HIS HOLINESS, PATRIARCH DOM LUIS FERNANDO CASTILLO MENDEZ. PATRIARCH OF BRAZIL. BISHOP OF BRASILIA
HIS HOLINESS, PATRIARCH DOM LUIS FERNANDO CASTILLO MENDEZ.
PATRIARCH OF BRAZIL. BISHOP OF BRASILIA.
1933 - 1937 Diocesan Seminary St. Thomas Aquinas-San Cristobal-Venuezuela.Bachelor of Arts (High School)
1938 -1941 Major Seminary of Sao Jose Caracas Venuezela. Philosophy.
1942 -1946 Gregorian University in Rome. Degree in Theology. Ordination to the priesthood with special permits from the Holy See in Salsona Spain by Bishop Monsignor Valentin Comillas Santa Maria.
In 1944, at age 21, he was ordained a priest of ICAB, even before the foundation of the church in Brazil was made official to be concise of his major orders as priest.
1948 Episcopal Consecration, Balboa Republic of Panama by Most Reverend Dom Carlos Duarte Costa. Roman Catholic Titular Bishop of Maurensi and founder of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church.
1977 St. Thomas College of Montreal. Canada. Professor of Theology.Doctor of Theology (Honoris Causa)
1988 Saint Charles Theological Academy San Francisco California USA. Doctor of Divinity.
Separation from the Roman Catholic Church
In 1947 Castillo Méndez and three other clergy formally established the "Venezuelan Apostolic Church." Like the Brazilian Catholic Church led by its first Patriarch Dom Carlos Duarte Costa, the Venezuelan church was to be independent of the Vatican, used Spanish instead of Latin in the liturgy, and would permit its clergy to marry. Father Castillo Méndez filed the new church's organizational papers with the Interior Ministry in early 1947, with signed affidavits from 250 fellow priests who had unanimously elected him Bishop of Caracas. The Minister of Interior immediately ordered the Federal police to ensure that Reverend Father Castillo Méndez not wear the vestments or insignia of the office of Bishop. However, the new church did receive public approval.
Entry into the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church.
Reverend Father Castillo Méndez was serving as pastor of St. Teresa's parish in Caracas. Having been elected leader by his fellow priests in the national church, he sought to go to Brazil to receive episcopal consecration from the Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa. However, the Venezuelan government did not consent to this trip, nor would it allow Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa to enter Venezuela.
In the end, Reverend Father Castillo Méndez and Bishop Duarte Costa made arrangements to meet in the Panama Canal Zone, a territory under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, which did not have formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
On May 3, 1948, Most Reverend Dom Duarte Costa consecrated Reverend Father Luis Fernando Castillo Méndez as a catholic bishop as pictured above, with the title of Bishop of Caracas and Primate of Venezuela, he was assisted by co consecrator 1, Most Reverend Dom Salamao Ferraz, Bishop of São Paulo who returned to the Roman Catholic Church in 1956 and was accepted as a valid bishop by His Holiness Pope John XXIII, he was appointed as Titular Bishop of Eleutherna Photographs of Bp Salameo Ferraz consecration, co consecrator 2, Most Reverend Dom Antidio Jose Vargas Diocesan Bishop of Lages,(Brazil) consecrated by H.E. Most Reverend Carlos Duarte Costa on the 8 December 1946 co consecrated by Most Reverend Dom. Salamao Ferraz. Photographs of Bp Castillo Mendez consecration His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Castillo Méndez's consecration led to his official persecution by the Roman Catholic Church Cardinal in Venezuel. By order of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in Venezuela which had great influence in the late 1940’s young Bishop Castillo Mendez was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in Venezuela, he was tortured to denie that he was a catholic bishop, papers was drawn for him to sign, the young bishop refused to sign them and refused to denounce that he was a catholic bishop, he was tortured with hot irons leaving severe scaring upon his arms which was visible to the day he died. He arrived in Brazil on June 21, 1950, He was installed by Most Reverend Dom Carlos Duarte Costa as parish vicar and diocesan bishop of Uberlandia in the state of Minas Gerais. In 1957 he was moved to Rio de Janeiro where he served as auxiliary bishop. He was reassigned to Brasilia in 1960, where he served as diocesan bishop of the state of Goias. In 1961 he acquired Brazilian citizenship.
