BRAZIL: Did these bishops allow women to concelebrate Mass?

A reader alerted me to this from about bishops in Brazil who allow two women to concelebrate Mass with them.  It is in Portuguese.  Not my translation:

Two women “concelebrated” the Mass with bishops of the CNBB. Is this already possible or is it still a very serious crime?
By, February 21, 2018: It was on February 13, 2018 that 41th Earth Pilgrimage took place in the city of Mampituba, Diocese of Osório, in Rio Grande do Sul.

As if the preaching of Mrs. Maria do Rosário (PT-RS) and Monge Marcelo Barros, both known for their unorthodox positions, the bishops present admitted at the altar two Protestant ministers as “concelebrants” in the Holy Mass.

In the video, from the minute 50’20 ”, the Consecration of the Mass is clearly heard and one sees the two women, wearing robes and stole, extending their hands and taking part in the “concelebrative” act.

That doesn’t look very good.






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  1. JabbaPapa says:

    Have all of these people, the catholics anyway, just excommunicated themselves latae sententiae ?

    Or given that the local Ordinary was seemingly involved, would this require some more formal censure from the Holy See ?

    Honest questions.

  2. majuscule says:

    It’s good to see that the website that reported this is supplying contact information in order to complain (or better yet, express outrage).

    Why are these goofy examples usually from Brazil? Sigh.

    It would seem that Brazilians are very creative! I was admiring the handiwork on the tablecloth. Unfortunately, it was on the altar. And then there is the zebra striped stole on one of the women…!

  3. APX says:

    Is that a zebra print stole on that one woman?

    So, if the bishop in doing this excommunicated himself, but doesn’t realize it, even though he should, being a bishop and all, how does that affect other things such as ordinations, Confirmation, confession (if he should hear confessions), etc? I’m assuming still valid but illicit?

  4. araustin02 says:

    Short answer is “no.” They don’t have the capacity to concelebrate. But what were the priests/bishops thinking in allowing them up there to pretend as if they were?

  5. Sawyer says:

    According to the description, the women are Protestant ministers, not Catholics. Therefore, they are not claiming to be ordained Catholic priests (or womynpriests), nor were they presented as such.

    It is problematic that they are wearing stoles and imitating priestly functions at Mass.

    I wonder whether the non-Catholic women received Communion.

    But, strictly speaking, since they aren’t Catholics there’s probably nothing more going on here other than very unwise optics, scandal and possibly disrespect of the Eucharist if Protestants were knowingly given Communion. This doesn’t seem to me to be attempting to present women as ordained Catholic priests.

  6. Dan says:

    At first I was hoping they may have been acting in some twisted way as some sort of alter servers with no understanding of the Mass, which it appears was common in the crowd shots. It does appear though at around 1:01:18 that at least one of them self communicates.

    sometimes it seems the whole worlds gone mad.

  7. kelleyb says:

    God have mercy! This is outrageous and evil behavior.

  8. Fr_Andrew says:

    Have all of these people, the catholics anyway, just excommunicated themselves latae sententiae ?

    There are only nine latæ sententiæ excommunications (outside of Papal election law) :

    (1) Profanation of the Blessed Sacrament (Can. 1376),
    (2) Physical Violence on the Pope (Can. 1370),
    (3) Attempted absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the 6th commandment (Can. 1378),
    (4) Direct and willful violation of the Confessional Seal (Can. 1388),
    (5) Episcopal ordination without a mandate (Can. 1382),
    (6) Attempted Ordination of a woman or attempted reception of such by a woman (CDF Decree, 29 May 2008),
    (7) The crime of apostasy, heresy or schism (Can. 1364),
    (8) Abortion, effectu secuto and cooperatores sine qua non (Can. 1398)
    (9) Violation of the Seal by technological means (CDF Decree, 23 Sept 1988)

    Numbers (1) to (6) are reserved to the Holy See. The others are reserved to the local Ordinary, but often he, or particular regulations give all priest the power to absolve from these. In danger of death, or an urgent case, any priest can absolve.

