Msgr. Carlos Duarte Costa was a retired Brazilian diocesan bishop who in 1945 broke with the Roman Catholic Church to found the "Brazilian Apostolic Catholic Church." From him descend scores of independent bishops.

In the 1930s Msgr. Costa was the Brazilian bishop most outspoken in defending the poor. In 1937, at the insistence of the dictatorial Getúlio Vargas régime in Brazil, the Vatican forced Msgr. Costa to retire as Bishop of Botucatu.

Nonetheless, he continued in speaking out on behalf of the poor and, in 1944, was even imprisoned for several months.

Finally, in 1945, after protesting the Vatican's having assisted several Nazis find refuge in Brazil at the end of World War II, Msgr. Costa broke with Rome and established his own independent church.

Over the next fifteen years, Msgr Costa, along with the first two bishops he consecrated for his new church, helped form in Latin America several other "National Apostolic Catholic Churches." Ultimately there were such churches throughout the Western Hemishere, from Chile to Canada, and even in The Philippines and Australia.

Msgr. Duarte Costa acted as (principal or co-) consecrator for several independent bishops, the first in 1945 and the last, shortly before his death, in 1961.

In the years since his death, however, the few bishops he consecrated have become the source of claimed episcopal orders for a immense number of clergymen (and even women!) saying they are validly consecrated "Catholic" bishops.


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