Communion...not Power!

I received with joy the message delivered by the Episcopal Church's Bishops after their meeting yesterday.
First, I was heartened by the courage in defending what it is a principle crystallized in the Communion -- that is, provincial autonomy. The Episcopal Church, like the other provinces, has its own canonical mechanisms that allow the exercise of its autonomy inside the parameters already consolidated historically in our tradition.
The present crisis within the Communion has been creating abnormal situations because, generally, the conservatives, under the claim of defending orthodoxy, transgress the jurisdictions, trespassing diocesan or provincial legitimate authorities.
Brazil's Province suffered this improper interference when the Primate of the Southern Cone extended his pastoral supervision over the bishop and the schismatic clergy of the Diocese of Recife without respect for the sovereign provincial decision that deposed the bishop of that diocese.

The establishment of a Pastoral Council with mandate over an autonomous Province, as suggested by the Primates has no legitimacy, without the consent of the whole Church. It is important to highlight that there is no legislative competence that legitimates such a proposition. Primates do not constitute an entity with legislative powers. The only entity that has powers for such an action is the ACC.
The non-observance of limits is the destruction of the Anglican Communion . It would establish a dangerous level of informality that will work according to everyone's political convenience.
Finally, the invitation for an open and sincere talk with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Primates' Standing Committee is a signal that the Episcopal Church in USA has maturity and an authentic wish to remain in communion with the whole family. In this present crisis it is very important overcome any unilaterality or self-sufficiency.
If the conservatives wish to expel the Episcopal Church from the whole Anglican Communion, they need to be more transparent, and behave in an appropriate way. Some arguments that the whole Communion is in agreement with the ultimatum stated by the Primates' Communique are not true.

The Baptismal commitment is not optional. Orthodoxy needs to be congruent with the way we live. When anybody defends orthodoxy and does not respect another person's fundamental human rights they takes on the onus of pharisaism. In the light of the crisis that we are experiencing, I reaffirm my conviction that what divides the Anglican Communion today is not the view people have of sexuality or of rights of the homosexual. What divides the Communion is the dispute for power and control.

Rev. Cônego Francisco de Assis da Silva

Secretário Geral

Igreja Episcopal Anglicana da Brasil


Padre Mickey disse…
An excellent post, as always! We were talking about this very subject at Parroquia San Cristóbal in Parque Lefevre, Panamá, last night.

I have posted this post on my blog, as I was unable to link to it for some strange reason.
Xico disse…
Thanks Padre
I have great respect and consideration for your opinions. This is an stimulous to continue contributing for reflection on our crisis.
God bless you!
Gordon disse…
>>When anybody defends orthodoxy and does not respect another person's fundamental human rights they takes on the onus of pharisaism.>>

Thank you for this post, Padre. It's something that has needed to be said and I'm disappointed that the Archbishop of Canterbury does not have the insight to see the importance of coming out and acknowledging a respect human rights. Instead, I only hear silence.

If you have the opportunity, please consider reading the Daily Telegraph article, "Archbishop looses favor on all fronts"
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007

I do not have the link because it was sent to me without it. But I have posted the complete article on my blog.

John disse…
Nosotros los episcopales de EE. UU. nos sentimos a veces muy aislados porque hemos tomado una postura basada en el anhelo por la justicia en nuestro contexto. Nos alienta mucho recibir mensajes como el suyo, expresando apoyo y solidaridad. Muchas gracias!

We Episcopalians in the USA sometimes feel very isolated because we have taken a position based on our desire for justice in our context. It encourages us a great deal to receive messages like yours, expressing suppport and solidarity. Many thanks!
Luiz Coelho disse…
I'd like to say I'm enjoying very much your posts in English.

I guess they give the Worldwide communion an idea of what we Brazilian Anglicans think.

Keep up the good work!
John disse…
Esta aclaracion esta recibiendo una circulacion muy amplia en EE. UU.! Ya ha sido enviada a todos los obispos y los delegados clericales y laicos de la Convencion General de la Iglesia Episcopal y desde esa lista a miles de episcopales por todo el pais. Felicitaciones!

This statement is receiving very wide circulation in the USA! It has already been sent to all the bishops and the clergy and lay delegates of the Episcopal Church's General Convention and from that list to thousands of Episcopalians all over the country. Congratulations!
Luiz Coelho disse…
Also, I'd like to recommend the statement from the president of the Brazilian House of Clergy and Laity.

If the link doesn't work, it is here:

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