Episcopal News Service reports BRAZIL: Bishops protest Southern Cone archbishop’s unauthorized visit, violation of Windsor Report.
The bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil issued an open statement April 9 expressing their “strong repudiation” of a recent unauthorized visit by Southern Cone Archbishop Gregory Venables to Recife “where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops…”
The full text of the open statement is included there, and is reproduced here below the fold.
This is not the first complaint that Brazilian bishops have made, see for example this letter (PDF) dated October 2005 addressed directly to the Primate of the Southern Cone, and this letter (PDF) dated November 2005 addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Footnote: photos of his visit can be found here.
Letter dated 3 April 2008
The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil gathered in Curitiba unanimously express their strong repudiation of the recent visit by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone to the city of Recife, where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops.
This disrespectful and arrogant attitude against the Province of Brazil, is another element of discord caused by the Archbishop of the Province of the Southern Cone since the ecclesiastical court hearing and deposition of Robinson Cavalcanti. As it is known by all the Anglican Communion, Mr. Cavalcanti was deposed through a lawful and canonical process due to his breaking of ordination vows.
The action of the Primate of the Southern Cone represents an attack on the pillars of the Anglican tradition, which include respect to Provincial autonomy and collegiality among the Primates of the Communion. Equally, this attitude, unheard of in the Communion, clearly contradicts the Windsor Report and the resolution by the last Primates meeting in Tanzania in February 2007.
The Primate of the Southern Cone has repeatedly violated those boundaries through official acts as he invites, receives and cares pastorally for the dissident clergy, bishops, communities and dioceses from other Provinces. This is also exemplified by what has been happening recently with our sister provinces of the United States and Canada.
What at the beginning of those regrettable events of the schism in Recife was seen as a pastoral care provision for the deposed bishop and those who followed him, has become a formal primatial reception of those deposed. It has also been transformed into unacceptable acts of primatial nature within the jurisdiction of our province.
We appeal to His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to consider this vehement protest by the Province of Brazil in order to avoid a serious rupture with our Anglican tradition.
The consequences of such unilateral and disrespectful gesture of Archbishop Gregory Venables to a sister Province represents a serious breach of the bonds of affection and loyalty, respect and interdependence in the Anglican Communion. Let us remember that arrogance has never been, and will never be, a wise companion for relationships!
Yours ever in Christ,
++ Maurício Andrade