Concordat of 2008

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The Concordat of 2008 was an agreement between the Catholic Church and Brazil, signed in the Vatican in the presence of the President of Brazil, Luiz da Silva on 13 November 2008.[1] [2] Some congressmen wanted to change the concordat,[3] however, as with any other international treaty, once it had been signed, it could not be modified by Brazil without Vatican approval, only accepted or rejected as a whole. [4] After much controversy it was ratified on 7 October 2009. The Association of Brazilian Magistrates opposed the concordat,[5] as did some congressmen [6][7] and Protestant groups.[7] They objected that Brazil's constitution enshrines separation of church and state and forbids the creation of “distinctions between Brazilians or preferences favoring some.” [8] An atheist spokesman called the concordat “an instrument of evangelization at the expense of the state and all Brazilian citizens.” [6] The Catholic Bishops, however, denied that there was any conflict between the concordat and the constitution.[7]

It was the clause on religious instruction that aroused the greatest controversy.[3] Instead of non-sectarian religious education regulated by the educational authorities, which was laid down by the Education Act (LDB), Article 11 of the concordat permits the introduction into state schools of Catholic catechism under the control of the Church.[9] This encountered opposition because Brazil has a diverse religious landscape, which includes not only the major world religions, but also Afro-Brazilian ones like Candomblé and the indigenous religions of the Amazon rainforest. The Ministry of Education feared that introduction of sectarian religious instruction in state schools could jeopardize the Brazilian policy of religious inclusiveness.[3]


  1. ^ Alberto Dines, “Acordo por debaixo dos panos” Archived 21 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine., (in Spanish) (Agreement behind the scenes) Observatório da Imprensa, 17 November 2008
  2. ^ Roseli Fischmann, “Omissão da mídia sobre o acordo com o Vaticano” Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine., (in Spanish) (Omissions of the media about the agreement with the Vatican) Observatório da Imprensa, 18 November 2008
  3. ^ a b c “Tarso defende acordo com Vaticano e diz que projeto prevê manutenção do Estado laico” , (in Spanish) (Tarso defends agreement with Vatican and says the project preserves the secular state) Folha Online, 27 August 2009
  4. ^ Foreign and Commonwealth Office, “Signature”, Glossary of Treaty Terms
  5. ^ [1], Translation of Association of Brazilian Magistrates’ “Public Announcement”, 14 August 2009
  6. ^ a b “Acordo de Brasil e Vaticano é aprovado em comissão”, (in Spanish) (Agreement between Brazil and Vatican approved in Committee) Consultor Jurídico, 13 August 2009
  7. ^ a b c “Câmara aprova Estatuto da Igreja Católica e regulamenta o direito à liberdade religiosa”, (in Spanish) (Chamber of Deputies approves the Statute of the Catholic Church and regulates the right to religious freedom) Agência Câmara, Folha Online, 27 September 2009
  8. ^ Constitution of Brazil, Article 19
  9. ^ [2], Translations of the relevant clauses from the Brazilian Education Act (LDB) and the Concordat

See also[edit]