Dateline Next Week — Sao Paolo Brazil
When Pope Benedict XVI arrived in this sprawling city Wednesday for a five-day visit to the world’s formerly most populous Roman Catholic country, he found that there were actually no Catholics left in Brazil.
It appears that the last remaining Catholics in the country converted to Pentecostalism during the Pontiff’s 11-hour flight.
The Pope’s entire visit had been planned as a last ditch effort aimed at keeping the last few remaining Catholics in Brazil from converting.
A local Bishop dressed in Bermuda shorts and with an umbrella in his drink, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told CMR “If the Pope has only scheduled his visit a few weeks earlier, the plan might have worked. We really should have tried to be more Protestant sooner. However, the problems really began when the Church allowed the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney.”
The Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney is a group of right wing Catholics in Campos Brazil trying to bring back the dark ages by having the mass in Latin. Jose Vargas, a former Catholic turned Pentecostal told CMR “When I saw that the priest said mass with his back to the people and the faith community was no longer celebrating itself as the center of attention, I knew I could no longer be a Catholic”.
Jose Vargas is not alone. In Brazil, Catholics have dropped from 89 percent of the population in 1980 to 74 percent in 2000 and finally to zero percent this week, according to Brazilian census data.
More than 160 bishops from around the hemisphere were to meet with the pope in the southeastern Brazilian town of Aparecida. However, since there are no Catholics left, the bishops went to the topless beach instead.
The Pope, a former Hitler Youth, is now headed back to Rome.