Strife in Recife

Published February 1, 2005

Members of the Anglican diocese of Recife in north-eastern Brazil have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury for support in a row linked to a continuing dispute in the worldwide Anglican Communion about homosexuality.

The appeal came after Bishop Orlando Santos de Oliveira, the head of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, officially suspended Recife’s diocesan synod just days before it was due to meet at the beginning of December. A meeting, however, took place in defiance of the ban.

The suspension followed a complaint from the diocese’s suffragan (assistant) bishop and 14 other clerics about what they said was the “intransigent and disrespectful” attitude of Recife Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti.

Bishop Cavalcanti strongly opposes the consecration in the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) of Gene Robinson, who lives with a male partner, as the bishop of New Hampshire.

The administrative secretary of the diocese of Recife, Rev. Estevco Meneses, rejected the suspension of the diocese which he said had “no foundation in the constitution or in the general canons of the denomination.”

Mr. Meneses said the diocese felt “discriminated against and persecuted” by the denomination’s “liberal leadership” and he called for oversight from another province in the Anglican Communion.

The Church of England Newspaper in London reported that the suspension of the Recife synod came amid fears it might pull out of the Brazilian Anglican church.


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