December 13, 2005

The Priest is Dead. Long Live the Priest.

The city where we live, Juazeiro do Norte, is notorious as the residence of Padre Cicero, a priest who lived here in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He is thought to have performed many miracles, and is worshiped as a god by the locals--as well as by multitudes who live in the surrounding areas. This cult has been growing since Padre Cicero died in the 1930's.

One of the big proponents of the Padre Cicero cult was a priest named Murilo. I say "was" because he died last week. According to one person I talked to, he died of cirrhosis of the liver--result of excessive drinking. Driving downtown the other day, I saw a banner which read "Padre Murilo, you led us by your example." This would explain why alcoholism is rampant in this region.

The day after Padre Murilo died, it rained here in the valley after a long dry spell. This immediately sparked the notion that Padre Murilo had talked to Padre Cicero, and Padre Cicero had sent the much-needed precipitation. One wonders why Padre Cicero needed to be told by Padre Murilo...but that is beside the point.

This form of "Christianity" has no basis in the Bible. There is no code of ethics that I can see. There is simply blind devotion to certain human beings (dead ones, at that), in hopes that such devotion will be rewarded by material blessings.

Posted by Andrew on December 13, 2005 2:45 PM.

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Made in Brazil congratulates Brazilian director, Fernando Meirelles on his Golden Globe nomination for the movie The Constant Gardner. Andrew, a missionary living in Juazeiro do Norte is critical of locals devoted to Padre Cicero who lived during the ... [Read More]

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