Manifesto to the Nations

Dom Carlos Duarte Costa, Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, manifesto response chronologically follows the New York Times and Time Magazine articles.

A Brazilian Bishop is Excommunicated
An Article from the New York Times
Published on Saturday, July 7, 1945
Rio de Janeiro, July 6

The Most Rev. Don Carlos Duarte da Costa, Catholic Bishop of Maura in Sao Paulo State, was excommunicated today, the Vatican asserting that he had violated canon law tenets by raising the pennon of rebellion and preaching discord to the faithful.

The Most Rev. Jaime de Barros Camara, Archbishop of  Rio de Janeiro, authorized by the Vatican, circularized the excommunication in all the Brazilian churches.

Bishop Duarte has been regularly advocating the moulding of the present Catholic Church under more liberal foundations and doing away with practices which he said, worked when the church was
founded but which had no part in the modern world.

He has been called Communist and was once questioned by the police. He has been championing the abolition of celibacy. Priests, he has said, should be married and raise families. He has been
condemning the present status of priests as immoral.

The revision of the Brazilian laws on divorce, which the Catholic Church has fought regularly every time in the past when some lawmaker in Congress here brought up the matter for the Government to enact laws making divorce legal, was one of his favourite topics.

Apparently realizing that he was fighting a losing battle, he recently launched a campaign calling on priests to marry, leave the church and form a “national Christian church” in which all priests would
have wives and in which divorce would be allowed.

To a correspondent on the newspaper Globo in Sao Paulo, Bishop Duarte declared that today was founded the “Brazilian Catholic Church.” He added that it had many followers and would continue to
fight “Roman church fascism.”

He also said that he would continue to use priestly cassock and all his episcopal insignia, but would no longer use the title Bishop of Maura, “because now I am the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro.”

Rebel in Rio
An article from Time Magazine
Published on Monday, July 23, 1945

The Roman Catholic Church excommunicated one of its bishops last week. Said the bishop blandly: "I consider today one of the happiest days of my life."

It was not the first time Dom Carlos Duarte da Costa, onetime Bishop of Botucatu in Sao Paulo, had been in his church's black books. In 1934, he publicly refused to follow a papal nunciate's political instructions. He was thereupon quietly retired, given the honorary title of Bishop of Maura, no diocese. From the outside, Duarte took an increasingly critical view of what he considered his church's political leanings. He became increasingly outspoken and unpopular with his superiors.

Last May, 57-year-old Bishop Duarte gave newspaper interviews accusing Brazil's papal nunciate of Nazi-Fascist spying. He accused Rome of aiding and abetting Hitler. Finally he heretically announced plans to set up his own Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, in which priests would be permitted to marry (and hold regular jobs in the lay world), confessions and rosaries would be abolished, bishops would be elected by popular vote. After that, his excommunication was inevitable.

Last week Dom Carlos, calling himself "Bishop of Rio de Janeiro," told reporters that he hopes soon to ordain ten married lawyers and professional men as priests in his new church.

Meanwhile, in the tiny blue-walled chapel that is part of his unostentatious house in Rio's suburbs, he baptizes, marries, celebrates Mass daily. The Vatican appeared undisturbed by its latest rival.

Manifesto to the Nations:

Reading the newspaper of July 6 of this year, that a man, who was my equal, with the same power that I have, a Bishop like me, Pastor of souls like I am, excommunicated me.

May it be known by the Brazilian public that, during the first few centuries of the Church, no point of doctrine was ever decided by decree of the Pope alone.

The Pope is simply the Bishop of Rome, like I was Bishop of Botucatu, and later titular Bishop of Maura and now, by will of the people, Bishop of Rio de Janeiro.

The Bishop of Rome, in the first four centuries of Christianity, never took part in the troubles with the gnostics, montanists and chiliasts.

An excerpt from "Dominus Iesus": On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church , Article IV, ¶17, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

There does not exist, in historical records, copies of pontifical dogmatic decrees in the first four centuries of the Church. Even in the dispute of Paulo of Samosato about Christ, that took place in the Eastern Church, provoking many and great synods, no Bishop of Rome participated. I say "Bishop of Rome" and not "Pope", because this name "Pope", which means "father", by decree of Gregory VII in the Roman Synod of 1073, was arrogated to himself as an exclusive character, while in the Greek Church, simple priests were popes, considered by the faithful as being spiritual fathers. It was from that time on the Popes considered themselves the Fathers of all Christians, that is to say Popes. Gregory VII created this honorific for himself and his successors in the Seat of Rome.

My brother in the episcopacy, Eugenio Pacelli, should remind himself that the first collective manifestation of the Church of Christ was in Jerusalem, presided over by James, Bishop of Jerusalem, and not by Peter, nicknamed "Prince of the Apostles" by the Roman Church. The Epistles of Saint Peter testify that this "principate" never existed among the first Christians, the faith of Peter being equal to that of the other Apostles, because they were all men like other men, all frail.

Until the fourth century the Church considered the mother of all churches, and designated as such by the Eastern Bishops, was the Church of Jerusalem.

