Forumla for Irrelevance: Small things done by boys in Brazil.

On September 30, 2006 a document was produced by what are proclaimed as “six different Brazilian Anglican jurisdictions – some in communion with the See of Canterbury, others not.” The “Boa Viagem" document creates the “Anglican Movement for a Common Cause.” It was of so little note that it hardly made it onto the web.

It is a tragically irrelevant and even sad document.

What is meant by “Anglican Jurisdictions” in this document is clearly NOT related to the Anglican Communion or any other collection of dioceses or Provinces that would make a whole entity in which there could be jurisdictions. Rather this is a document by six churches all who claim an Anglican identity. That is quite a different matter.

The players:

  • The break away “Anglican Diocese of Recife.” This one claims to be part of the Anglican Communion by way of the Province of the Southern Cone.
  • The Anglican Church of Brazil – IAB.
  • The Episcopal Reformed Church – IER
  • The Anglican Missionary Church of the Redeemer
  • The Anglican Orthodox Church
  • The Anglican Brazilian Church
  • The Anglican Catholic Church of Ecuador

How the last on this list got on I can’t say.

The only one of these churches that has any connection to the Anglican Communion is the Anglican Diocese of Recife, and its connection stretches the bonds of affection a great deal. A press release and the text of the letter from the Archbishop of the Southern Cone taking on the bishop and most of the clergy of the Diocese of Recife can be read HERE.

The regular Diocese of Recife, a diocese in the Episcopal Church of Brazil, continues and is listed in the Anglican Communion website as the diocese. This “Anglican Diocese of Recife” is an example of the madness of dual jurisdictions in a specific area, each claiming to be part of the Anglican Communion.

So, this band of bishops – Some Archbishops and Primates, some merely bishops, got together with only the slimmest thread of connection to the Anglican Communion and pledged themselves committed to various principles – Bible, creeds, etc, and ending up with “endorsing of the theological and ethical content of Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference, 1998.” Of all the signers of this document only Bishop Cavalcanti would have been at that Lambeth Conference (I don’t know if he was, for I don’t know his consecration date.) The others were not recognized. No telling how many people this lump of prelates represent.

A simple sketch of the history of the Church in Brazil is provided on the Anglican Communion website: “Expatriate Anglican chaplaincies were established in Brazil in 1810, with missionary work beginning in 1889, after the separation of Church and State. The Province, which is one of the few Portuguese speaking churches in the Communion, became autonomous in 1965.” For there to be six “Anglican Jurisdictions” in that time is quite a testament to the tenuous nature of the Anglican enterprise. It also says something about the tenuous nature of this “Pro-Unity Movement.”

It would appear that the only thing that is peculiar about its pledge that separates it from pre- 2003 statements of Anglican unity is the reference to Lambeth 1.10. That is, the big “Pro-Unity” here is opposition to Gay and Lesbian persons.

Here is a cartoon posted in a response to Virtueonline’s posting of this Diocesan News Release.

I will give credit to the source if someone can tell me who did it. But it is too good not to pass on. By the way, no one else seems to have picked up on this bit of “World News” except Mad Priest, who commented,

“David V, has excelled himself today with this wonderfully ironic headline and first paragraph. I didn't read any further - he's so funny there's always the risk of internal bleeding.


Representatives from six different Brazilian Anglican jurisdictions - some in communion with the See of Canterbury, others not - have signed the "Boa Viagem Declaration", creating the "Anglican Movement for a Common Cause"."

This whole thing is part of the mess of wandering bishops, small break off denominations, conflicting claims of Anglican identity. The only saving grace to it all is that it is irrelevant, mostly.


  1. If it really is irrelevant, then why bother devoting paragraphs about it?

    Your whole depiction of Recife is disengenuous at best - the diocese and bishop were pretty much pushed out in a very unchristian display of intimidation and misuse of power. In addition it seems that the Brazilian primate and the suffragan bishop of Recife didn't exactly garner the support of the majority of their colleagues either as I belive they are both no longer in their posts??

    Anyway, this much I will give you - there is far too much fragmentation and disunity in the Anglican world. Therefore is it not good that attempts are being made to reduce that fragmentation? Why pour scorn upon it?

  2. When I saw that there was a post in response to Mark's comments (re Brazil), I thought it kind of inevitable that it would be one such as yours, Peter (the "If, Then" angle ;-/)

    The irony worth noting (I think), is that we have a group of churches, who didn't pay attention to Lambeth---for decades, if EVER---until '98 1.10! The cravenness of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is just too, TOO obvious.

    Once again, it's the "and Herod and Pilate became friends that very day" effect... :-(

  3. Peter asks, “If it really is irrelevant, then why bother devoting paragraphs about it?”

    Remember my little word “mostly” at the end of the essay? Most of the matter of six small groups, only one of which is related in any way to an Anglican Communion entity, coming out for unity is indeed irrelevant. The relevance of the news item has to do with unity based in opposition to the Episcopal Church of Brazil and expressed in allegiance to Lambeth Resolution 1.10.

    You are right. Both the bishops related to the matters in Recife were replaced by decision of the Synod. But there was no repudiation of the decisions made to remove the former bishop and many of the clergy of the Diocese of Recife.

