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College of Bishops Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Pastoral Letter Condemning Mob Violence
Pastoral Letter Concerning the COVID Vaccine
Presiding Bishop Santore's 2020 Christmas Letter
CACINA Response to Recent incidents in Minneapolis and Brunswick
CACINA Response to School Shootings
Letter on Government Policies
Reflection on the Violence
Message from Bishop Stephens on the Orlando Shootings
Who is It Who Speaks for Us?


 pastoral message condeming mob violence letter

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 A Pastoral Message on the COVID-19 Vaccine

December 29, 2020

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)

We, the College of Bishops for the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, write to you on a matter of grave importance. We ask all of you reading this letter to prayerfully consider our message encouraging you to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Many lives hang in the balance; the vaccine will only be effective if a majority of people receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, we feel a pastoral duty to speak publicly, and strongly encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available and offered.

As of this writing, 19.4 million Americans have been diagnosed, and 335,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. Data indicate that some 50% of people in various Christian denominations have said they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is very troubling since we know the vaccine is safe, but is only effective if at least 80% of the population get the vaccine. Otherwise, many more thousands of lives will be unnecessarily lost.

While there is a delicate balance between religion and science, we know, as Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, “In all things, God works for good.” Religious people have always relied on the God given skill and expertise of highly regarded medical professionals to keep us well so that we can do the work of building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

Jesus tells us very plainly that the greatest commandment is to love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves; Love – God – Neighbor – Self. COVID-19 has imposed death and destruction throughout the world, but God has not abandoned us. In so many ways, God has brought us closer together, and the expressions of love, neighborliness, and faith have been extraordinary. It is our moral obligation to do all we can to participate in God’s healing love. In this time, that moral obligation includes getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The only exception to getting the COVID-19 vaccine should be for health reasons.

Let us all engage in cooperative grace with our loving God. In the end, it is, indeed, a personal choice to receive or decline the COVID-19 vaccine, but we must always remember that every personal choice we make has an impact on others and in this case can have life or death consequences.

In faith and hope,

Bishop Anthony Santore, FCR, Presiding Bishop
Bishop Francisco Betancourt, FCR
Bishop Anthony Green, NFCR
Bishop Carl Purvenas-Smith, OSB
Father Joseph Reynolds, Chancellor
Bishop Willard Schultz, Retired
Bishop Ronald Stephens
Bishop Michael Theogene

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 A CACINA Response to Recent incidents in Minneapolis and Brunswick


Pastoral Letter from the College of Bishops – Catholic Apostolic Church in North America

Recent incidents in Minneapolis, MN and Brunswick, GA, where two men were brutally murdered one due to excessive force by a policeman and the other gunned down by two white vigilantes -  

We, the College of Bishops, condemn in the strongest possible terms the sin of racism. We must speak out against systemic racism that has infected institutions charged with protecting and serving. By not doing so, we contribute to people of color suffering from oppression, abuse, and even death. We may have failed to speak out in the past, but we promise we will strive to make recompense by boldly speaking out against racism, in favor of justice for those who have been harmed because of racism, and taking action to insist government leaders do their duty to pass laws and regulations to protect racial minorities.

1 John 4:20 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

Research shows that it has become more common for people to express racist or radically insensitive views toward minorities over the last three years. An overwhelming majority of people of color feel whites benefit a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have. People of color have only ten cents in wealth for every one dollar held by white households. People of color are also twice as likely to be pulled over while driving and three times as likely to be killed by police as whites.

We, the College of Bishops, therefore, call on all clergy and members of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, and our ecumenical brothers and sisters, to first pray for an end to systemic racism in the church, the private sector, and in governmental institutions. Additionally, we implore our local, state, and government officials to invest in and employ resources to immediately bring an end to racism, racial bias, racial profiling, and racial discrimination in work, housing, public accommodations, investments, or any other opportunity that leads to a better life.

The College of Bishops directs that this pastoral letter will be sent to each parish, mission, and religious community. This pastoral letter shall also be made public on social media platforms and by email distribution lists held by parishes, missions, and religious communities.

