News letter from Madalena Tomásia de Jesus, the wife of a judge, to Bernardo da Silva do Amaral, a priest.
The author tells the addressee all the health problems that people in her house have been experiencing. She boasts of how providentially helpful she herself has been.
Father Bernardo da Silva Amaral was a priest who lived in Pernambuco (Brazil), although he was born in Lisbon. He was arrested in Recife in 1772, when he was 46 years old, under the suspicion of having made heretic propositions and of abusing women ("solicitação"). Several women testified against him. They said he used to teach that neither kisses, hugs or caresses were sins, they were rather a way of serving God, so he kissed, hugged and caressed them. He was accused of going to bed with several of them, sometimes mother and daughter at the same time, and was also seen bathing with them. Most of the private letters used as exhibits against him were exchanged between this priest and the mother and daughter pair. The letters exchanged with the mother are partly in cipher, but the court could not force the defendant to explain how to decode them.
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