Statement from Latin América and Caribbean Anglicans Bishops

Recently gathered in San José, Costa Rica, Latin America and Caribbean Anglican Bishops signed a Statement in which some of the more important points that characterize the anglican tradition were reaffirmed.
Among them I point some highlights of this Statement below:

We exhorted our Communion to preserve its partaking nature, diversified, wide and inclusive, characteristics that we consider essential to our Tradition and that constitute our main contribution to the Christian tradition.

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At our meeting fellowship, we perceived that we defend different positions on the issues that today are discussed within our Communion. However, we also experienced our plurality and diversity like wealth and growth sources, and not as controversy and division causes.

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We invite all our brothers and sisters in the bishopric, as well as to all the clergy members and lay people that are identified with this vision, to unite us to work indeed by the reconciliation, interdependence and unit in the diversity in our faith family, and thus to preserve the valuable legacy of which we are trustees and guardians.

This Statement constitutes in an innequivocal call to the whole Communion to overcome the intolerance and rediscover the richness of our diversity. Distinct perceptions concerning the human sexuality are not essential to define who is or not ortodox. We cannot let the fundamentalism destroy the Spirit - who is dynamic and updates every time and every generation the God's project for the world.
The Anglican Communion survival - if it still exists - will depend on our capacity of recovering the unity in the diversity. We are responsible in continue Jesus's ministry who always welcomed all people. We need remind that orthodoxy became the biggest opponent of Jesus de Nazaré and the fundamentalism condemned it!

Lambeth 2008 under risk

The Lambeth Palace's invitation to the next Conference revealed that the Archbishop of Canterbury chooses a very difficult way to deal the conflict within the Anglican Communion.
The purpose of not invite what the Archbishop Williams understand as the extreme sides within the theological debates, would be a political deal or a ‘salomonic’ way to overcome constraints during the gathering next 2008 Conference. One of the not invited bishops to Lambeth is Gene Robinson. Acting as stated, the ABC is causing very strong reactions and putting the Conference under incertainty.
Especially because those who are reacting are raising some canonical and theological principals concerned on the comprehension about the Episcopate as is understood in the Anglican tradition.
The order of episcopate – in the Anglican tradition - is legitimate by the idea of communion. A bishop is consecrated after previous procedures that include being in communion with local diocese, national or provincial legitimating recognition and these instances in clear communion with Canterbury.
Bishop Gene Robinson is a legitimate bishop elected, consecrated and is member from a Province that is in full communion with Canterbury. And his episcopate – as the order itself – is shared in collegiality with all others bishops within the Episcopal Church. A Bishop do not exists by him or herself. The order is not a personal property but is owned by the Church. In this way, only if a bishop is under certain disciplinary condition stated by the Province, his legitimacy could be in question.
If the ABC has the challenge to maintain the whole Communion united, and this is gradually more and more difficult for him, on the other side he can’t exclude any bishop around the Communion to attend Lambeth 2008. Exclude Gene Robinson is a great risk to cause more and more division. The argument that Lambeth is a personal invitation of the Archbishop and, for instance, he has the right to invite who he understand as adequate sounds not well.
The scenery of the next Conference may become very difficult to deal if bishops around the world understand the exclusion of Gene as offensive to the collegiality that Lambeth itself is the signal more visible within the Communion!
I’m so worried about the risk of great loses of legitimacy of the next Lambeth 2008.
We need to pray for wisdom and patience that is expected from Lambeth Palace.

