The World Social Forum and the absence of the worldwide Anglican Communion
These days we are participating in Belém, capital of Pará and the see of the Diocese of Amazon in another edition of World Social Forum. This movement of organized society is completing eight years since it was inaugurated in 2001, in Porto Alegre. Since its beginning, the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil close to ecumenical partners and interreligious groups have supported and marked presence in their editions.
Some people asks about why our church is institutionally involved and so continuously with this movement, which still arouses suspicion in the mass media. Here, some arguments to justify the relevance of such commitment.
1. It is a movement that appears to be the opposite side to the World Economic Forum, who includes the most powerful people in the world and that over time has maintained a model socially unjust and responsible for exclusions of billions of people around the world.
2. It is a movement that has no religious characterization and / or ideological control of their actions.
3. It is a movement of convergence around the deep wish for another world possible.
The first premise is clear that the World Social Forum is composed of individuals, organizations and movements who rebel - in the political sense of the word - against the conformism before the world's economic structure. We live in a world of large corporations and policies that favor capital at the expenses of working people and the sustainability of the environment. Such a model thus can not simply be accepted as true.
The second postulate put in front of us an alternative leadership. Usually we are guiding our lives by religious or ideological paradigms. The Forum, however, does not profess any official ideology or and is conducted by a model of self-management. The common sense of its suporters are the search for alternatives against inequality, oppression and destruction of the environment.
The third postulate show us that the movement is deeper inclusive. The diversity of its social actors interacts the most common goal that is the desire for a culturally plural society and for another form of co-existence and co-responsibility.
It is in this context that our church feels committed to the Forum. As a church who seeks to be inclusive, the Forum is also a school for the improvement of our own character.
The celebration of welcome to members of churches and ecumenical bodies in belém showed us as we can learn from the unity in diversity. Several religious traditions were there alongside the Christians. With joy and trusted mutual commitment they offered their gifts without fear of being excluded by theological or political criteria. We danced together the carimbó, which is typical local dance in a heartful call for participation and integration. Under this sunny light - the symbol of the ecumenical presence in this year is a interreligious Sun figure - europeans, asians, Africans, Latin Americans from various religious and political beliefs joined together to say: we want and we can build another world possible.
My provocation to the Anglican Communion is why such living moviment so closer to our five marks of mission is still ignored. Some individulas anglicans around the world (Brazil, Canadá, USA ) and from different contexts are involved with it. But, differently to the WCC, International Development Agencies and other institutional instances, I don't know any formal commitment from Anglican Communion as worldwide Church. I hope that this serious institutional indiference could be overcomed as soon as possible.