In the first century the Christianity, the national Churches lived and developed in complete autonomy, without being vassals to the Bishop of Rome. I call to your attention to the testimony of Tertullian who said: "Our many churches considered themselves as all belonging to one church, the first of all founded by the Apostles and mother of the rest. They are all holy and apostolic and, together, cannot be looked upon as anything by a singe entity, whose message of Peace, whose mutual brotherhood, whose bonds of charity unite all the faithful."

The laity and clergy elected their bishops, priests and deacons, this system lasting until the twelfth century in the Gallic Church. The faithful took part not only in the election of the bishops, priests and deacons but also in the assemblies of the councils in true religious democracies. In the election of the successor to Saint James, first Bishop of Jerusalem, the Apostles took part as did disciples and relatives of the Savior who were still alive, choosing Simeon so testifies Eusebius, in Book III, chapter II. E. S. Clement, at the end of the first century attests that this mode of proceeding was preserved by mandate, and later the priests at Nicea describe this process as being permanent.

Between the years 253 and 257, it was to Carthage that the Bishops of Mauritania and Numidia resorted in solving the dispute over baptisms by the heretics. The African Bishops were convened in council by Ciprian, determining that the baptism conferred by heretics was not valid, which decision was against the opinion of Stephen, Bishop of Rome. Besides, says St. Augustine, in his Book II, chapter XV on Baptism, the Bishops of the Orient and Occident "did not consider schismatic his African Colleagues, remaining with them as a unity." Why did the notorious opinion of Stephen not prevail? "Because the Church had not defined itself in council", says St. Augustine, in his Book IV on Baptism. Already at this time, Firmiliano, Bishop of Caesarea, doubted that the anathemas of the Bishop of Rome had "Body and Soul", that they carried much weight, Ciprian inputting the Bishop of Rome as being arrogant, obsessed, impudent and heretical. "We judge no one and neither do we segregate from our communion those who do not share our views. None of us wants to subjugate one Bishop to another, not to subdue our colleagues in order to obey a despotic terror - for any among the Bishop is master of his own will and power and should not be judged by nor should he himself judge others."

As can be verified by the public, the governing of the Church, in its early days, rested in the union of the episcopacy and not in the hands of the Bishop of Rome, as he was equal to the other Bishops.

The Bishop of Rome, gathering to himself secular and political interests, placing them above the interests of Christ, is ipso facto excommunicated by world public opinion, segregate from the true Church of Christ. Taking advantage of secular control he, instead of universalizing the government of the Catholic Church, made it Italian, forgetting that Italy, Spain and Gaul Christianized themselves without the aid of the Bishop of Rome. Their Churches were not bound to Rome by any vigorous line of descent: they were her sisters, not daughters. The Roman Pontificate was absolutely unknown to which, during the first six hundred years, no Church was affiliated, except only the Saxons at the end of the fourth century.


May it be known by the Brazilian public that the Bishop of Rome, Eugenio Pacelli, has no authority to excommunicate me and in accord with what I have made public, I am a more authentic Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, as I was elected by popular acclamation of the Brazilian people, than he, the Bishop of Rome, elected by Italian Cardinals.

Nor does the present century accept excommunication, a political tool of the Middle Ages when the Bishop of Rome, seemingly oblivious to the evangelical Magna Carta contained in the Sermon on the Mount, spewed forth his hatred against emperors and kings, who did not submit to the will of him who made of the Cross a weapon to bathe humanity in blood, obligating Christ to curse him saying:

"Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who close to men the kingdom of heaven: for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who would enter to go in" "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who, tender pretext of reciting long prayers, devour the houses of widows; you will receive the greater condemnation." "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!" "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who cleanse the outside of a cup and of a plate, but inside you are full of extortion and rapacity." "Serpents, race of vipers, how can you escape condemnation to Hell?"

What a contrast between these fulminating accusations, between these vehement invectives from Our Lord, and his attitude toward the biggest sinners: the Samaritan woman. Mary Magdalene, the adulterous woman, whom he forgives without a word of condemnation; with the criminals, with the good thief, to whom he promised Paradise!

Because all sorts of weakness, of misery, humbly acknowledged and confessed, attracts compassion and mercy from God. On the other hand, pride elicits indignation.


The good Brazilians know that I was excommunicated because, on September 17, 1942, I sent the following telegram to His Excellency the President of the Republic:

"In this moment in which Your Excellency decrees mobilization, I bring you my embrace and unconditional solidarity, placing myself in the service of the nation.

With general mobilization, calling all Brazilians to defend their nation, I remember the need for another mobilization - a spiritual one, so that there will not happen in Brazil what happened in France, having their prelacies, parishes, convents, colleges, bishops, prelates, priests, brother, nuns, foreigners and nationals, Nazi-Fascist-Falangist partisans, withdrawn."

The crimes practiced by the clergy during the War are public knowledge. They were unpunished because, the Nation knows, the Tribunal of Security is composed of Fascists.

