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Brazilian Bishops Debate New Constitution

April 10, 1986

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Roman Catholic bishops met Wednesday at the annual General Assembly of the Brazilian Episcopate to debate ″Christian ideas″ for a new national constitution.

Monsignor Arnaldo Beltrami, spokesman for the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, said the assembly in Itaici, 55 miles from Sao Paulo, is scheduled to end April 18.

Elections for an assembly to draw up Brazil’s new constitution will be held Nov. 15.

Beltrami said the assembly also will discuss the Vatican’s recent document on liberation theology, popular among Latin American clerics.

Bishop David Picao of Santos said the entire assembly ″is euphoric″ with the document, which ″fully supports the ideas of liberation theology because it states that man must be free to realize himself to his fullest potential and free from misery, injustice and oppressive regimes.″

Widely preached in Brazil and in other Latin American countries, liberation theology maintains that freedom from social and economic oppression is as important as spiritual salvation.

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