Welcome, Presiding Bishop

The Province of Brazil received with much joy the notice that Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori will visit us officially in July.
Our arms are open to receive you and to share our gifts and our dreams as a Church that serves and that is looking to welcome all people in their needs.
Here, you will receive the warmest and grateful demonstration of tenderness from a Church that is linked historically with the Episcopal Church. It is very relevant to remember that the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil was founded through the missionary spirit of your clergy. But, above all, we are a Church that incarnates strongly the Brazilian way of life. In our daily life, the liturgy, the music, all we do is a witness to the Gospel in our beloved country. We are a small church in numbers, but enormous in hospitality and public ministry
Like ECUSA, we have also suffered the tragic consequences raised by fundamentalism. We experienced a schism and like you, we lost communities, properties, clergy and people. But in spite of that we remained firm in standing ready to serve. We are a Church that has no interest in the power game within the Anglican Communion. Power for us is only that related to defending the baptismal covenant. The most important commitment is to listen to all who need to be heard and respected.
Around our Eucharistic table everybody is welcomed. Within the limits of our human and financial possibilities, we try to care for the victims of social and economic exclusion.
We deeply identify with your difficulties in maintaining the unity of the Church in the midst of so many tensions. Our Primate has expressed this feeling in several ways. We are thankful for the attention and respect with which we have been being treated by your Church.
This visit will be historic for our both Churches because it represents an opportunity to reinforce our common commitment in Christ. And it will serve to link us more and more closely in our histories. Remember that you are not alone. We can stay together!
Rev. Canon Francisco de Assis da Silva
Provincial Secretary

Irmão ou Interventor?

A instalação de um Bispo cismático dentro da jurisidição da ECUSA por um Arcebispo que se diz em comunhão com Cantuária é um sinal de que a Comunhão Anglicana está definitivamente quebrada.
Akinola está demonstrando claramente que para ele não nenhum limite jurisdicional ou respeito para ampliar sua influência.
A atitude do Primaz da Nigéria é apenas um sintoma de como o fundamentalismo não respeita fronteiras. A carta da Bispa Presidente a Akinola apela de forma inequívoca ao respeito à autonomia da Igreja Episcopal nos EUA e lembra que a intenção dele contraria o acordo celebrado no Encontro dos Primazes.
A resposta, em contrapartida, é profundamente desrespeitosa e num tom quase monárquico pretende ensinar à Igreja americana os rudimentos da fé.
Esse é o problema das personalidades messiânicas: elas se consideram onipotentes.
Conheço bem esse discurso. Já o ouvi de um ex-bispo de nossa Provincia. A defesa da fé para essa gente não passa de uma fixação obsessiva.
O que o Palácio de Lambeth fará diante desse episódio, em sendo realmente realizado? O ACB escreveu a Akinola pedindo que ele evite realizar essa viagem. Se esse apelo não for atendido, estamos diante de uma quebra de relações pastorais que afeta não só a colegialidade entre dois Primazes, mas igualmente o próprio papel do ACB.
Ou seja, temos agora objetivamente uma tomada de posição. Ninguém pode acusar a ECUSA de não buscar o diálogo. Mas Akinola tem agora diante de si o emblemático problema de se assumir como um interventor. A única coisa que me preocupa é se ele tem sensibilidade para essa avaliação ou se agirá como um extático cruzado da ortodoxia. Orarei para que ele aja como um pastor.

Brother or Crusader?

The installation of a schismatic bishop within a Province by a Primate that affirms to be in communion with Canterbury is definitively a signal that the Anglican Communion is radically broken.
The Archbishop Akinola is showing that neither jurisdiction or respect is sufficient to stop his will to spread his power.
The Akinola's attitude is only a symptom of how the fundamentalism does not respect borders. The initiative of the PB to write to him a letter appealing for an unequivocal respect to the Episcopal Church autonomy was so pastoral but at the same way a clear remind that the violation of such autonomy is absolutely contrary to the Church's tradition.
The response of the Nigerian Primate, in an opposite way was deeply disrespectful and in an almost monarchic tone intending to teach the Episcopal Church the faith rudiments.
Such selfish language is a mark of the messianic personalities: They think that they are almighty.
I know very well this kind of speech. I heard it from a former-bishop in Brazil . The defense of faith for these people is an obsessive fixation.
How Lambeth Palace will react ahead of this episode, if really the installation is performed? The ABC wrote to Akinola appealing do not do. If the ABC's appeal is disrespected we are in front of a serious pastoral breakage between two Primates, and unprecedentedly menace to the role of the ABC as a signal of unity.
In other words, we have now objectively and clearly a key situation. Nobody can accuse the Episcopal Church of not seeking a dialog. But Akinola has now in front of himself an emblematic question to solve: act as a brother or as an intervener. My fear is if he has sensibility for this evaluation or will act as an orthodoxy ecstatic crusader. I will pray for him to do what we expect from a Pastor.