The Press Department of the Heralds of the Gospel published on August 28, 2019, an extensive report entitled "Persecution of the Catholic Church in Brazil?", in which the fallacious statements contained in a report entitled "The secrets of Heralds: what hide the walls of castles inhabited by ultraconservative Catholic group", published on August 23, 2019 by the news portal Metropolises.
See the overall response plan here.
III. General observations
To uncover what is behind the report, it is appropriate to make some brief general observations about the article.
1. In many words there is no lack of offense
First of all, the extent of the libel of accusations is undoubtedly disproportionate. It has more than 6,500 words, which corresponds to more than thirteen pages of a conventional magazine (with illustrations). Well, a question is soon born: what is it worth of hate for? Is it to mask bad faith? I've been saying, "The truth has spoken a language without deviations." That is, when words multiply uselessly, one is suspicious of the truthfulness and honesty of the subject. In this sense, this response sought to spare the reader unnecessary explanations. After all, what is evident does not require demonstration. Moreover, it is useless to discuss with those who deny the most fundamental principles of logic.
The language of the report is, as has already been said, extremely repetitive and full of platitudes and slogans, with the indisputable intention of creating sensationalism. Rightly warned the sage: "In many words there is no lack of offense; whoever retains the lips is prudent" (Pr 10:19).
2. Memory was also missing…
Anyone who has the patience to read the report, notes that she contradicts herself several times. Here are some examples:
a) Initially she states that the Heralds "live in palaces" and in "sumptuous facilities", but later describes the headquarters of Brasilia as a "conventional construction".
b) Chronicles the alleged ban on the use of mobile phones among students, but at the same time inserts a report that a Sister would have sent a message to another through her cell phone.
c) Denounces irreparable damage caused by "brainwashing" by placing the children against the parents, but at the same time attaches a letter from Sister Livia intended for the mother, expressing the greatest affections towards her.
d) If there would be a cult of "worship" to Mons. John Clá on the part of his followers, how could they refer to him with an acronym as banal as "JCD", as the report falsely points out?
e) Defines the Heralds as a "private association of priests (sic)", while it is known that it has members of both sexes. In fact, the report also contains reports of (supposed) "ex-arautas" (as if the word "herald", in Portuguese, had feminine…).
f) There are still several untruths throughout the article, already enunciated in the body of this response or simply omitted. Ridicule does not deserve to be answered to spare the reader his precious time.
In short, something is written in part of the article and soon after there is an evident self-contradiction. Here it is worth remembering quintinian's imperishable axiom: "The liar needs to have a good memory." Well, the authors were betrayed by their own words… or in good Portuguese: "Mentira has short leg"… although it's such a long story…
3. The most important "secret" finally revealed
As has been said, the report is based on reports of former members or family members almost always anonymous. Why didn't reporters look for the thousands of people satisfied with the heralds' actions in Brazil and around the world? Numerous members and former members, their fathers and mothers, of all orb, are grateful for the training offered by the institution. This is a basic principle already summed up by Roman law: "The other party is heard." The Federal Constitution consolidated this aphorism by the famous principle of adversarial (art. 5, LV). However, whatever it takes, the report wants to induce the reader to conclude that the Heralds are a "destructive sect".
Moreover, the matter simply disregarded the Association's consolidated reputation with civil and ecclesiastical society, following with all due diligence the laws of God and men. This is attested by countless letters of support from religious and civil authorities. Why simply ignore so many contrary evidence? There are no secrets in this sense, for these witnesses know very well the irreproachable conduct of the Heralds: they are what they are, nothing more.
It is also incomprehensible so partiality, that it hurts the most basic principles of journalism. In reality, there is that anti-Christian hatred that denounced Tertulian in the early days of the Church: "Christianos ad leones" (Apologeticum, 40, 2), that is, "Throw Christians to lions", so all problems would be solved! Cui prodest? – Who are crimes interested in? We will know one day in the human and divine courts.
On the other hand, the authors of the report allied themselves with a group ostensibly opposed to the Heralds, whose bad-caratism is gaping every day on social networks, and by the testimonies revealed by the report themselves. Excerpts from the report can be easily found in posts from blogs so — "dirty". Finally, how can we trust, for example, in the "good faith" of a mother who dares to say, "My goal today is to help as many young people as I can get out of there"…?
In any case, after observing the multiplication of falsehoods of several anonymous accounts referred to Christians, Plinio the Young said: "As for anonymous libels, they should not deserve attention in any criminal cause, because they are a terrible example that does not match our time." If anonymity has not served in ancient judgments for almost twenty centuries, how will they serve today as a testimony? How could such a "modern" portal simply look at this obviousness?
In every way, in the not-too-distant past, almost all journalists omitted to give opinions on the issues they were unaware of. Nowadays, for some, just listen to a siren song to already issue hasty judgments. Too bad they forget so easily the basic principles of journalism, learned right in the first year of college: objectivity, neutrality and impartiality. Ultimately, the report, so obsessed with revealing the alleged "secrets" of the Heralds – many of them practiced in the light of day centuries ago by the Church – ends up revealing its own secret: a relentless religious persecution.