November 10, 2011 ( – Brazil’s Second International Congress for Truth and Life, sponsored by Human Life International, concluded last week with a call to fight the international organizations that are promoting the destruction of human life and family values.

“In the face of the growing culture of death, we denounce its advance in Latin America, especially in our country, through abortionism, contraception, pornography, homosexualism, gender ideology, population control, manipulation of language, and cultural reengineering that seeks to undermine the content of our Christian faith,” wrote conference organizers following the four day event, held in Sao Paulo from November 3-6.

Although a majority of Brazilians are pro-life, the organizers affirm the “necessity of more education regarding the current problem of the perverse activities of many transnational organizations that influence our government for the purpose of implanting policies contrary to the culture of life and of the family.”


The congress, which brought together pro-life leaders from the United States and Latin America, was held in Sao Paulo’s famous Saint Benedict Monastery, where Pope Benedict XVI stayed during his trip in 2007.

Speakers included HLI President Fr. Shenan Bouquet, Brazilian pro-life activists Fr. Paulo Ricardo de Azevedo and Fr. Lodi da Cruz, Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Piero Tozzi, Ecuador’s Fr. Juan Carlos Chavez, and LifeSiteNews’ Latin America Correspondent Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, among many others. It was organized by Felipe Nery, director of the St. Benedict School at the same monastery.

Fr. Boquet, who arrived at the conference only two days after his move to HLI’s headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, told attendees that the battle to preserve the right to life and the family is an intense one, but always conducted in charity.

“We’re talking about a war here,” said Boquet in his opening address, and added that “the reality here is that we are going to see some very ugly things” at the conference about abortion, homosexuality, and the culture of death. “Remember them because this is reality, this is what is happening in the world.” But, he added, “we are not people of despair, we are people of hope”

“If we reclaim our relationship with God, this can change. It can be mitigated if people change.” We must “bring to souls living in darkness the message of hope,” said Boquet.

He also warned Brazilians that if they do not change, their country will go the way of Europe, whose native population is dying out due to abortion and contraception.

“A whole nation, an entire people could disappear,” Boquet said, speaking of Brazil. “Look at Europe today, they are paying couples to have children. Why? Because they are watching their whole nation fall apart.”

“You must get involved, and anyone who tells you you shouldn’t be involved in the political environment, are lying to you,” said Boquet, assuring the audience that “out of love we will bring a message of salvation.”

HLI’s new president also presented the Von Galen Award to Dom Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini, bishop of Guarulhos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, for his work on behalf of the right to life. Last year’s recipient was Dom José Cardoso Sobrinho, archbishop of Olinda e Recife.