In the Spirit of Christ’s love for all of humanity –

Bishop Anthony Santore, FCR, Presiding Bishop

Bishop Francisco Betancourt, FCR

Bishop Anthony Green

Bishop Carl Purvenas-Smith, OSB

Fr. Joseph Reynolds, Chancellor

Bishop Willard Schultz, Retired

Bishop Ronald Stephens

Bishop Michael Theogene

Fr. Vincent Treglio, OSF, Guardian

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A CACINA Response to School Shootings

Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them… (Mt 19:14)

August 2019

There is little more to be said about the school shootings from a newsworthy point of view other than that the tide seems to be turning. In the past, we would mourn the tragedy and soon forget about doing anything about it. It has become clear that our representatives have been bought by the NRA through campaign donations and they are not about to look that gift horse in the mouth. But they are starting to. What has changed?

The teenagers at Parkland are older than the survivors at Sandy Hook. With age and education, they have realized that they have a voice and that they are going to use it. We support their movement fully.

Jesus said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Mt. 18:1-5) The “children” at Parkland are able to see things through the eyes of some innocence and they have not yet been corrupted by many of the values of our generations. Many of us despair of being able to do anything and so we sit and watch the news and maybe gripe to our friends, but we don’t do anything.

It is time for us to join with the voices from Parkland - those dead and those living - to call our representatives to account, to study the issue fully, to look at what other countries have done, and to realize that there are answers that we have been too blind to see.

We can prevent other tragedies like this from happening, and it isn’t by more guns.  Arming teachers and armed guards are not the answer. They didn’t help at Parkland and won’t help elsewhere.

Please join me and my fellow bishops and make your priorities known to your representatives and, if they don’t listen, work to remove them and find someone who will. Think about leadership yourselves. Take on the fresh dreams of the young and do not be complacent. We cannot afford to let this momentum die but push for real change through prayer and action. We have prayed and prayed. The time for action is now.

The College of Bishops

Most Rev. Ronald Stephens

Presiding Bishop

Catholic Apostolic Church of North America

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Letter on Government Policies
by the Bishops of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America


“What is truth?” proclaimed Pontius Pilate (John 18:38). Little did he know how long-lasting and pertinent a question it would be and is still more than 2000 years later. While American citizens spend much time these days pondering that question, as Christians we know that Jesus Christ is the “way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and that "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31). The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA) believes in the truth of Jesus Christ and in the tradition and teachings of the universal Catholic church and so is obliged to speak out against attempts to devalue the human person or to deviate from the clear mandates of Jesus regarding love of God and our neighbor.

The Beatitudes offer us the way the teachings of Jesus. They clearly give preference to the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant, the peace seekers, the prisoners, and the persecuted. Those Beatitudes call our church to speak outto hunger and thirst for justice. Our founder, St. Charles of Brazil, one of the early liberation theology developers, also gave us a clear mandate to give preference to those groups in society most needing of our aid. We feel strongly that policies of the present administration deeply threaten the mandates we were given, especially with regard to the immigrant, to the transgendered, and to the poor who are without resource to health care. Furthermore we speak out strongly against persecution of anyone based on race or religion. As a church we will do all we can to help the helpless in society and bring about a fair and equitable distribution of resources for everyone.

Bishops of CACINA, 2017

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Reflection on the Violence during the Week of July 4 by Fr. Green


Shell-shock was a term used during World War I to describe soldiers who were deeply wounded in their emotional, psychological and spiritual health as a result of exposure to the violence and death of war. We no longer use the term shell-shock. People who have the very troubling symptoms described in DSM 5 after exposure to violent and deadly situations, such as war, are now diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Veteran’s Administration now recognizes the effects of moral trauma beside PTSD. Moral trauma is a deeply spiritual disturbance when someone acts, by force or choice, in a way that goes against the very fabric of their religious, spiritual or human beliefs.

The core values of life, liberty, and justice for all are written directly into our Declaration of Independence. These values, while not strictly religious, give us a sense of pride and purpose as a people and are our moral compass. They help us to unite and hold something true that applies to everyone’s life in our, still, great land of the free.

We hear once again of black men being killed by police without any provocation. We then hear of a sniper killing police officers who were doing their duty to protect a crowd’s right to peaceably assemble in a protest march. In the background, we still have the trauma of a terrorist attack against gay and lesbian people at an Orlando, Florida, night club. And, across the globe hundreds have been slaughtered in terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and Iraq. These horrible acts of violence and murder cut to the core of our highest moral calling to love and care for our neighbors. It is worth noting that racist, xenophobic, and hate-filled speech by politicians’ insight the violence we are experiencing as a nation.

