Hundreds join Brazilian Bishop's hunger strike for threatened river

Hundreds of protestors have come out in force to support a Brazilian Bishop's hunger strike to stop the environmentally destructive diversion of the country's fourth largest river.

However, the Holy See has urged Bishop Luiz Flavio Cappio to end his hunger strike which he started on 27 November.

Catholic News Agency reports the Apostolic Nuncio in Brazil, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, sent the bishop a letter asking him to end the hunger strike.

Fr Cappio said the letter was "friendly and fraternal", but did not say if he would heed the request.

Reuters reports demonstrators held vigils across Brazil while protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace in Brasilia.

About a hundred others joined Bishop Cappio in Sobradinho, some fasting in solidarity with his cause.

Brazil's council of bishops last week asked Catholics to unite for a day of fasting and prayer in solidarity with Fr Cappio, but asked him to end his fast saying it had "already served to alert public opinion."

Strike for Faith not Politics (Reuters, 18/12/07)
Vatican asks Brailain Bishop to immediately end hunger strike (Catholic News Agency, 19/12/07)

Brazil Bishop continues hunger strike for threatened river (CathNews 13/12/07)
Vatican told Brazilian bishop to end hunger strike (CathNews 11/10/05)
Brazil bishop on hunger strike over river diversion scheme (CathNews 04/10/05)

19 Dec 2007