Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brazilian to U.S. Episcopalians

The Anglican Communion News Service has posted an open letter, dated March 22, from the Reverend Luiz Alberto Barbosa (President of the House of Clergy and Laity of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) to Bonnie Anderson (President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.). Here are some excerpts from that letter.

Dear Ms. Anderson,

Peace! It is a privilege to me to write to you as your colleague. I am the President of the House of Clergy and Laity of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. As you said in your statement about the Communiqué from the Primates' Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it has serious implications for the Episcopal Church and the Worldwide Anglican Communion. First of all, I want to express my support to your statement concerning this issue.

The decision process in the Anglican Tradition is taken among the laity, priests and deacons and bishops. The House of Bishops of any of our provinces does not rule the church alone, and the Primate’s Meeting is just an instrument were the Primates can share their theological thoughts, pray together and have a consultation opportunity among themselves.

The Primate’s Meetings cannot take final decisions about any kind of problem or situation, without hearing before and respecting all the Governance Bodies of each Province or Diocese within the Anglican Communion. In issuing what is essentially an ultimatum, the Primates are assuming more authority than is accorded them in our Communion’s current structure and polity. . . .

The real crisis at the Anglican Communion is not about Human Sexuality or Sexual Orientation, is about Authority. There is a battle to find out who has the power at the Anglican Communion. . . . It is not by coertion, but with love that the Anglican Communion will find out the way to solve its present crisis. . . .

In Christ,

Revd Luiz Alberto Barbosa
President of the House of Clergy and Laity of the
Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil

Click here to read the entire letter.


Anonymous Francisco said...

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.

5/31/2007 8:17 PM  

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