1982 Bishop Castillo Mendez was elected undisputed leader. Elected that same year as president of the Episcopal Council of ICAB. In 1988 he was designated His Holiness the Patriarch of Brazil (ICAB) in
1990 he was named His Holiness, Patriarch of all Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Churches World wide known in countries as ICAN, the church's international communion.
In 2005 His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez. PATRIARCH OF BRAZIL. BISHOP OF BRASILIA and the Patriarch of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church in UK, Ireland & Scotland (page 71 of his biography written in 2005). Positions which he held until his sudden death.
His Holiness , Patriarch Dom Luis, as he was now known ("Dom" being the honorific title 'Lord' for bishops in Brazil), used the Pre Vatican II Pontifical Romanum for all episcopal consecrations. However, like most autonomous Established Christian Churches, he denied papal infallibility the same as the Orthodox Churches do and did not support obligatory priestly celibacy although he remained single.
His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez built a strong vibrant Catholic Church in the new city of Brasilia Distro Federal as a young Catholic bishop building a great congregation of faithful. The Cathedral Church that can be seen in the black and white photograph taken in the late 1950's with many catholic bishops of the Brazilian Catholic Church all entering into the new Cathedral.
Upon the death of the founder of the Brazilian Catholic Church Archbishop Carlos Duarte Costa, His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis would make his new Cathedral the official SEE of the Patriarchate of the Brazilian Catholic Church for which was for so, many years until his eternal reward on the 29 October 2009. His Holiness consecrated several catholic bishops to succeed him in his Cathedral including Archbishop Neville Anderson for Australia and Archbishop David Bell for the United Kingdom.
His Holiness was a great spiritual leader for many and he was a great friend to the founder of the Brazilian Catholic Church as well as being the 4th catholic bishop consecrated by Most Reverend Dom Carlos Duarte Costa. His Excellency Archbishop of Rio de Janerio. The colour photograph to the right is the Cathedral in 2006.
Ad Lima Visit 2009.
In December 2009, an envoy of Catholic Bishops from the England, Wales & Scotland paid a visit to His Holiness as normal. The ad lima visit was to inform his Holiness of how the Church was progressing. The Superior General / Primus consecrated by his Holiness was the Most Reverend Prof David Bell. H.E. Archbishop Bell during morning mass was spoken to by a unknown voice during silent prayers telling him that His Holiness was seriously ill. The Superior General/ Primus who was consecrated and elevated by his Holiness see: http://www.hrcac.org.uk/archbishop-of-london.html contacted his chaplain and episcopal vicar and informed them that they had to leave now and the reason why bringing their visit forward by 3 months.
On the 22 October 2009, the above 3 bishops arrived in Brasilia DF and stayed with his Holiness at the Patriarchal Palace leaving only for 2 days to go to see the new President in Rio de Janerio returning to the Patriarchal palace on the morning of 26 October 2009 until the late morning of the 28 October 2009. During their visit his Holiness recognized immediately his friend and bishop addressing him as "Cardeal James". His Holiness was the spirit of life although a little unsteady and slow on his feet, but he was very alert and lucid.
On the morning of October 29, 2009, at approximately 9 am, His Holiness, Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo-Mendez, the Patriarch of Brazil and the Worldwide family of Catholic Apostolic Churches died, at the age of 86.
Brazilian Catholic Church custom is to address catholic bishops and high-ranking church officials with the honorific title of "Dom" followed by the individual's first name. Thus Luis Fernando Castillo Méndez was often addressed as "Dom Luis." Photograph is the funeral service of the late Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez being presided over by the president of ICAB and the counsel of Catholic bishops of ICAB. Above is a letter from the former Roman Catholic Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain passing his condolences on in regard's to the sudden death of the late Patriarch.