I was excommunicated because I prefaced the book The Soviet Power, by the Dean of Canterbury, a book which pictures with fidelity, Russia as it really is. A Russia which, I do say, does not inspire terror. A Russia which was re-entering, to the assent of all free people the concerto of independent nations. Russia, soldier in the service of the democracies, against the totalitarian tyrants who, drunk on blood, attacking the cultures, retarding thereby the march of civilization.

Fascist Episcopacy

I was excommunicated because I denounced the "Hispanidad", the Brazilian Episcopacy, united to the episcopate of the other American nations, of the North, from the Center and of the South, preoccupied with the situation of the Fascist Church after the War. It was the falange in action. The organization consisted of a committee, a conjunct of Fascist parties from Spain and Portugal, with government support from Lisbon and Madrid. Raimundo Fernando Cuesta, Ambassador from Spain to Brazil, was Chief. From Rio de Janeiro, Cuesta directed all Falangist activities in South America. With his five secretaries, aided by diplomatic passports, Cuesta kept in contact with all America, organizing the movement that would end with the Iberian Empire, uniting the dictators Salazar and Franco in order to devour the American Nations, reestablishing thusly papal omnipotence. The Falangist organ Nueva Espana, edited at Av. Araujo Porto Alegre, 70, in Rio de Janeiro was responsible for sending news to Berlin, via the Spanish Embassy. Falangist activities were made difficult by Brazil's state of war, so the center of "Hispanidad" moved to Argentina. I closely followed the car of the Spanish Embassy. It went to the Apostolic Nunciate and stayed there hour after hour. The Brazilian people know I do not lie.
Soviet Union

I was excommunicated because I cited these words of my brother, Eugenio Pacelli, in an article of mine in my magazine Mensageiro de N. Sra. Menina. "In a war in which one of the belligerents is able to achieve a complete victory with only bayonets and other means of irresistible coercion, it is certain that said belligerent finds himself in a position of power to dictate a peace imposed by force." My brother, Eugenio Pacelli was referring to the Soviet Union.

The Shelving of Encyclicals

I was excommunicated because I believed it necessary to shelve the encyclicals: Rerum Novarum, Quadragessimo Anno and Divini Redemptoris, because they were all Fascist documents.
Not a Bishop

I know that my brother, Eugenio Pacelli, had word spread through the whole world that I was not a Bishop. If he acted this way it was because he is accustomed to lie and sought to destroy the schism just started. He nevertheless knew that I was elected Bishop of Botucatu, on July 4, 1924, and that I was consecrated Bishop in the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro on December 8, 1924, by Cardinal Dom Sebastian Leme da Silveira Cimra. The Co-consecrators were: Dom Benedito Paulo Alves de Souza, then Bishop of Espiritu Santo, and today Titular Bishop of Orisa, and Dom Alberto Jose Gonzalves, Bishop of Ribeirao Preto, recently deceased.
The Nuncio Gave Orders to Break a Sacred Statue

The representative of my brother, Eugenio Pacelli, in Brazil knew the extraordinary occurrences associated with the Statue of Blessed Mary "Bambina", bought from Milan by me so that the people of the Diocese could venerate the infancy of the Blessed Virgin. This devotion has been very dear to the people of Milan since the year 1735, due to equally extraordinary occurrences, seen on the walls of the Sanctuary. The Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil ordered the breaking of the image left by me in Botucatu and also of the image I have myself. This order was given to the Bishop of Sorocaba, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Botucatu. The intrigues of the Apostolic Nuncio caused me to leave the Dioceses. A copy of this letter was made by Father Jose Kretz, who mysteriously disappeared from the land of the living. The Church is accustomed to act in this way then someone's life threatens her.
Fascism in Rumania

Intimidated by the Communist threat, the Greek Orthodox Church of Rumania united herself to the Roman Church, that is to say, to Nazism.

The Archbishop and the Bishops, with one exception: Monsignor Fielder, became agents of Hitler.

All the Parishes, monasteries, schools and the Catholic Press put themselves at the service of Nazism and of Fascism.

In all the parishes there was an office of Fascism, obeying the orders of an Italian priest nominated to the post by Mussolini: and in spite of his moral conduct, he was promoted to Canon at the orders of Mussolini. And one of the eight Catholic priests sent by Goebbels to Rumania was named by the Metropolitan, honorary Adviser and Most Reverend Dr. Sherer, supreme inspector of the Nazi priests, was rewarded for his services by appointment as Honorary Canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Monsignor Fielder had to resign his diocese because of pressure from the Pope and was put under the watchful eye of a Nazi German Prelate. My brother, Eugenio Pacelli, forgets the superb impression he had of Monsignor Fielder when he said of him: "He is a true saint: we are proud to have him as Bishop of Rumania."

At the request of Von Papen, my brother, Eugenio Pacelli, transferred the Apostolic Nuncio of Rumania, Monsignor Valerio Valeri, a Nazi fanatic, to Paris as Nuncio, from where he was obligated to retire by demand of the people as soon as the Germans evacuated the city.

