A Catholic music festival in Brazil is facing backlash after canceling a gay singer’s performance, according to Crux.
Bruno Camurati, a well-known Brazilian singer and composer, was scheduled to perform at the Halleluya Festival on July 23rd. Camurati had performed at the festival in the past, and his fans were reportedly excited to attend the concert.
The Halleluya Festival is an artistic event organized by Shalom, a Brazilian Catholic community, which is part of the larger Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) movement. Even though he is not a part of CCR, Camurati has a significant religious background. He was a part of the Legionaries of Christ but left the group when he was 24 years old. He transitioned to having a “mostly parish experience as a Catholic” as he began to sing in churches.
Since then, Camurati has produced four albums. Although he is not a “charismatic or gospel singer,” Camurati identifies as a “Catholic artist.” His decision to be public about his sexual orientation came soon after fellow Catholic singer, Gil Monteiro, also did so. Camurati stated:
“‘I have always worked with human themes like acceptance, mercy, welcoming – and also hypocrisy, phariseeism, vanity. I saw that the people understood my work and that I had to deal with that issue.'”
While many of Camurati’s fans were supportive of his coming out, the Halleluya Festival canceled his appearance without any explanation.
“As soon as I made my online declaration [to be homosexual], they excluded me without any clarification. Officially, they did not mention anything. But we can imagine which were their reasons,” Camurati told Crux.
The Halleluya Festival is now receiving backlash from Camurati’s fans through the internet and social media. Despite the discrimination that he has faced, Camurati is still urging fans to act with “respect, love, and kindness.”
Camurati has also received support from Catholic leaders. Jesuit Fr. Bruno Franguelli, a Brazilian activist, has expressed his disapproval of the Halleluya Festival’s decision, saying, “I know Bruno for quite a while, and he is a superb singer-songwriter. He is also a man of faith whose songs transpire his experience with God.”
The National Network of LGBT Catholic Groups has also outwardly supported Camurati. Luís Rabello, the group’s coordinator, believes that the Camurati’s music career may actually benefit from the current publicity, since he has already “ended up gaining more fame.” Camurati plans to continue singing with the intention of spreading “the message of the Gospel” through his music.
While Camurati may not be able to perform at the Halleluya Festival, he is still making a mark on the Catholic community. His exclusion from the festival has prompted needed discussion about the intersection of sexuality and Catholicism. His call to his fans to respond with “respect, love, and kindness” is admirable.
—Sarah Cassidy (she/her), July 14, 2022