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Brazilian President adds liberation theologian to staff

Brazilian President Luis Ignacio "Lula" da Silva has announced the appointment of a leading liberation theologian as a special advisor on social issues.

Dominican Friar Alberto Libanio Christo, popularly known as Frei Beto, has been named a "counsellor and special advisor to the presidency." The job includes a salary, but not a full time commitment.

In the past, Frei Beto has come under fire from Church conservatives for his "favourable" biography of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

He will join the new government team promoting a "Zero Hunger" campaign. His particular responsibilities will reportedly include rallying Catholic support for the program.

According to the new Brazilian president's spokesman, Andre Singer, Frei Beto will be asked to help analyse "aspects of doctrinal support in grassroots activities related to the fight against hunger launched by the president."

Catholic World News

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Will Brazil take chance on radical president? (Andrew Greeley)
Frei Beto (Escritorio Arlete Jorge, Agenciamento Artistico)

15 Jan 2003