Disclaimer: Despite its name, this Brazilian church is not related to the charismatic renewal movement in the Roman Catholic Church and is not recognized by the Church. I'm blogging this story to make a point: The longer the Church fails to deal with the celibacy issue and the consequent priest shortage, the more the faithful will take matters into their own hands, and more and more of these dissident congregations will arise to fill the spiritual void. If you speak Portuguese, click on the church's name to get to their Web site and do not be put off by the photo of Milingo on the home page. While this church is working with Milingo, they are independent and pre-date him. They have an interesting philosophy and...women deacons!
by Paul Xavier (translation from the Portuguese by Phoebe)
July 25, 2008
The Catholic Charismatic Church is consecrating a bishop and inaugurating a diocese in Campo Grande, an act which immediately provoked reaction from the Roman Catholic archdiocese in the capital. In a note published in the press, the archbishop Dom Vitório Pavanello warned Catholic faithful that the mere act of participating in rituals of the new denomination would incur immediate excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.
The bishop of the Catholic Charismatic Church, Orvandil Moreira Barbosa, will be consecrated this Sunday (the 27th) in Belém do Pará and returns to Campo Grande on Tuesday the 29th to assume his duties in the Diocese of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is headquartered in the home of a believer in the Jardim Ieda neighborhood. The ceremony of possession of Orvandil will occur in the working class area of Tarsila do Amaral, where there is a homeless people's camp.
The Catholic Charismatic Church was started 40 years ago in the city of Belém do Pará by a group of lay Catholics who said they were concerned about the lack of religious ministers. In Mato Grosso do Sul, it is new and has two communities: one at Jardim Ieda and another in Cristo Redentor. Orvandil will lead 10 priests and "some one thousand believers," he estimates.
The religious reports that his relationship with the church began at four years of age, when he witnessed the marriage of his father and mother. After that moment, he was dedicated to the priesthood. He entered the Roman Catholic Church seminary, but the celibacy requirement caused him to not be ordained as a Catholic priest. In 1972, he became priest in the Church of England which allowed marriage. In the same year, he got married and later had three children.
In 2004, Orvandil left the Anglican Church and stayed outside of any denomination until the beginning of this year. It was then that he found the Catholic Charismatic Church in Belém and received the invitation to join the clergy. His background helped, Orvandil had participated in movements for democracy during the military dictatorship and is linked to liberation theology, which unites religion with political issues. Representatives of the church asked if he was interested in expanding it to the Central West and the priest finally accepted.
According to Father Orvandil, the Catholic Charismatic Church has the same rites and doctrines as the Catholic Church, and recognizes the Pope as the highest spiritual leader. He believes that the coming of the Catholic Charismatic Church is "tremendous news for the state; we are married priests, we seek quality of life."
Bishop Dom Vitório Pavanello again warned faithful Catholics in a message conveyed by his advisor. He said that "there is no unity between the church and the Catholic Church. Their intention is to confuse the people. In a region, there can only be one bishop, and in the region of Campo Grande, the bishop is Bishop Vitório. Only the pope can appoint another bishop."
When asked about the position of the Roman Catholic Church, the future Bishop Orvandil said that he doesn't want to feed into the controversy and wants to pay a visit to Dom Vitório, after his ordination in Belém. "We must unite around the issues of the people, fight for the salvation of planet," he said.