Friday, 25 April 2014

Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer: In Memorium

Dom Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop of Campos, Brazil, departed to God in his 87th year on April 25, 1991.

Born in 1904, Dom Antonio was from Campinhas in Sao Paulo. He studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate. Before becoming a bishop, as a priest of the Sao Paulo diocese, he successively and successfully filled the posts of professor in the Provincial Seminary of Sao Paulo, was canon of the cathedral, parish priest of St. Joseph of Belem in the eastern section of Sao Paulo, and finally that of Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo. He was, at the same time, General Counsellor of Catholic Action for the Archdiocese and, in that function, he wholeheartedly supported Catholic lay organisations in their efforts to check Communist activity.

In 1948 he was appointed and consecrated coadjutor bishop of Campos, assuming the direction of the diocese one year later. In the 1950's, Bishop de Castro Mayer published a lengthy and timely "Pastoral Letter on Problems of the Modern Apostolate," in which he attacked Modernism, whose ravages he already had foreseen. During the 1960's, Bishop de Castro Mayer fought against the Communists on the home front and against the Modernists in Rome. In 1964, Brazil was barely kept from falling into the Communist bloc - this due to devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the regular recitation of the Rosary by large multitudes of the people. But the Brazilian episcopate was divided on the question of the Socialist reforms, which were the beginning of Communism. Many of them approved these reforms but Bishop de Castro Mayer, along with Archbishop Sigaud, led the minority of bishops opposed, thus playing a central role in the defeat of Communism in Brazil.

In Rome he was again associated with Archbishop Sigaud in the formation of the Coetus lnternationalis Patrum, an organization of traditional bishops to counter the Modernists' attempts to take over the Council. This organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre and presided over by Archbishop Sigaud, amongst other things, had a petition signed by over 450 bishops asking for the condemnation of Communism. It was Bishop de Castro Mayer who presented this petition to the Council, although to no avail.

Bishop de Castro Mayer was especially outstanding for his refusal to accept the post-conciliar changes in the liturgy. Until his forced retirement in 1981 the traditional Latin Mass was celebrated throughout his diocese, along with all the other traditional Catholic practices and devotions - and he was to continue this battle even when replaced by the Liberal Bishop Navarro. The majority of the priests in the diocese of Campos (336 of them!) resisted the Modernist orientations of the new bishop and remained faithful. Bishop Antonio was thus able to maintain a completely traditional "diocese" within a diocese, with around 40,000 faithful, which he organized in parallel chapels to protect the faithful from the enemies within.

His association with Archbishop Lefebvre strengthened further in 1983 when they wrote a joint Open Letter to the Pope in which they publicly exposed the proliferation of errors within the post-conciliar Church that all of their private efforts had until then done nothing to stop. His understanding of the gravity of the crisis of faith in the Church was so profound that he was to be found at Archbishop Lefebvre's side on the occasion of the episcopal consecrations of 1988. His so crucial presence was, as he himself explained, "to accomplish my duty: to make a public Profession of Faith."

Soon after this historic event he began to lose his physical strength and eventually died of respiratory failure on April 25, 1991 (exactly one month after Archbishop Lefebvre). He was buried on the following day, at 4:00 p.m., in a chapel crypt of Our Lady of Carmel in Campos.

Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre and
Bishop de Castro Mayer
2nd December 1986

“Rome has asked us if we have the intention of proclaiming our rupture with the Vatican on the occasion of the Congress of Assisi.

We think that the question should rather be the following: Do you believe and do you have the intention of proclaiming that the Congress of Assisi consummates the rupture of the Roman authorities with the Catholic Church?

For this is the question which preoccupies those who still remain Catholic.

Indeed, it is clear that since the Second Vatican Council, the Pope and the Bishops are making more and more of a clear departure from their predecessors.

Everything that had been put into place by the Church in past centuries to defend the Faith, and everything that was done by the missionaries to spread it, even to the point of martyrdom, henceforth is considered to be a fault which the Church must confess and ask pardon for….

The high point of this rupture with the previous Magisterium of the Church took place at Assisi, after the visit to the synagogue. The public sin against the One, true God, against the Incarnate Word, and His Church, makes us shudder with horror. John Paul II encourages the false religions to pray to their false gods—an immeasurable, unprecedented scandal.

We might recall here our Declaration of November 21, 1974, which remains more relevant than ever.

For us, remaining indefectibly attached to the Catholic and Roman Church of all times, we are obliged to take note that this Modernist and liberal religion of modern and conciliar Rome is still distancing itself more and more from us, who profess the Catholic Faith of the eleven Popes who condemned this false religion.

The rupture does not come from us, but from Paul VI and John Paul II who break with their predecessors.

This denial of the whole past of the Church by these two Popes and the bishops who imitate them is an inconceivable impiety and an intolerable humiliation for those who remain Catholic in fidelity to twenty centuries of the same Faith.

Thus we consider as null everything inspired by this spirit of denial of the past: all the post-conciliar reforms, and all the acts of Rome accomplished in this impiety.

We count on the grace of God and the support of the Virgin Most Faithful, all the martyrs, all the popes right up to the Council, and all the holy founders and foundresses of contemplative and missionary orders, to come to our aid in the renewal of the Church through an integral fidelity to Tradition”.

1 comment:

  1. Mgr Antonio de Castro Mayer pray for us that we may remain faithful to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and transmit the Faith to our children.