I’m reminded of a passage from the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

"One day, as we returned from work, we saw three gallows, three black ravens, erected on the Appelplatz. Roll call. The SS surrounding us, machine guns aimed at us: the usual ritual. Three prisoners in chains – and, among them, the little pipel, the sad-eyed angel. The SS seemed more preoccupied, more worried, than usual. To hang a child in front of thousands of onlookers was not a small matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was pale, almost calm, but he was biting his lips as he stood in the shadow of the gallows. This time, the Lagerkapo refused to act as executioner. Three SS took his place. The three condemned prisoners together stepped onto the chairs. In unison, the nooses were placed around their necks. “Long live liberty!” shouted the two men. But the boy was silent. “Where is merciful God, where is He?” someone behind me was asking. At the signal, the three chairs were tipped over. Total silence in the camp. On the horizon, the sun was setting. “Caps off!” screamed the Lageralteste. His voice quivered. As for the rest of us, we were weeping. “Cover your heads!” Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing… And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking:“For God’s sake, where is God?”And from within me, I heard a voice answer: “Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…"

As we see the images of people senselessly killed broadcast over the TV and internet, should we not ask, “For God’s sake, where is God?” Maybe we don’t ask because the answer could be, There He is: a black man shot dead by a police officer while in the car with his girlfriend and 4 year old child. There He is: a police officer shot by a sniper while doing his job. There He is: a gay man shot dead while dancing the salsa. There He is: our neighbors in Egypt, Bangladesh, and Iraq lying dead after a terrorist attacked them.

May He rise up through us to love all of our neighbors, near and far, so that we can overcome the moral trauma that now infects us.

God help us.

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Message from Bishop Stephens on the Orlando Shootings


As Bishop of a Holy Trinity diocese for the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America, I have been devastated by the Orlando shootings to the point where I have been emotionally unable to respond. As an independent church we have many gay members and clergy as well as parishioners who are gay or allies and very supportive of LGBT. As horrific as the attack was, I have been finding some of the so-called Christian responses even more horrific. How can Jesus' work and teachings be so perverted by people that they take some pleasure in these acts as a sort of retribution? How can any Christian think it is deserved or that God would take delight in punishing?

My heart has gone out to these victims and their families and, of course, we have prayed for them. But this time, I believe our response needs to be more than prayer. We Christians have to do a better job teaching Christ's message of love and inclusion. This past week we saw a beautiful example of that when Jesus let his feet be washed and be anointed by a "sinner."  What can we do through the Catholic Apostolic Church to extend that love and inclusiveness?

Right now, in my state of horrified numbness, I can't seem to function at all. Laws need to be changed, but probably won't be. Can we at least try yet again? Sermons need to reverse the damage of bigotry and homophobia and fear of the unknown. Can we be even more effective in our acceptance and celebration of our differences?

Tonight, while in Canada visiting my father on his 95th birthday, I will pause to go to a vigil service in downtown Windsor to honor those murdered. Somehow it doesn't seem enough. But I want everyone to know, as a gay man myself, I share their pain, their horror, their grief, their fear, and especially their anger at a world where hate is allowed to reign. God bless us all.

Bishop Ronald Stephens

Holy Trinity Diocese

The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA)

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The following Pastoral Response was read at all parishes of the Catholic Apostolic Catholic Church in North America (CACINA). The Pastoral Response to the Bishop of Rome’s discriminatory statements against the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community is from the Presiding Bishop of The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America on behalf of the College of Bishops of CACINA.


Who is It Who Speaks for Us?
(Quisnam est is quisnam fatur nobis)?

December 30, 2008

By divine institution Holy Church is structured and governed with a wonderful diversity. “For just as in one body we have many members, yet all members have not the same function, so we, the many, are one body in Christ, but severally members one of another” (Rom. 12:4-5). Therefore, the chosen People of God is one: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). As members, they share a common dignity from their rebirth in Christ. They have the same filial grace and vocation to perfection. They possess in common one salvation, one hope, and one undivided charity. Hence, there is in Christ and in the Church no inequality on the basis of race or nationality, social condition or sex, because “there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither male nor female. For you are all ‘one’ in Christ Jesus: (Gal 3:28).[1]

+ To All People of Good Will:

The Grace and Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

The Catholic Apostolic Church of North America (CACINA) is greatly saddened by the recent remarks made by the Bishop of Rome regarding our brothers and sisters who have been hurt by the Vatican’s less than Christ-like pronouncements about a dimension of our community who are already oppressed in our society, and are now again made more vulnerable to sanctioned discrimination by the inflammatory opinion expressed by the leader of the Roman Catholic church.

