Archbishop Jose Carlos Melo of Maceio, Brazil, said this week no Catholic priest was involved in a “simulated wedding” between Brazil’s ex-president, Fernando Collor de Mellor, and his most recent live-in companion at a church in Alagoas.
Last weekend, Collor—who is in the process of divorcing his second wife—showed up for Mass with his current companion at a Catholic church in Alaogaos, both dressed for a wedding. Collor stood at the foot of the altar while his female companion was led in by her father—without any kind of wedding march. Afterwards they held hands and posed for pictures near the altar.
The Archbishop Emeritus of Alagoas, Edvaldo Amaral, who warned that “blessing the union of the divorced and remarried is anti-sacramental”, was celebrating the Mass.
In statements to the Brazilian daily O Estado¸ the archbishop stated, “Theologically speaking there was nothing to indicate this was a wedding. There was no blessing, and I even quoted Pope John Paul II, when he said that the divorced have no right to the sacrament, but I did not see how they came in the church because I was in the sacristy.”
Archbishop Melo said that “there was no formal wedding, but they continue to insist there was. We must be patient. We can’t control somebody else’s mouth.”