A document has been issued by the Recife Diocesan Standing Committee. This is reproduced in full below the fold. It can also be found linked from the official diocesan site.
An alternative view is presented in a document which can be found on the American Anglican council blogsite, here.
In case you are wondering which body is the real Anglican Diocese of Recife, you can check here.
The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Gregory Venables has intervened in Brazil, see
SOUTHERN CONE PRIMATE ACCEPTS REJECTED BISHOP AND CLERGY
Text of Abp Venables’ letter
These events are also reported by TLC in Southern Cone Primate Annexes Brazilian Diocese
SOME CLARIFICATION CONCERNING THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF RECIFE
Open Letter from the Diocesan Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 19th Province of the Anglican Communion, to the brothers and sisters of the Anglican Communion and other Christian churches.
Beloved brothers and sisters,
Greeting in Christ!
In the past few months a series of misleading, distorted, and in many cases untruthful, news and information about the Anglican Diocese of Recife have been circulating on the internet, and at some occasions being broadcast by the international religious press. It has, therefore, become necessary for us to publicly clarify the facts of the current situation in Recife and about what has really happened and is still happening in our diocese.
In the year 2004, the Anglican Diocese of Recife (DAR) went through a process of schism, and this for the third time in four years. This time, however, taking advantage of a period of an international crisis in the Anglican Communion and a certain homophobic feeling that still exists in many places, the then diocesan bishop Robinson Cavalcanti, who was already for some time clearly and publicly promoting hostility against the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB), personally led the process of schism, advocating that the diocese should break any institutional ties with IEAB. At the same time, he started an aggressive campaign of persecution against clergy and laity simply because they did not agree with his position. All this can be easily observed by analysing the articles written and recorded public speeches given by Mr Robinson Cavalcanti in the weeks leading to the canonical process of disciplinary hearing against him.
The then diocesan bishop was taken to the ecclesiastical court, denounced by two clergy, two lay members of the diocese and two bishops. All the canonical proceedings were rigorously followed, having also as evidence the articles written by bishop Cavalcanti himself, and the evidence given by several witnesses during the investigation done by a special commission appointed by the Brazilian province. Bishop R Cavalcanti totally ignored the disciplinary hearing arguing that he had no respect for the leadership of IEAB. Thus, he did not care to present before the special commission his defence concerning the accusations which had been filled against him. He was, consequently, tried and condemned, and after all the right proceedings were fulfilled, he was deposed form Holy Orders from the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. Mr Cavalcanti then tried to obtain a court injunction form the Civil Court in an attempt to suspend the decision by IEAB, but the court denied the injunction and attested the validity and legitimacy of IEAB’s decision to depose him. Mr Cavalcanti still went to the Supreme Court of the state of Pernambuco, and once more the Court confirmed the deposition of Mr Robinson Cavalcanti. More recently, the former bishop, omitting the fact that he had been deposed, tried to obtain a court injunction to prevent a diocesan synod organised with the help of the province from taking place. The injunction was denied by the court and in the process it became clear that Mr R Cavalcanti had acted in bad faith and ideological falsehood. The diocesan synod, under the ecclesiastical authority of the suffragan bishop Filadelfo Oliveira as well as the decisions and resolutions taken there were considered legitimate and valid by the court.
The former bishop Cavalcanti had indeed ended relations with the Anglican province of Brazil since the end of year 2004, taking with him two thirds of the clergy and parishes. Even before his deposition, Mr R Cavalcanti had belligerently taken away all the symbols and signs of identification with IEAB from all the institutions and diocesan bodies. This can also be observed by simply looking at his new homepage. Already during the year 2004 the then bishop Robinson did not acknowledge the authority of the Brazilian Anglican province. He surreptitiously took measures to change the statutes transferring property which belong to the province, depriving the province from its properties in Recife. Bye the end of last year during one of his pronouncements in a illegally held diocesan synod, Mr R Cavalcanti came to summon all to leave IEAB. However, and to the surprise of many, he has been trying to present to the public opinion that he has been unjustly persecuted and expelled by the Anglican province of Brazil!
In spite of all those facts here described, Mr R Cavalcanti insists in presenting himself as the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Recife and as the representative of the Anglican Communion in the region. He also continues to issue accusations and aggressions against the Brazilian Anglican province and against those laity and clergy in Recife who decided to stay loyal to IEAB.
