.- The Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, rejected the participation of any priest or layperson in the so-called âReformed Catholic Churchâ and said the âauthentic Church of Jesus Christ has as its purpose proclaiming the gifts of Christ to the entire world, regardless of political matters and of the political affiliation of the faithful.â
The âReformed Catholic Churchâ has been founded by dissidents from different churches with the explicit support of the government of Hugo Chavez which, some sources say, has financed its founding.
During the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, marking the beginning of the Pauline Year, Cardinal Urosa said, âWith regard to the creation of a supposedly new Church that wrongly calls itself âReformed Catholic,â allow me to express here my rejection of the participation of any Catholic, much less any priest.â
âJesus Christ Our Lord is the only founder of the Church of God, which subsists in the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, that is, united around the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope,â the cardinal said. He noted that the new religious group is made up of dissidents from various traditional denominations.
He warned the Catholic faithful that âjoining this new dissident group is a schismatic act, that is, a rupture with the ecclesial unity, which is punishable by excommunication.â
âIn the case of priests who pretend to be Christian bishops based on an invalid ordination, that is an empty and ineffective act, but that is an aggravating factor of the grave sin of schism and a scandal for the faithful,â the cardinal warned.
He also questioned the validity of the episcopal ordination that the bishops of the Reformed Church claim to have received from Anglican bishops, saying such ordinations are âempty and ineffective.â