Vatican told Brazilian bishop to end hunger strike

It has emerged that the Vatican called upon a Brazilian Catholic bishop to end a hunger strike that he had begun to protest against the diversion of a river.

CLICK HERECatholic World News reports that Bishop Luis Flavio Cappio of Barra broke off his hunger strike on Thursday, after having abstained from food for 11 days. The Brazilian bishop, who was protesting plans to alter the course of the Sao Francisco River, had lost 4.5 kg and was beginning to experience dizziness and memory lapses. He had announced that he was prepared to fast until death if the government's plans were not changed.

Bishop Cappio ended his hunger strike after a meeting with Jacques Warner, the Brazilian government's minister for institutional relations; and Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the apostolic nuncio in Brazil. The bishop announced that the government had agreed to postpone its plans for diverting the river's flow, and engage in new talks about the need to protect local farmers who rely on the river for irrigation.

At that same meeting, the Vatican press office has announced, Archbishops Baldisseri handed Bishop Cappio a letter from Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, calling upon him to end the hunger strike.

Vatican told Brazilian bishop to end hunger strike (Catholic World News 7/10/05)

Brazil bishop on hunger strike over river diversion scheme (CathNews 4/10/05)

Brazil Cardinal Laments Protestant Growth (Leading the Charge 9/10/05)

10 Oct 2005