José Cardoso Sobrinho

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Styles of
José Cardoso Sobrinho
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenone

José Cardoso Sobrinho (born June 30, 1933 in Caruaru) is the Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

He joined the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1957 and was appointed bishop of Paracatu in 1979. Sobrinho is the successor of Helder Camara and had been tasked with undoing the influence of liberation theology in that region of Brazil.[1]

2009 statement of excommunication[edit]

In March 2009, after an abortion on a nine-year-old girl raped by her stepfather and pregnant with twins had been performed to save her life, Sobrinho stated that automatic excommunication had been incurred by the girl's mother and the medical team. Regarding his statement, he said:

"The law of God is higher than any human laws. When a human law—that is, a law enacted by human legislators—is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."[2]

President Lula da Silva and Health Minister José Gomes Temporão decried his statement. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil disowned it, saying that the mother was certainly not excommunicated and there was insufficient evidence to show that any member of the medical team was. The statement was also criticized in the Vatican newspaper by the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. One of the doctors concerned said the controversy had drawn needed attention to Brazil's restrictive abortion laws.[3][4][5][6]


Sobrinho's resignation was accepted when he reached the canonical age limit upon turning 75 in 2008. His successor is Antônio Fernando Saburido, previously Bishop of Sobral. [1][permanent dead link]


  1. ^ Brooke, James (1989-11-12). "Two Archbishops, Old and New, Symbolize Conflict in the Brazilian Church". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  2. ^ "Brazil Church Excommunicates Mom, Doctors After Raped 9-Year-Old Has Abortion". Associated Press. March 5, 2009.
  3. ^ Brazil attacks church opposition to girl's abortion Stuart Grudgings, Reuters. Retrieved 2010-4-13.
  4. ^ Nunes Leal, Luciana (13 March 2009). "CNBB desautoriza iniciativa de bispo". O Estadão de S.Paulo. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Excommunicated doctor hailed for abortion on child rape victim". CNN. March 11, 2009.
  6. ^ Fisichella, Rino (15 March 2009). "Dalla parte della bambina brasiliana". L'Osservatore Romano.