorizado por ele)]" slap slap slap sores, precisely to indicate that that person reached spiritual maturity; is part of the Church ritual, it is a bimilenar ritual and this is witnessed by people at the ceremony. […]From there they said it was assault."
So to make it clear that it's not all parents who agree with this charge, the priest invited Mrs. Maria do Carmo, mother of three members of the Heralds of the Gospel, and who attended the Confirmation of the three. She expressed no astonishment at the ritual, on the contrary, said it was "an act known to the Catholic Church and symbolizes awakening to defend her faith."
Finally, asked about the content conveyed by the media about the Heralds, she said:
"This attack on the Catholic Church is very strong. We have almost fifteen years participating and I can tell you very safely: all charges are unfounded!"