The Anglican Diocese of Recife is going through a sensitive and difficult process of reconstruction and rebirth, after the trauma that it has experienced. For that reason, we have, deliberately, refrained from answering or giving attention to the provocations and accusations promoted by the former bishop. We have already written a open letter in the past presenting our side of the story about what is happening in Recife. The sad and regrettable thing is that that letter was sent to the same very groups which have been publicising and broadcasting the accusations and defamations made by the former bishop, but in the case of our letter they refused to publicise it. We would, therefore, ask to all who receive this letter to careful analyse the facts, and that they may divulge it to others who might be interested to know about it.
We would also like to emphasise the following:
1.The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil is not a “dead church”, made up of “revisionist liberals”, “heretics” and “apostates”, as it has been publicised. IEAB is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is a church made up of men and women who acknowledge to be sinners, called by God to live in fidelity to the Gospel and so to grow day by day in the Grace of God and in the knowledge of the truth of which we do not presume to have the possession. IEAB is a living and active church that has sought to be a sign of God’s presence, through words and action, in an extremely adverse social context aggravated by a popular religiosity which is often pathological, marked by pharisaism and messianism;
2.The process of schism in the diocese of Recife is not due to a conflict between “orthodox evangelicals” and “revisionist liberals” within the IEAB, as it has been said by some on the side of Mr R Cavalcanti. Although it could be said that IEAB is hegemonically moderately liberal – if that sort of classification can say anything about it – there are many clergy and lay people who are of evangelical persuasion in all its dioceses. The group of clergy that refused to follow Robinson Cavalcanti in leaving IEAB and took the initiative to take R Cavalcanti to the Ecclesiastical Court correspond to a third of the diocese. The group is made up in its majority of Evangelical Anglicans, who have already made it public that they were against the decisions taken by the dioceses of New Westminster and New Hampshire. Most members of this group are well known and respected evangelical leaders who continue to be active on many levels of the Brazilian evangelical movement;
3.The Anglican Diocese of Recife, part of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 19th Province of the Anglican Communion, is also alive and active despite the allegations to the contrary by the Mr R Cavalcanti. We are now 13 church communities and 22 clergy who are carrying on celebrating Christ’s resurrection and seeking to build a living, welcoming, healthy, mature, ecumenical, relevant and socially engaged church. This is our dream, our desire and our prayer. Our trust and hope are in God. We are not receiving any financial help either from international sources or from any sort of “liberal conspiracy” as it has been alleged. Most of our clergy are “tent makers” and have dedicated themselves voluntarily to the Christian service. Again, we should make it clear that Mr Robinson Cavalcanti is no longer bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Recife. Neither he nor his spokesmen represent at any level the Anglican Diocese of Recife, the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil or the Anglican Communion. His deposition was a final and non appealable decision taken legitimately by the Brazilian Anglican Province and attested by the civil courts;
Finally, we would like to express our deep disappointment and disillusionment with various international evangelical leaders within the Anglican Communion, who, it seems to us, have shown to be more interested in the manipulation, and political and instrumental utilisation of information about Recife, in an attempt of artificially creating a martyr than in a balanced and fair analysis of our reality. It is regrettable that part of the Anglican evangelical movement is rendering itself to that sort of game and manipulation. The crisis caused by the unilateral attitudes of the North American and Canadian churches seems to have paved the way for a state of emergency and the legitimising of unscrupulous, pragmatist, manichaeist and messianic mentality, incompatible with the best of our evangelical tradition.
May the Lord have mercy on us.
Recife, 21st September 2005
Feast of St Mathew, Apostle and Evangelist.
Members of the Diocesan Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Recife:
Revmo. Dom Filadelfo Oliveira Neto* Bishop of DAR
Rev. Gustavo Gilson S. de Oliveira Chairman of the Diocesan Standing Committee
Rev. Fernando Antônio Gonçalves Secretary of the Diocesan Standing Committee
Rev. João C. Peixoto Filho Member
Rev. Josafá Batista dos Santos Member
Sr. João Batista Neto Member
Sr. Joelson Félix Member
Sra. Márcia Silva Member
Rev. Rodrigo Espiúca Executive Secretary of DAR