    On the Anglican Communion website, The Rt Revd Filadelfo Oliviera Neto is still listed as Bishop of Recife but he has been replaced by the Bishop of Pelotas, Sebastião Gameleira. The Most Revd Maurício José Araújo de Andrade is listed as the Primate as per the election held this summer.

    This report from the Church of England Newspaper (via Titusonenine) helps explain what has happened. It was posted August 3, 2006.

    “Delegates to the 30th General Synod of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil [IEAB] have turned out their Primate, Archbishop Orlando de Oliveira, rebuffing his bid for re-election, and have replaced the acting Bishop of Recife.

    The shake out among the Brazilian Church’s hierarchy comes amidst concerns over declining finances and discontent over the schism in Recife which last year saw its bishop, the majority of its clergy and 90 per cent of its members move to the oversight of the Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone.

    Meeting from July 26-20 in Curitiba, delegates approved the creation of the missionary diocese of Amazonia, unanimously electing the Rt Rev Saulo de Barros its first bishop and elected the Rev Francisco de Assis Da Silva, Provincial Secretary General. Synod also voted to translate the Bishop of Pelotas, Sebastião Gameleira, to Recife, removing suffragan bishop Filadelfo Oliviera Neto as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese.

    On July 29, the Bishop of Brasilia, Maurício de Andrade, contested the election for Primate finding strong support among the clergy and lay orders on the first ballot. After two ballots he was elected Primate over Archbishop Oliveira, who remains Bishop of Southern Brazil. Brought up an evangelical, Archbishop de Andrade has moved to the progressive wing of the church in recent years and has promoted the ministry of gay clergy in his diocese.”

    You ask, “Therefore is it not good that attempts are being made to reduce that fragmentation?” No, it is not in this case a good thing. This does not reduce fragmentation, it only glues together various shards so that they can stand over against the Episcopal Church of Brazil. Some may think this a good thing, I do not.

  4. Hi Mark.

    The "original" priest-puppet cartoon can be found at http://k41.pbase.com/t1/18/478518/4/57811333.jesus_puppet.jpg

    What you saw in VOL (user name: frehao) was the first "brazilian edition" I made of it. I now have a mitred puppet one, should you want to upgrade the cartoon that now sits in your site.

    The VOL webmaster, needless to say, has since deleted the posting.

    Is there an email address for you, anywhere?

  5. advanced version of that cartoon.


    I hope they don't delete the image from VOL this time


  6. David Wilson3/10/06 10:58 PM

    Mark Harris writes:

    "The shake out among the Brazilian Church’s hierarchy comes amidst concerns over declining finances and discontent over the schism in Recife which last year saw its bishop, the majority of its clergy and 90 per cent of its members move to the oversight of the Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone".

    Mark, you make it sound as if the bishop, the majority of the clergy and 90 percent of it members moving over to the Southern Cone to be the act of schism. Recife hey moved over to the Southern Cone only after they were tossed out in a "Saturday night massacre" and kangaroo court on drummed up charges that reminded one of a 1930's Stalinest treason trial. It was a travesty of justice. The Archbishop and his minions were the schismatics.

    Recifes only "crime" was being the only majority evangelical diocese (that was growing by leaps and bounds)in a overwelming progressive Province.

    If the tables were turned and the Southern Cone pulled the same stunt against a progressive diocese, the progressives in ECUSA would be crying bloody murder.

  7. David... I quoted, but did not write the section you ascribe to me. It was a quote from an English Church newspaper.

    The Bishop of Recife is certainly evangelical. I have been to the diocese and can appreciate some of what has been done there. However, the Bishop of Recife seriously interfered in matters in the Episcopal Church, for which the Bishops of Brazil issued an apology.

    As to his guilt or innocense regarding his removal from office, I am not a student of the canon laws of the Church of Brazil.

    Travesties of justice do not make people schismatics. It makes them wrong.

    Someone earler has pointed out that both the Archbishop and the assistant bishop of Recife have been removed or reassigned from offices held then.

  8. David Wilson+4/10/06 12:15 AM

    Bishop Calvalcanti along with three retired ECUSA bishops participated in a confirmation service (within the geographic bounds of the Diocese of Ohio though in a non ECUSA Church)w/o the permission of the Bishop of Ohio.

    Does that rise to level of being summarily removed from your See without a proper ecclesiastical trial?

    Do forty-two clergy all being deposed in one fell swoop because you support your bishop seem to be a just action?

  9. It is funny to notice that a former bishop who:

    1) Defended poligamy

    2) Had two openl gay priest serve as his clergy

    3) Was the responsible of two previos schisms (episcopal charismatics and iab: 5000 persons leaving)

    4) Had an affair ( and a daughter) outsitde marriage

    5) Defended sex before marriage

    6) Ordained his friends and some relatives as priests (huh, now you know why 60% left with him)

    7) Was judged and notified and didnt go to any of the judgements

    8) tried to change the register of the diocese property

    9) was a communist militant

    now is considered a saint by those americans who know no thing about Brasil.

    Funny funny

    I don't speak english well, but if you wich, acess his articles and translate.


    if you want, there is an analisis too


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