Brazilian Catholics will seek forgiveness for maltreatment of blacks and native Indians over the past 500 years, according to the president of Brazil's bishops' conference.
   The announcement will coincide with planned celebrations in April to mark 500 years since Portuguese explorers discovered Brazil.
   "It cannot just be a spoken forgiveness, it has to be a real reconciliation and that requires concrete actions," Bishop Jayme Chemello, president of Brazil's National Bishops Council (CNBB).
   A 22 April event will include the presidents of Brazil and Portugal, but is also expected to attract protests from native Indians.
   Chemello said the CNBB had reviewed the Catholic Church's role in abuses and was recommending, among other things, that the Church pressure the government to give back more land to Indians. Disputes between farmers who now settled the lands and Indians have led to bloody clashes in the past.
CWN 29/2/00

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