In Rumania, Monsignor Valerio Valeri was replaced with the elderly Monsignor Andre Cassulo, who had as Secretary, Monsignor G. Sensi, son of a Fascist senator, educated in the spirit of Fascist-ecclesiastical supervision.

This policy of the Vatican throughout the entire world.
My Imprisonment

On the sixth of July, 1944, my house was surrounded by agents of the police and, on the following day, I was taken prisoner by order of the government of the Republic, at the request of the Apostolic Nuncio and of the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro in a conspiracy with a group of Brazilian Fascists.

I was destined for the Fortress of Santa Cruz. However, I was sent to Belo Horizonte where I was registered as a Communist and then sent under house arrest to the town of Bonfim, to the estate of Minas Gerais, with a guard at the doors and investigators inside the house.

There I stayed until the sixth of September, 1944, when, bowing to pressure from the Brazilian Associated Press and the Embassies of the United States, Mexico and England, the Brazilian government released me.

Here I would like to express my gratitude to the Brazilian Associated Press, and in particular its illustrious President Herbert Moses, and also the Embassies of the United States, England and Mexico.
The Decline of the Roman Church

I was therefore excommunicated because I did not submit to the Fascist policies of my brother, Eugenio Pacelli. The good Brazilians separated themselves from the Roman Church because they do not accept being part of a Fascist church.

The public cannot ignore that the Roman Church, since the moment it was no longer persecuted, preferred the indignity of Christians to the dignity of Christianity. Today the Christianity of the Roman Church has a track record so sad that sincere Christians find themselves obliged to look to the Gospels for their most intimate spiritual nurture rather than the words of their ministers.

The Church of Christ is not the one directed by men of the Roman Church, who have forgotten the supernatural character of the Church's mission on earth, allowing human passions and the barbaric instincts of man that dominated human nature deform Christian principles.

The decline, then, of the Roman Church proceeds from men and not from its evangelical principles, where we find the solution for all the social evils.

Men of dignity, intent upon the restoration of a better world, must return to the Christian principles of the first centuries. With its meddling in politics and with its religious intolerance the Roman Church will only earn the scorn of Humanity.

In this War, the Roman Church allied herself with Nazi-Fascism because she, the Roman Church, is Fascist in structure, in her pontifical encyclicals, herself complete in her Fascism, that is Catholic solidarity. She places her economic interests above the spiritual well-being of souls and, in so doing, becoming the ultimate defender of capitalism and imperialism.

The Church, in the early days, appeared fluid becoming crystallized through its precise dogmas. Through the power of absolutism these dogmas disintegrated, forming an all too dense conjunct, obliging mankind to retrocede, to give up their individual beliefs and notions, and to follow a more limited narrow-minded system of thought.

The Church comes out of the catacombs to persecute Christians with her dogmas and laws. The schism is nothing more than the effect of religious intolerance. Persecutions, anathemas, and excommunication are not able to restore union, broken by specific circumstances. The disaggregation of Catholics takes place by the force of condensation of a hierarchy giving absolute power to its chief. The infallibility of the Pope presages the funeral of the Roman Church. There no longer exists in the world today a place for the monarchy of the Papacy.

An excess of religious practices tires man, placing him within an intolerant dogmatism taking away his freedom and forcing him to think with the heads of his religious leaders, leading humanity to revolutions and wars.

From this constraint and coercion is born the solidarity of mankind.

Was it not from Judaism that Christianity and Mohamedanism were born?

Excessive Pressure Suffocates

Among the laws of psychology, physics and chemistry, there exists a better analogy and even an identity. Physical science would not be clear and complete without this comparison. Physical movements are also mechanics. Religious movements are also mechanics, at least in criterion. The passage of physical matter through three stages, solid, liquid and gaseous can be translated into alternative operations of rarefaction and condensation, it is one of the most important facts. It exists also in biology, psychology, sociology, and cosmosociology, because the laws of mechanics are general, and there is no abyss between the world of matter and the spiritual world.

In chemistry heat aids in the combination of different substances, there operates condensation. However, if the heat is excessive the result is to the contrary, dissociation takes place. The same thing happens in psychology, sociology, and cosmosociology. Persecution and suffering unite, but if the pressure is excessive, if it suffocates, if the common misfortune is total, dissension arises, bring about dissolution and destruction.

This is what is now happening with the Roman Church. She defends the rights of private ownership of property in order to keep its enormous estates, forgetting that the laws of nature are immutable and eternal. In its defense of private ownership of land the Church goes against the laws of nature, casting aside the natural economic rights of man and the solid basis of social justice.

Violation of Natural Rights

Our society places its foundation in the violation of these rights. The same thing happens with morality, rights and the state. Thence, the social plight, the revolutions and the wars. The inequitable distribution of riches has always been the motive of the economic crises, as the masses are not permitted to take part in the feast of nature, perpetuating therefore a permanent poverty crisis in the world.

From life's equal rights comes equal rights which every human being needs to satisfy. This right gives every individual the right to exercise his human activities, to achieve an end, this is what we call constitutional rights or political rights.

