The Pact of the Catacombs

The RK-Kerkplein website identifies 23 bishops identified as having signed the Pact of the Catacombs during the mass held at the Domitilla Catacomb on 16 November 1965:

Msgr. Charles M. Himmer, Bishop of Tournai, Belgium

Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil

Dom Antonio Fragoso, Bishop of Crateus, Brazil

Dom Francisco Austregésilo de Mesquita Filho, Bishop of Afogados de Ingazeira, Brazil

Dom Joao Batista de Mota e Alburquerque, Archbishop of Vitoria, Brazil

Dom Luiz Fernández, Auxiliary Bishop of Vitoria, Brazil

Dom Jorge Marcos de Oliveira, Bishop of De Santo André, Brazil

Dom Henrique Golland Trindade O.F.M., Archbishop of Botucatu, Brazil

Dom José M. Pires, Archbishop of Paraiba, Brazil

Dom Cándido Padín, Bishop of Lorena, Brazil

Msgr. Georges Mercier, Bishop of Laghouat, Sahara, Africa

Msgr. Hakim, Melkite Bishop of Nazareth, Israel

Msgr. Haddad, auxiliary Melkite Bishop of Beirut, Lebanon

Msgr. Gérard Mario Coderre, Bishop of Saint Jean, Quebec, Canada

Msgr. Rafael González, Auxiliary Bishop of Valencia, Spain

Msgr. Julius Angerhausen, Auxiliary Bishop of Essen, Germany

Msgr. Guy Marie Riobé, Bishop of Orléans, France

Msgr. Gerard M. Huyghe, Bishop of Arras, France

Msgr. Adrien Gand, Auxiliary Bishop of Lille, France

Msgr. Luigi Betazzi, Auxiliary Bishop of Bologna, Italy

Msgr. Bernard Yago, Archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa

Msgr. Joseph Blomjous, Bishop of Mwanza, Tanzania, Africa (of Dutch origin)

Msgr. Charles Joseph de Melckebeke CICM (expelled from China and then living in Singapore, Apostolic Visitor of the Chinese Catholics outside China, Belgian origin)

In addition, bishops from Vietnam and Indonesia signed the Pact.

According to the RK-Kerkplein website, there were also others who may have signed during the Mass or possibly later.

“In the Episcopal groups of Opus Angeli, Church of the Poor, the following Bishops were active but it is not sure that that they signed during the Eucharist.”

It names 11 of these bishops as:

Msgr. Manuel Larraín, Bishop of Talva, Chile, President of CELAM

Msgr. Marcos G. McGrath, Bishop of Santiago de Veraguas, Panama, Secretary of CELA

Msgr. Leonidas Proaño, Bishop of Ríobamba, Ecuador

Msgr. Alberto Devoto, Bishop of Goya, Argentina

Msgr. Vicente F. Zazpe, Archbishop of Sta. Fe, Argentina

Msgr. J. José Iriarte, Bishop of Reconguista, Argentina

Msgr. Alfredo Viola, Bishop of Salta, Uruguay

Msgr. Tulio Botero Salazar, Archbishop of Medellín, Colombia

Msgr. Raúl Zambrano, Bishop of Facatativá, Colombia

And later Dom Sergio Méndez Arceo and

Dom Samuel Ruíz from México

According a list in the archives of Bishop Himmer, these bishops were also original signatories of the Pact:

Mgr Antonio Medina Medina, auxiliary bishop of Medellín

Mgr Aníbal Muñoz Duque, bishop of Nueva Pamplona

Mgr Angelo Cuniberti, Vicar Apostolic of Florencia

Mgr Alberto Devoto, of the diocese of Goya

Mgr Enrique Angelelli, auxiliary bishop of Córdoba

Mgr Marcelo Mendiharat, auxliary bishop of Salto (Uruguay)

Jocist bishops

Indicated in bold text are jocist bishops, namely those who had direct links with the JOC or one of the other Specialised Catholic Action movements modelled on the JOC , i.e. the JEC (Young Christian Students), JUC (University students), etc.


Stefan Gigacz, The jocist bishops who signed the Pact of the Catacombs (Cardijn Research)

Stefan Gigacz, Vatican II bishops with links to Cardijn (

Xabier Pikaza, José Antunes da Silva (eds.) The Pact of the Catacombs, The mission of the poor in the Church, Editorial Verbo Divino, Avenida de Pamplona, 41, 31200 Estella (Navarra), Spain 1st edition (October 2015)