10 June 2010

TEC has friends in the "Global South"

The Episcopal Church does not stand alone in its desire for full inclusion and "justice for all."

One of the first provinces to come out of the closet to support TEC is actually in the geographical global south - the Province of Brazil. This was posted by the General Secretary of the Irreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brazil.
    The decision to remove representatives of The Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada from ecumenical networks is the most drastic change of all amidst the theological conflict within the Anglican Communion.

    In my point of view the Archbishop of Canterbury's action is highly risky and it is impossible to predict the consequences of such recommendations. The Pentecost Letter addressed to the Communion was one of the most contradictory documents in our history as Communion.

    At the heart of a feast of unity, we heard a message of discipline and exclusion. It is absolutely strange for time when other Christian traditions were celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit empowering the Church to be in one faith and witness. For us, the Archbishop`s letter showed our fracture and incompetence to stay at the table of dialog, wishing to hear the God`s will.

    In our Provincial Synod, we heard from Archbishop Mauricio's own mouth that in God's heart there is no place for boundaries. Our delegates unanimously approved a motion of solidarity with our brothers and sisters from TEC and Canada, and a letter will be sent to the Communion regarding this and the punitive actions against those Provinces who have been searching for ways to welcome all people without barriers and prejudices.

    Pentecost, as I wrote in a previous post, means to jump into newness of life. To surpass the ignorance and to know the language of love. The disciples were afraid yet they were freed to speak, to welcome, and to build a new community with people who were unlike themselves in every way: language, customs and values.

    At the installation in the National Cathedral of the Province of Brazil in Porto Alegre on Trinity Sunday, we had a true Pentecost. There were Buddhists, Afro religions, Roman Catholics, Muslims, and representatives of many different religious backgrounds. An unforgettable demonstration of fraternity. It is for that purpose the church exists: To be a sign of reconciliation and welcome.

    Regrettably, our Communion has not been able to overcome the challenges of diversity. Now, besides this difficulty, we have the mark of fear and exclusion.

    The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil stands in solidarity with our sister churches in the USA and Canada an our hope is that we can reaffirm our commitment in welcome to all people to live their faith fully and with confidence in the gracious love of God!
As you can see, TEC is not standing alone to face the dragon of Canterbury. The above is from the blog of the Rev'd Francisco Silva, general secretary of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.

My thanks to Mike Vierra for smoothing out the translation from the Portuguese.