These constitutional rights can be divided into three categories. Some refer to equal rights of existence - personal guarantees, self defense, inviolability of the domicile, freedom of residency and locomotion - all conditions necessary for the exercise of human activities; others call attention to the more spiritual activities - freedom of speech, worship, of learning, not including the freedom of thought or conscience as these are purely subjective, internal and because of this, not to be coerced orlimited others, finally, refer to characteristically economic activities.

The first two groups of rights are based upon political rights. The last one is based upon the fundamental, natural rights of man, the theoretical aspirations and practices of individualism, whose point of origin is the affirmation of the natural rights of the individual, as much political as economic, constituting the basis of a society justly organized upon a true social justice.

The economic rights of the individual refer to the attainment of the economic means necessary to satisfy human wants through commerce.

To the denial of economic rights we owe the failure of the so-called "Manchesterian" liberalism, of classical liberalism, of purely political liberalism, causing all the hopes put on the various Constitutions to be frustrated.

These Constitutions profess to guarantee the natural rights but actually negate them recognizing the private ownership of the elements of nature and with this negate the equal right of life. Hence the intervention of the State in the social order, in obrarian legislation and the negating of liberty offending the dignity of the force which produces the riches.

The equal rights of every man in the exercise of his economic activity are derived from the natural economic rights. This is what we call production.

The production of economic resources, capital, takes place in four specific manners:

  • Transporting the raw material, such as ore, fish, industry, hunting to a new location;
  • Producing as in agriculture;
  • Transforming as in industry;
  • Exchanging as in the various forms of commerce, where trading activities produce a value.

The goal of production is the satisfaction of human needs and when these needs are met, the production phase should cease.

Human activity, when directed to the production of economic resources is called work. The equal right to work, then, is the first of the natural economic rights.

Equal Right to Work

This right covers all four forms of production including, consequently, commerce. So free trade results from a natural right, a right as essential as freedom of speech or of worship; the restrictions imposed upon free trade constitute as much a violation of natural rights as the denial of the right of self defense, so the social consequences are the same.

The equal right to work is not to be confused with the right to choose one’s work, trade or profession, as state many professions; the second is insignificant but the first one belongs to every individual, and the right is the most sacred of all.

One must not confuse this equal right to work with the right to work made available by the state. The state is an abstract form of social organization, which executes its task or performs its proposals. The state should not go beyond the responsibilities for which society has granted it the power of acting. The equal right to work comes from nature, therefore, preceding the organization of the state itself, and as such man has rights equal to the right of the use of the land. Taking this right of way is the same as killing him, taking away from him the means for his sustenance, and the state that proceeds thusly commits robbery.

The Masses Live in Poverty

There is, then, a hierarchy of natural right:

1)The right to life;
2)The right to work;
3)The right to use of the natural resources of the earth.

Whoever denies the third one denies the others. Let it be understood, the equal right to the use of the land is the second of the natural economic rights of the individual.

Consequently, what we see is that societies and their organizations, even civilization itself, have denied this right to men, denying them also the others. Consequently, without political rights to the land itself, liberty becomes nothing more than a fiction. In this way a minority enslaves an entire mass of humanity. Man deprived of the right to the use of the land, is obliged to rent it bringing about the "Law of Bronze" of the minimum wage, that is to say, man is reduced to a subsistence wage, a slave wage, and as slaves, the masses live in poverty always dependent upon the owners of the plantations. Slavery of man is the slavery of the earth. When the land itself is not enslaved or monopolized, then physical slavery is imposed, because it is in these condition that the work can be exploited in favor of the privileged classes. How was the modern laboring class formed? With the monopoly of the land which implies a gradual despoliation of rights, in the use of the natural elements, to the ever-increasing detriment of the classes. We see today huge fortunes side by side with the hungry masses that throw away today's civilization in an attempt to reconquer their rights to live in society.

Capitalism, provoking this tremendous crisis, appropriates for itself the elements of nature, reducing all to private property, and thereby beginning its own downfall.

The objective of economic activities is to satisfy needs and wants with the results of said activities. This right to have at one's disposition constitutes the essence of the legitimate right of ownership in its juridic form, the power of revindication.

Here arises a third natural economic right, which is the right of absolute ownership over the fruits of labor.

Infraction of Equal Rights

This right of ownership is a logical extension of the equal right to work, assisted and completed by the equal right of use of the land. The foundation of the right of ownership is moral law itself, which gives the product to the producer, the fruit of labor to the laborer. No one can participate in the ownership of the fruits of our labor because if someone did, he would have ownership of the fruits of his labor, and also rights over the fruits of the labor of others, and these rights would no longer be equal; disequality being the characteristic of the enslaved. The things produced by labor are the property of the producer by natural right, and consequently is not limited as to how he may consume, give, or bequeath them. Any limitation as to this ability of disposition, which does not proceed from the greater right of the members of the group as a whole, is an infraction of the equal rights of each of the members and, thusly, an infraction of natural rights.

