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Antônio de Castro Mayer

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Title: Antônio de Castro Mayer  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Society of St. Pius X, Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, Alfonso de Galarreta, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Coetus Internationalis Patrum
Collection: 1904 Births, 1991 Deaths, 20Th-Century Roman Catholic Bishops, Brazilian People of German Descent, Brazilian Roman Catholics, Brazilian Traditionalist Catholics, Coetus Internationalis Patrum, Deaths from Respiratory Failure, Integrism, Participants in the Second Vatican Council, People Excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church, People from Campinas, Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, Pontifical Gregorian University Alumni, Traditionalist Catholic Bishops
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Antônio de Castro Mayer

Dom Antônio de Castro Mayer, in 1980.

Antônio de Castro Mayer, STL (20 June 1904—25 April 1991) was a Brazilian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. A Traditionalist Catholic and ally of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, he was Bishop of Campos from 1949 until his resignation in 1981.[1]

In 1988, he incurred the automatic canonical penalty of excommunication for participating in the illicit consecration four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). This penalty also applied to Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops that they ordained. However a subsequent public declaration of the penalty by the Holy See omitted his name, identifying only Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops whom they ordained. In 2009, the Pope Benedict XVI lifted the canonical penalty incurred by the four surviving bishops in the hope of facilitating full reconciliation of the SSPX.[2] That reconciliation, however, has not yet come to pass.


Antônio de Castro Mayer was born in Campinas, São Paulo, to Joao Mayer, a Bavarian stonemason, and his wife, Francisca de Castro, a Brazilian peasant. One of twelve children, Antônio helped his mother support their family after Joao died in 1910. At age 12, he entered São Paulo's minor seminary, then run by the Premonstratensian Fathers. After entering the major seminary in 1922, he was sent to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University (from where he obtained his doctorate in theology in 1928) in Rome. Mayer was ordained to the priesthood by Basilio Cardinal Pompilj on 30 October 1927, and then taught philosophy, history of philosophy, and dogmatic theology at the seminary in São Paulo.

Before being named Vicar General of São Paulo in 1942, he became Assistant General of the city's Catholic Action in 1940 and a canon of the cathedral chapter (with the title of First Treasurer) in 1941. He was made a parish priest and the prefect of studies at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo in 1945.

Coat of Mayer, carved in a wooden door in the Church of "Our Lady of Aparecida and St. Fidelis", belonging to the Apostolic Administration, São Fidélis. His orthodoxy and his coat, Mayer became known as the "Lion of Fields".

On 6 March 1948, Mayer was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Campos and Titular Bishop of Priene by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 23 May from Archbishop Carlo Chiarlo, with Bishop Ernesto de Paula and Archbishop Geraldo de Proença Sigaud, S.V.D., serving as co-consecrators. He succeeded Octaviano de Albuquerque as Bishop of Campos on January 3, 1949, and was very active in combating liberation theology and communist infiltration of the Church and of his diocese.

De Castro Mayer, a staunch Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, with the same territory as the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, by Pope John Paul II in January of 2002.

On his death bed, Bishop de Castro Mayer refused to sign a so-called "formula of reconciliation" (which would include an admission that excommunication was really incurred and that no situation of necessity, as claimed by Lefebvre and Castro Mayer, had existed in 1988) proposed by Vatican delegates at his death bed. He died of respiratory failure in Campos on 25 April 1991.


  1. ^ "Bishop Antônio de Castro Mayer".  
  2. ^ Pope lifts excommunications of Lefebvrite bishops
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