.- Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Ureña of San Jose, Costa Rica, said this week the self-named “Reformed Catholic Church,” which has been operating in the country since 2000 and claims to be in communion with the Holy See, is “a schismatic group. A group that is separated from the Catholic Church.” Reacting to news of the group’s recent “ordination” of a woman to the deaconate, Archbishop Barrantes noted that the group accepts “among their ranks priests in irregular situations and Catholics who do not want to submit to ecclesiastic discipline.”
“The Reformed Catholic Church is not in communion with the Holy Father. In fact, its bishops are not listed in the Annuario Pontificio (The Pontifical Yearbook), they do not hold ad limina visits with the Holy Father. Therefore, these bishops are not in communion with the Pope or with any bishop that is in communion with Peter,” the archbishop stated.
Addressing the charge that the Church has marginalized women, the archbishop noted, “The presence and role of women in the life and mission of the Church, while not connected to the ministerial priesthood, are nonetheless totally necessary and irreplaceable. In this sense the Church encourages women to become fully conscious of the grandeur of their mission: their role is vital today, both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church,” he recalled.
The archbishop also quoted John Paul II, who said that “it is not possible for the Church to confer priestly ordination on women, and this teaching should be considered definitive by all the faithful of the Church.”
The Reformed Catholic Church embraces optional celibacy for priests, the ordination of women, communion for the divorced and remarried, the abolition of excommunication and democratic election of bishops by the laity and the clergy. It was founded in Miami, Florida, in 1998.