Civilization that Dies

The controversy that exists between those who affirm that property is a natural right and those who deny it arises as a result of the difference in interpretation of the word property. For some the word property includes the land and that which is produced in the land. For others all that is created by God is for all men and the word property is a creation of the law and not a natural right.

Only after establishing this distinction can a logical and just reconciliation be made between the two viewpoints, clearing up the confusion.

Why are things not produced by man not legitimate material or property?

  • No one owns titles over them as all titles come from God. When man talks about the rightful titles of things not the result of man's own work, it is merely a metaphor because land cannot be apprehended by man. In reality, man can only do his work on the land or deprive others of its fruits. As it is, the land is an equal property, "possessed" by all men, having all, equal need of it for their work, livelihood and sustenance. When man takes a property as his own he is, therefore, taking possession of that which already belongs to all.
  • Because its appropriation infringes upon the equal right of all to its use snatching it from those who do not have possession and giving it to the sole holders of the land.
  • Because the appropriation of things that are not produced by man, the natural elements, incringes inevitably upon the legitimate property rights of those who work to produce. This appropriation serves to tear away from others part of the fruits of their labor – labor to sustain their life, a part which tends to increase until they are stripped of everything, of land, of all the fruits of their labor except for what is indispensable for sustaining life and thereby creating the proletariat, creating the so-called "social problem."
  • For its inevitable consequences, which are slavery and poverty. If it is licit to appropriate one piece of land as the exclusive property of an individual, he would also have the "right" to all the other pieces, and consequently the whole planet itself. This would result that a few men could own the entire planet, where all the others would have to live. The property holders could deny to all others a place in the planet to work and to live, condemning them to die. This would create the right of life and death over the destitute and would give the owners power to impose upon the less fortunate any condition of life and to appropriate unjustly that which is needed by all to live, namely the land.

This lack of distinction between what is and what is not the proper material of private property, in addition to frustrating the recognition of the other natural rights, condemns inexorably the masses to poverty and suffering and obliges the employment of force (1) by the dominators, to subjugate the vanquished and (2) by the dispossessed to rebel and recapture their rights. This is the real crisis of the civilization that dies.

The Confusion of Leo XIII

From this confusion came the phrase "social function of property" by which Leo XII made no distinction between legitimate and illegitimate property, making the mistake of affirming that "which is bought as just property is also just property" in defense of private property. Much later Plus XI in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, made affirmations destroying the basis of legitimate property, leaving it to the politicians instead of making it a firm principle linked directly to the moral law and thereby independent of the will and maneuvering of men.

Both pontiffs, talking about property in general, have their thoughts turned to the ownership of land and by property is intended not just the land of the rural areas, but also that of the cities, mines, hydroelectric plants and all the natural elements.

And the expression "social function of property" is an ambiguous expression of confused thought.

The question of private property is the most import of all because until it is resolved, the world will continue to belong to the few. That is why those encyclicals should be shelved – they are Fascist.

The New Civilization

Since all natural rights are equal to proclaim "the social function of property" is equivalent to recognizing the equal right of all men to the use of the land, which is the second of his natural economic rights, incompatible with the right of private property over the land.

The result of this confusion is that the natural right of property of each individual over the fruits of his labor seems not to be ethical, with a need of conciliation between them. From these attempts at conciliation are born diverse combinations and proposals for the construction of a new society - the civilization that is fast approaching. Reviewing these proposals we can approach the following conclusion:

  • Parceling the land and creating a larger number of small property owners; 
  • Give the land to those who work it;
  • Periodically dividing the land among all members of society, maintaining this property.

How can one resolve the conflict between the natural right of property of all men and the right of private property?

With the nationalization of the land, the state assumes full ownership, with the land being owned collectively.

The ones presently holding the land would continue doing so, receiving exclusive and permanent possession of it, even keeping the title of owner being able to dispose "intervivos" or "mortis causa" as it has been until now; although in reality they would only be renters of the nation, renters in the form of only one income tax paid to the nation in a proportional value of the land, meaning to the privilege of its use. And as all the improvements made on the property by the renter are results of his work and of his capital, his legal property, the income tax over the value of the land should accompany the suppression of all the income taxes over that which is the result of his labor.

Man: The Citizen of the World

From the nationalization of the land of all countries and the abolition of all economic privileges and monopolies would come, in fact, the internationalization of natural resources, solving, in this manner, besides other very important problems, the sensitive question of raw materials. The economic sphere of each human would be, then, the entire earth, and each human being would feel, in fact would be a citizen o the world. This doctrine is compatible with the highest level of civilization and can be applied without problems. The only transformation would be the change of ownership, individual ownership of the land would be recast into common or public ownership. The state of things would agree perfectly with the moral law, all men would be equally free and the land occupied and cultivated in complete subordination to the law of equal freedom for all. From this point and with the abolition of all monopolies, the social income would grow and the state would have the opportunity and possibility to realize, gradually, the ideals of socialism, which are inherent tendencies of the human spirit: these ideals being fully conciliated with individual freedom. With the realization of these ideals, peace would be a permanent benefit. Civilization would reach heights never before thought possible. Humanity would be elevated to the culmination of Christianity and the Reign of God would descend upon the Earth. Such is the Power of Truth and Justice.

