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Por Sergio Viula 1º DIA: 07/03/2021 Às vesperas do Dia Internacional da Mulher, minha filha me deu uma notícia que merece celebração e exige cuidados ao mesmo tempo.  Acordei por volta das nove horas da manhã com mensagens entrando, uma após a outra, no meu Instagram. Antes mesmo de ir ao banheiro fazer a higiene matutina, abri o comunicador e li o seguinte: "Você vai ser avô, mas ainda é segredo. Só conta para os meus pais e para o Isaac." A razão do segredo é que o teste para gravidez que ela havia feito era aqueles que se compram em farmácias. Ela queria contar para outras pessoas só depois do exame de sangue, que dá um resulado mais seguro. Claro que eu fiquei feliz e preocupado ao mesmo tempo. Daí, a frase que abriu esse diário lá em cima. É bom saber que Larissa e Vitor estão felizes com a perspectiva da maternidade e da paternidade. Por outro lado, ter um filho não é tão simples quanto muita gente imagina e nem como alguns pais e algumas mães tendem a falar sobre esse

A Vatican Jesuit university in Rome hosts an exhibition featuring a Brazilian gay couple

A Vatican Jesuit university in Rome hosts an exhibition featuring a Brazilian gay couple 


By Sergio Viula

Updated on June 1st.




ROME, May 30th, 2019 — a new exhibition about atheism and unbelief — including a Brazilian gay couple (Sergio Viula e Andre Dias) — was opened the day before yesterday in the main atrium of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.


The exhibition — named “Unbelievers” — is being held in cooperation with the theology faculty of the university. The event started on May 28th and finishes today (30th), portraying stories of unbelievers from different parts of the world.

Actually, there are more than atheism to it. Among the people portrayed in stunning pictures, there are people who believe in occultism, which is far from being considered atheism by all means, since atheists usually reject any supernatural claims whatever their make might be.

By the way, one of the ladies portrayed, who practices the occult, doesn't do it as a form of magic, but as an art form that challenges how people perceive the world and relate to  their own imaginations. So, her practice seems to fit  in the area of arts and subjectivity than in  field of dogmatic religion.

The gay couple in the exhibition 

Sergio Viula and Andre Dias say they simply don't see any rational or empirical reason to believe there is anything supernatural or divine. They highlight that nobody has ever demonstrated the Gods of "modern" monotheism to be any truer than the Gods of ancient Greece or Rome, for instance.

Both the exhibition and the conference are taking place simultaneously and they are aimed at both broadening the dialogue channels between believers and unbelievers and deepening the understanding of the social-cultural phenomenon of unbelief. 

Nonetheless, what seems to have been a good idea to foster the building of a peaceful and friendly society, especially one characterized by diversity, has drawn acid criticism from some ultraconservative sectors, mainly fundamentalists, which should not catch any of us by surprise as their modus operandi has been widely known now.


An unusual encounter

A team of researchers visited Brazil last year in order to prepare a documentary about the Positivist Temple in Rio de Janeiro. They also recorded in the city of Porto Alegre, where there is the second of the only two temples of that kind in the world. The encounter between Wade and the Viula-Dias couple was made possible after he'd heard of Viula's story — an Evangelical Christian for 18 years and a pastor before becoming an atheist, Viula was counting his 16th year living without any religious beliefs and/or dogmas.

Later on, Audrey Wade photographed both Viula and Dias, who is also an unbeliever, in their house on a Sunday afternoon. Their photo in the exhibition, however, is just one of the many wonderful shots made by Wade, but there's certainly a lot of hype around it.




Sergio Viula (49) and Andre Dias (28)

The caption reads Sergio "converted" to atheism and has been "living happily with his husband, Andre (28), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” There's a mistake in the caption, though, as Sergio was 49 when the picture was taken, not 55 as it reads.



Why this exhibition?


The exhibition was meant to coincide with a great conference about atheism, focusing on "Cultures of Unbelief", held in the Gregorian University in Rome, May 28-30.

The conference was organized in co-operation between the Pontifical Vatican Council for Culture and Non-Religion and Secularity Research Network from the University of Kent, England. 

According to organizers, the event marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Vatican's conference on the Culture of Disbelief, held in March, 1969 -- the first one ever made by the Vatican aiming at the social-scientific studies of non-belief.

Photo: Aubrey Wade

Photo: Aubrey Wade

A word of thanks


Our most sincere thanks to our dearest fellows Fabricio Ramos, Aubrey Wade and Miguel Farias  — associated producer, interviewer and photographer, respectively  —, who invited us to take part in their lovely projects, being one about atheism and positivism in Brazil and the other one about unbelief in the world.

A special word of thanks to Aubrey Wade, this wonderful person and photographer, who gave Andre and me a chance to share a little of our love and happiness together as a couple.

Special thanks to Fabrício Ramos, who is part of the office in charge of projects for PrumoPro, the company associated with the production of Understanding Unbelief in Brazil last year, who kindly connected us to Wade, which eventually led to our participation in such a great  exhibition.

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