    Simulation of a Sacrament, or cooperation in the simulation of a Sacrament are not among these, so there is no latæ sententiæ excommunication here.

    Simulation of Mass or the Sacrament of Penance is a latæ sententiæ Interdict however (Can. 1378).

    Because Canon Law must be interpreted strictly as regards penalties (Can. 18), and this only applies to the person who simulates Mass or Penance, it would only apply to the women involved.

    But Canon Law (and the penalties from it) when not repeating Divine or Natural Law, only apply to Catholics (Can. 11).

    So, in short, no.

  9. Fr_Andrew says:


    I made a slight mistake in not reading thoroughly enough. Mea culpa.

    If the women are Catholics (thus subject to Church law), then they, if they knew about the penalty, would probably be under latæ sententiæ Interdict.

    Since such people probably don’t know their basic Catechism, chances are they don’t know about the penalty. So, echoing Fr. Z, “doesn’t look good,” but probably not a latæ sententiæ penalty involved here.

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    If it were men protestant ministers this would be just as wrong. Women can be protestant ministers, it’s just that a protestant minister is not the same thing as a priest of Jesus Christ and women cannot receive Holy Orders. Did they give the protestants present Holy Communion? If it is what the text says, then obviously it’s a canonical crime. And obviously communicatio in sacris with protestants is not ecumenism whatsoever.

  11. ThePapalCount says:

    well, pretty close though.

  12. David says:

    Fr. Andrew: People aren’t taking penalties about papal election laws very seriously these days, are they?

  13. frjim4321 says:

    Well, it seems like it was still valid.

    I’ve yet to hear a cogent argument for how you can baptize females but not ordain them. [It’s easy. Women are human beings but they are not male.]

    In the Third Millennium, the argument from authority is no longer sufficient. There are too many educated Catholics. [That’s an old chestnut. You know very well what the reasons are. You just don’t want to accept the Church officially defined teaching, which is also infallible.]

  14. GregB says:

    You need a mystical understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ in order to understand the male priesthood. The relationship between Christ and His Church is said to be spousal. Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is His Bride. When a husband and a wife enter into the one flesh union it is the man who enters into the woman. Likewise, in conception it is the male sperm that swims up to and enters into the female egg. It seems clear that the act of entering within is a male act. The male is the doer of intimacy. The female is the one who receives this intimacy. This explains why Christ came as a male, and why male terms like Father and Son are used to describe God, and why the Church is called Holy Mother Church. 
    Because of the Hypostatic Union, Christ is One Person in two natures, divine and human. The priest acts In Persona Christi, in the person of Christ. In Holy Orders during the ordination the priest is configured to Christ in a very special way. As such, Holy Orders is in the image and likeness of the Hypostatic Union. The priest is the living icon of Christ. Consecrated women religious are considered to be brides of Christ.
    The priest acts In Persona Christi during the Consecration. In the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist during the Consecration the Real Presence of Christ enters into and becomes one with the bread and the wine. Transubstantiation at its core is a male act. The Body and Blood in a similar fashion enter into the communicant. The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament that is permeated with Christ’s maleness, and gives us a foreshadowing of the final nuptial union that is described in Revelation.
    Women don’t have to be priests to have an impact on the Church. We can begin with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the women disciples. There are many important women saints: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, St Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. Faustina for starters.
    Any woman who thinks that she has a calling from the Holy Spirit needs to study the works of St. Teresa of Avila, who is a Doctor of the Church. She wrote extensively about prayer and mysticism. St. Teresa was also a reformer who sought to restore a spiritual focus to the Carmelite Order that had fallen into lax spiritual practices. St. John of the Cross joined her in this reform effort. They both met with considerable opposition to their reform efforts. St. John was taken prisoner, jailed, and flogged.
    The arguments that are being made in an attempt to redefine the priesthood are very similar to the arguments being used in an attempt to redefine marriage.

  15. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    How do **bishops** do this and remain in Communion with the rest of the Church? Where is the Barque to strengthen the brethren?

  16. frjim4321 says:

    [That’s an old chestnut. You know very well what the reasons are. You just don’t want to accept the Church officially defined teaching, which is also infallible.]