Brazilian Catholic and Apostolic Church

The movement coming into being now in Brazil, and possibly branching out into other nations of the American continent and other continents, has as its purpose the centralization of the person of Christ, in an effort to achieve harmony and concord among religions, allowing the absolute guarantee of civil, political, philosophical and religious liberty, not permitting any person to be questioned under any pretext with respect to his beliefs with the end of conditioning or limiting his rights or duties. Within wide educational and scientific freedom the activity of thought would be allowed ot develop the fullest of its capacity.

Divorce is permitted within the Gospel. Ecclesiastical celibacy is abolished being against the law of nature. It rejects as absurd auricular confession. It permits the clergy to have civil or military professions. All official correspondence is in the vernacular language.

Breaking myself away from the Roman Church in order to reestablish the Church of Christ in its purity, correcting its errors. I am trying to centralize the figure of Christ for all Christians as their model and intercessor with God and Father. The true Christ is this according to the Gospel of St. John:

    "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through Him all things were made and none of the things that were made without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of humankind. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not contain it. There was a man send by God whose name was John. He came as a witness to five testimony of the light so that all people would believe through him. He was not the light, but came to give testimony concerning the light. The true light was that which illumines all humankind that come to this world. He was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world did not understand Him. He came to His own, but they did not receive Him, He gave the power to become the children of God. These are those who believe in his Name and are not born of blood nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of men. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we say his glory that of the Only-Begotten Son of The Father, full of grace and truth."

The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil is a religious society, which has for its foundation the teachings of the Old and New Testament. It is Catholic because it professes the Christian faith which is diffused throughout all the world, through all Christians, considering as brother, in Christ all those who love and respect Christ as God, as Man, as Philosopher. It is Apostolic because it is a true successor of the Apostles and all the functions practiced by me are valid and licit. It is Brazilian because it is national because it separated itself from the Roman Church not recognizing as Chief the Chief of the Roman Church, considering its Chief to be the National Episcopate, thereby protecting the traditional beliefs and customs of our land.

In all the national territory there will be ecclesiastical circumscriptions called dioceses subject to the governing and administration of a diocesan Bishop, with wide jurisdiction, empowered to create parishes, chaplaincies and other religious organizations within his legislative jurisdiction.

The bishops are elected by the religious communities of each diocese being confirmed by the clergy and by the national episcopate in accordance with the ritual adopted by the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, which is the same ritual used by the Roman Church with its Pontificate, so that there will be no doubt as to the validity of the episcopal consecration and of the ordinations of Deacons and Presbyters. The bishops are autonomous within their dioceses, consulting, however, their brothers in the episcopate whenever there is an issue of general interest to the State or the Nation. If the Issues concern only the State, a council will be convened with the bishops of the State. When however the issues are of concern for the entire Nation, a council will be convened with all the bishops of the Nation. The Brazilian Church returns, then, to the early days of Christianity, that is, of an evangelical brotherhood trying to love and help each other, mutually, as it was done in the beginning, becoming one body with its bishop, presbyters and deacon in a truly Christian communism. The dioceses will be administered in conformity with the Constitution and Civil Code of the country with its adjustment foreseen in its already established juridical personality. The ecclesiastical hierarchy is this: Deacons, Presbyters and Bishops. The Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church does not agree with auricular confession, a stimulant for immorality. It does not accept clerical celibacy because it is against nature being prescribed by Pope Gregory VII in the year 1074. Occasionally the priests even popes, cardinal and bishops lived in concubinage, scattering children all over the place. Brazil is full of children of missionaries. I know of colleagues in the episcopate of priests and friars that are living in illicit union.

The Brazilian Church does not want to fill Brazil with parasites. For this reason, its priests must have a civil or military occupation. On the eighth of this month I ordained a factory worker in S. Miguel, in the State of S. Paulo.


The Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church permits divorce within the Gospel.

Saint Matthew tells us in Chapter 5: 27 - 32: "You know it was said in olden time: Do not commit adultery. But I say to you: Whoever looks covetously upon a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If, then, your right eye causes you scandal, tear it out and throw it away, for it is better to lose a member of your body than to have your entire body go to Hell. It was also said: Whoever would abandon his wife, must give her a letter of divorce. But I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, if not for adultery, makes her an adulteress and whoever taker her commits adultery."

Elsewhere in Saint Matthew, Chapter XIX: 3 - 9, he tell us: "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any reason?" He responded, "Have you not heard that the Creator of Mankind in the beginning created a man and a woman and said: for this shall a man leave his father and mother to unite himself with his wife, and the two shall be as on flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh; and so, then, what God joins together, man must not separate." "Why, then," insisted the people. "Did Moses command that one fives his wife a letter of divorce, and demands her to be gone?" Jesus responded, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses permitted you to divorce your wife, but in the beginning it was not so. I say to you now, whoever divorces his wife, except for adultery, and marries another commits adultery and whoever marries the divorced one commits adultery also."

