AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara was Archbishop of Olinda and Recife. He is best known for his commitment to the poor and his staunch opposition to the military regime that governed Brazil from 1964-85. Within the Church, he promoted several progressive causes, including the strengthening of Basic Ecclesial Communities. He was co-founder of the National Bishops' Conference of Brazil and an active participant in the Second Vatican Council and the first four meetings of the Latin American Episcopal Conference. His defense of human rights and his struggle for the poor and marginalized won him international recognition and four nominations to the Nobel Peace Prize. Among his most famous statements is: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."