We the CACINA Catholics declare that Rome does not speak for every Catholic and we of CACINA as Catholics reject the recent statement from the Vatican, which seeks to divide the Church of Christ even further from her mission to all people. In the name of Catholicism, Rome often assumes that she speaks for all who claim the ancient Tradition of Catholicism. She does not. We of CACINA also represent a voice of Catholicism, which contrary to Rome’s opinion, has experienced the value and richness that diversity brings to our individual, communal, and most importantly our ecclesial life.

CACINA, like Rome, derives her authority from Jesus Christ, her Apostolic authenticity to Teach on matters of dogma, faith, and morals from the Apostolic succession of Duarte Costa, and is guided by the Holy Spirit to be a healing and loving witness to the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ in this time and place.

We are reminded by Christ, who after he fed the five thousand told us: “to gather up the fragments, so the nothing might be lost” (Jn. 6: 1-14). These words of Christ have no explicit or implied admonition to only feed those who are like us or who love the way we think they should love. No, Christ only tells us to feed my lambs!

We are guided by the Holy Spirit to remind our Roman brethren of that astonishing moment in the history of the Roman church when the Spirit of God inspired the church to proclaim at Vatican Council II:

Thanks to the experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, and the treasures hidden in various forms of human culture, the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened. These benefits profit the Church, too. For, from the beginning of her history, she has learned to express the message of Christ with the help of the ideas and terminology of various peoples, and has tried to clarify with the wisdom of philosophers, too.[2]

We of CACINA are guided by the Holy Spirit to make conscious for ourselves and all who hold and teach the Catholic faith, that we will be judged by every word which proceeds from our mouth. “For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as a perfect man He might save all and sum up all things in Himself…”[3]

We the bishops of CACINA, compelled by our experience of the all inclusive love of God, Incarnate in Jesus Christ and living in His Church do not accept our Roman brothers discriminatory rhetoric, which lays a theological and ecclesial foundation for acts of discrimination and violence to human beings everywhere.

Finally, we the bishops of CACINA in the name of other Catholics offer our deepest apology to all who have been hurt and ostracized by a theology so limited that it attempts to have us believe that God’s powerful expression of love in his Church could be so diminished by our love of each other.

The Proclamation of this Pastoral Letter from the CACINA College of Bishops is to be read in all the parishes of the Church, is given under Our Seal and Signature on this 31 Day of December, the Feast of ST. SYLVESTER I, POPE, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United State of America.

Most Reverend Anthony Santore, FCR

Presiding Bishop of the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America

[1] Abbott, Walter .M. S.J., ED. The Documents of Vatican II, New York: Herder and Herder Press, 1966, pg. 58

[2] Abbott, Walter .M. S.J., ED. The Documents of Vatican II, New York: Herder and Herder Press, 1966, pg. 246

[3] IBID

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Fr Joe standing in front of a icon of Our Lady of Perpetual, saying mass.CACINA is a vibrant, inclusive, faith-filled Catholic church that came to North America from Brazil in 1949. Since that time, CACINA members have sought to proclaim and authentically live the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all of God's people. We are Catholic, sharing our history and traditions with other Catholic communities, but are not part of Roman, Orthodox, or other independent Catholic churches.

Click the links below to learn more about us.




  • historyThe Catholic Apostolic Church in North America's (CACINA's) history as an independent Catholic Church begins with the establishment of Igreja Catolica Apostolica Brasileira (The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil) on July 6, 1945. The Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil was established by the late Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa as a result of ecclesiastic and civil persecutions in Brazil in the 1930's and 1940's

  • The Catholic Apostolic Church was brought to the United States by the late Bishop Estefan Meyer Corradi-Scarella who had been consecrated a bishop for that purpose January 23, 1949, from which date CACINA dates its establishment.

Please click here for additional history

There are two religious communities within CACINA: Benedictines of Peace and Justice (Benedictines) and Franciscan Community of Reconciliation (Franciscans). The Benedictines of Peace and Justice is a community of clergy and lay people who are dedicated to a monastic heritage in the Benedictine tradition by living lives of work and prayer in an extended community. The clergy and lay people of the Franciscan community are dedicated to Christ by following the example of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. For more information click on the links below:

Icon picture of Saint Benedict    FranciscanReconciliation
Benedictines of
Peace and Justice
   Franciscans of Reconciliation