This is the evangelical doctrine in its purity.

In the beginnings of Christianity, in this time of transition the woman was enslaved among all the peoples and the laws of the Jews, the Romans, the Barbarians all permitted the repudiation of divorce.

What did Christianity think? The fathers of the Church, the teachers of the age, were not in agreement with the indissolubility of marriage.

Some say that the New Testament was not against the law of Moses, which permitted divorce and that Jesus himself allowed divorce at least in the case of adultery of the woman.

Tertulian, Saint Ambrose and Saint Epiphany were of this opinion and allowed divorce. On the other side, Saint Jerome, Saint Chrysostom, particularly Saint Augustime, proclaimed the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

In the year 325, at the Council of Nicaea composed of 318 priests, no one stood up against divorce. It was at precisely this time that Fabiola divorced her husband, who was guilty of adultery, and then remarried. She had in her favor these words: "It is better to marry than to burn." And Fabiola lived with the aura of sanctity.

Divorce is a necessity for the moralization of the Brazilian family. The consequence of divorce is the same as that of celibacy. Because of no divorce there is disquite (legal separation), which amounts to the legal approval of prostitution. Because the priests are not permitted to marry, many live concubinage.

The Religious and Political Question

After the crimes perpetrated by the Vatican in this war, it is no longer possible for the world to take seriously this organization of perjurers and deceivers who, century after century, continues lying and deceiving humanity, from its list of Popes, which includes Popes who never existed, to its martyrology, the calendar of saints, with stock actions, all well-authenticated. No, this cannot continue. Unless the people of today wish of those who bequeathed to us this waste and enormous absurdity, for having lived in an age of fabricated saints, to exploit the naive.

The blood of our brothers does not permit Humanity to continue to be suffocated and chained by men who represent, at this time, the priestly pontiff of the old law - of the crucifixion of Christ. Those who were redeemed by Christ and who redeemed us with their blood in the battlefields, victims of those who claimed to be representatives of Christ on earth, do not permit us to be cowards in such a time when we must restore our nation.

And to restore our nation, it is necessary that the religious question be resolved. We press this question not only as matter of piousness or religiosity, but as essentially a political and economic issue. For the Roman Church ceased being the religion of Christ when it left the catacombs to become an Empire whose monarch dominates the consciences of the people in order to more easily tyrannize Humanity with his temporal dominion. It is a crime to fold one’s arms in indifference, thereby delaying the march of humanity in the direction of the complete triumph of Liberty. Clerical meddling in the governing of nations should no longer be possible. The Pope is a monarch or a leader of a religion. If, by treaty he is considered monarch, he should limit himself to his diplomatic representation never, however, going beyond the nomination of bishops. If he is a religious leader he should lose his diplomatic representation. Humanity does not allow him to be both. Choose!

In Brazil, in the electoral campaign now underway there is the great patriot. Rui Barbosa, who recognizes "A Free Church in a Free State."

All for God. All for Christ. All for the Homeland. And to all of Brazil my blessings in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Sao Paulo. 18 August 1945
+Dom Carlos Duarte Costa
Bishop of Rio de Janeiro

Supremo Tribunal Federal
Freedom of Religious Worship - MS1114

On September 27, 1948, the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil was closed by virtue of legal action of the Courts of the Brazilian Republic. And Doctor Haroldo Teixeira Valladão, on July 7, 1948, published the decision in the official Federal gazette of September 25, 1948.

On November 30, 1948, Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa entered in the Federal Court of Appeals and with a Writ of Mandamus petitioned for Judges Carpenter Luiz and Benjamin requiring the reopening
of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil.

The Brazilian government, through their intermediary of the Minister of Justice, Dr. Agamenon Magalhães, on September 22, 1948, said, “… it is not intention of the Government to submit the heads, or fiduciary offices of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil to any constraint in its freedom of worship while it uses vestments, insignia, badges, and different rites than that of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Report by Minister Lafayette de Andrada, November 1948:

Brought to a Dom Carlos Duarte Costa, Bishop Founder and head of Catholic Church Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro, former Bishop of Maura's Roman Catholic Church in order to be assured you and your church the components of the free exercise of their religious worship in public places and temples, and activities in schools maintained by the Association of Our Lady, once stopped by the police, characterizing the fact is the second alleged, violation of law and a net guaranteed by the Constitution, that is, freedom of worshing religious.

Because the opinion of the General Counsel of the Republic, approved by the President, has banned the cult of the Brazilian Catholic Church in public places, for they consider that no cult of the Church which causes confusion to its religious practices, canonicals and emblems with the existing external ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church, and is an imitation of these, therefore it violates the freedom of the latter church, which should be avoided in favor of public policy.

Decision: Dismissed, 1 vote against
Report by: Minister Lafayette de Andrada. 11/17/1948
Publication: Archivo Judicial Review, v. CI/6-15, (Jan. to Mar. 1952)

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