    I know the reasons, as stated, and I don’t find them convincing.

    Infallibility from the chair was not asserted with regard to this matter.

    I agree with you that my attitude with regard to this topic amounts to dissent, but I am in very good company.

    [Those who deny the Church’s teachings are by definition not “very good company”. We should avoid the company of bad friends, as they used to teach children, for “a friend of fools shall become like to them” (Prov. 13:20).]

  17. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Infallibility from the chair was not asserted with regard to this matter.

    It has language like Ineffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus, both of which are considered infallible:

    1. The pope invokes his Apostolic Authority
    2. He states the doctrine
    3. He says that it must be believed/held by the faithful.

    Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, however, is not, as Card Ratzinger noted, a new definition. It is an example of a secondary object of Infallibility in so far as it is to be held (cf. LG 25.2)

  18. Charles E Flynn says:

    A Catholic priest is a living icon of Jesus Christ. A woman cannot be a living icon of a man, any more than a man can give birth.

  19. JabbaPapa says:

    GregB :

    You need a mystical understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ in order to understand the male priesthood

    Several explanations exist as to why the priesthood is male, each good and valuable in its purposes and perspectives.

    But as to why the priesthood isn’t female, well it’s nearly always explained by the simple truth that the Vocation of women towards motherhood is just not compatible with the vocation to the priesthood ; and it isn’t. This Vocation is so universal among women that even consecrated virgins and women religious are turned towards a spiritual motherhood exercised towards the Faithful.

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    frjim4321 :

    I know the reasons, as stated, and I don’t find them convincing.

    Infallibility from the chair was not asserted with regard to this matter.

    In FACT Pope Saint John Paul II stated exactly ex cathedra (his statement was given under the most formal conditions from the seated position on the Throne of Peter) that the teaching that the Church has no power to ordain women into the priesthood is a doctrine that all Catholics must believe and are bound by.

    Which is precisely how Popes declare a doctrine to be infallible.

    Pope Saint Gelasius I’s original proclamation of the doctrine, in 494, was not made ex cathedra for the simple technical reason that he proclaimed it not from the Throne, but in Encyclical form. What Pope John Paul did, technically, was to declare this original teaching to be an infallible doctrine belonging to the Deposit of Faith.

    Deny it, and you’re denying an infallible doctrine that the Church first proclaimed over 1,500 years ago.

  21. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Fr. Jim — As a woman, I find your remarks insulting. Why should women abandon their unique roles and importance, in favor of becoming exactly like men? Do you think that we women really sit around envying guys, any more than men sit around dreaming of becoming women?

    Pah. We love you men, but we don’t want to be you, or just like you. It’s a horrifying idea, when rightly considered. We already have the “better part,” as far as we and Jesus are concerned, and you better not try to take it away from us.

    (But it’s a great Cunning Plan to make women do _all_ the parish work, instead of just most of it. You can tell a woman with mental problems by her readiness to fall for and promote Cunning Plans floated by creepy men for their advantage. Abortion, for example, or about half of the true crime cases.)

  22. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    These poor deluded women are the victims of clericalism. They think it’s about power and so do the men who enable them. As someone else says, sad.

  23. AndyMo says:

    “In the Third Millennium, the argument from authority is no longer sufficient. There are too many educated Catholics.”

    First of all, chronological snobbery is hardly more valid of an argument than an appeal to authority. Also, when said authority is divinely protected, appeal to it sounds like a good idea to me.

    And finally, if there are so many “educated Catholics,” where are they? Certainly not in my parish, and I doubt in many others. Maybe yours is packed with armchair theologians, but I have yet to see evidence of this age being the “best educated Catholics EVAR.”

  24. robtbrown says:


    Acc. to Cardinal Ratzinger’s explanation, the Infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis lies in its status within the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. As I noted above, this is a secondary object of Infallibility. Until Vat II the Infallibility of the OUM only extended to primary objects.

    Primary object–credendam, to be believed
    Secondary object–tenendam (definitive), to be believed

  25. robtbrown says:

    In the above comment “definitive” is a Latin adverb meaning definitively.

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