Skip to comments.Akinola blocks Brazil from Global South meeting
Posted on 09/09/2005 8:39:41 AM PDT by sionnsar
THE ARCHBISHOP of Nigeria, Dr Peter Akinola, has excluded the Province of Brazil and its Archbishop, the Most Revd Orlando Santo de Olivera, from a meeting of Anglicans of the Global South to be held in Alexandria next month.
Archbishop Orlando dissociated his province from the actions of the Bishop of Recife, the Rt Revd Robinson Calvacanti, in taking part in irregular confirmations in Ohio in March 2004 ( News, 7 January 2005). Bishop Calvacanti was deposed and Recife appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Panel of Reference, but matters came to a head last week when the suffragan bishop of Recife, the Rt Revd Filadelfo Oliveira, deposed 32 clergy loyal to Bishop Calvacanti.
The "Recife 32" issued a statement on 2 September expressing their "shock and dismay" at the decree, and protesting that they had been excommunicated before the result of the appeal to the panel and "without being accused of anything, without following any official process, without having the right to defend ourselves, and without the opportunity of any appeal".
In a letter to Archbishop Orlando, Dr Akinola describes Bishop Calvacanti's deposition as "creating a crisis concerning our relations". He goes on to say that he is "doubly troubled" by a paper published by the Bishop of South Western Brazil, the Rt Revd Jubal Neves, as "an authoritative voice from Brazil". The Bishop's assertion that the Windsor report and the agreed theological position of the Communion represented "a pretentious majority wishing to assume control and power" was "shocking, damaging and false", said Dr Akinola.
He went on to say that the presence of the Brazilian Church would be counterproductive. "We are seeking to speak with integrity and love. The actions and statement of your province are only adding to the tensions," he writes.
"Until we hear from you and your Church your clear decision to correct these actions and statements, the organising committee has agreed unanimously to withdraw the invitation for your province to be represented in Egypt."
Archbishop Orlando, a member of the planning committee for the first South-to-South Anglican meeting in Kenya, said that he was shocked and saddened that an official meeting of the Anglican Communion had for the first time been set up in a way that was "authoritarian and discriminatory".
In his response to Dr Akinola, he charges the Global South committee with wanting to listen to only one way of thinking. "It seems that the participants and the theological content of the meeting will have only one theological perspective, and not pastorally and theologically [be] open to the diversity which is the basis of the Anglican Communion," he says, emphasising that Brazil has never broken communion with any of the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
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