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BRAZIL: Five Clergy Excommunicated from Liberal Anglican Province

BRAZIL: Five Clergy Excommunicated from Liberal Anglican Province

By David W. Virtue
April 24, 2013

Five Anglican clergy in the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB) including the Dean of the Cathedral in Sao Paulo, have been formally excommunicated by the ultra-liberal Brazilian Anglican province. No reasons were given.

In a letter to VOL, Bishop Miguel Uchoa, Bishop of the separated Diocese of Recife, said they were suspended for schismatic behavior that amounted to abandonment of communion, but not defrocked. "It is all about power," he told VOL. "Naturally it is a futile gesture, even if liberal on liberal."

The Episcopal Church backed liberal Episcopal Brazilian province cited the constitutional sections of their canons and said the priests were now suspended from the ordained ministry of the church. One of the suspensions is the Dean of the cathedral in Sao Paulo.

Uchoa noted that the first to go is the Dean of the Cathedral who left with the whole church, while the others are rectors or assistants of different churches. Watching from the sidelines Bishop Uchoa, the evangelical Bishop of the Diocese of Recife cited Nehemiah 6:3 in his defense, "I can't come down, for I am doing a great work."

St. Paul's Cathedral in Sao Paulo is the largest Anglican congregation in South America. They quit the diocese of São Paulo and the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB). In March the parish council of St. Paul's Cathedral in São Paulo stated that while they remained in the Anglican Communion they were reverting to their pre-1975 status as a chaplaincy.

The congregation did say they would remain under the spiritual oversight of Bishop Roger Bird of São Paulo and retired Archbishop Glauco Soares de Lima. The IEAB website deleted Bishop Bird's name from its list of diocesan bishops stating São Paulo was under temporary primatial oversight.

Two other congregations have joined the Cathedral in quitting the IEAB, All Saints in São Paulo and Goiânia Anglican Church.

The Cathedral has provided the bulk of the income for the diocese of São Paulo. Its withdrawal is likely to have financial consequences as it was the" largest Anglican community in Latin America, larger even than the vast majority of Episcopal Dioceses of Brazil."

In September 2012 an Extraordinary Synod of the Diocese of Recife, Brazil, was held and they elected the Rev. Miguel Uchoa as the new Bishop of the Diocese. The Rev Miguel Uchoa is the founder and rector of the Paróquia Anglicana do Espírito Santo. He is now the fourth elected Diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Recife which was founded in 1976. The diocese of Recife is a signatory of The Jerusalém Declaration.

The diocese has been under the temporary provincial oversight of the Province of the Southern Cone and has close ties to the Anglican Church in North America through a temporary International Diocese arrangement.


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