RECIFE, Brazil: Bishop Harvey and Bishop Cavalcanti on Canadian developments
By Robinson Cavilcanti
November 22nd, 2007
In leading the Anglican Network in Canada into the Southern Cone, Bishop Harvey told me this afternoon that he is hoping to provide a 'safe haven' for Anglicans who want to remain in their communion but not in their own province.
The last straw for many of the 250 attending a Network conference in Canada today, where the announcement is to be made shortly and will include the name of another retired bishop who is following Bishop Harvey into the network, has been the support by the Niagara diocese for same-sex blessings.
Bishop Harvey said: 'We have been leading up to this for a year or so. I have been received into the Southern Cone and today we are putting out for people a safety net, so when they feel they can no longer remain faithful to the Anglican Church of Canada in the direction it seems to be going, they will have an alternative to go to rather than leave the Church that has been their heritage for so long.
'We will try to provide for them, through the Southern Cone, a viable alternative which will leave them connected to the Communion. We are crossing the Red Sea. We will beging with a variety of orthodox-minded Anglicans from all across Canada in what will be a rather loose structure to start with. To quote TS Eliot, in order to get better, our sickness must first get worse.'
The long-term goal, he said, was the establishment of another North American province running in parallel jurisdiction to the existing US and Canada provinces. The ultimate vision is for two, one in each country, but that is a little while off at present. Canada is a whole represents a tiny one per cent of the 75 million-strong Communion, so numerically Bishop Harvey's followers are a tiny fraction. If allied with the US traditionalists under Bishop Venables, however, they begin to become something stronger.
And Bishop Venables is quietly growing his new jurisdiction, let's not forget Bishop Cavalcanti, who Venables took under his wing a while ago. Harvey preached at Cavalcanti's 25th diocesan anniversary, and Cavalcanti sent the newcomers a message today: 'Our mind and our prayers have been also of solidarity to your cause. Your problems are our problems, your adversaries are our adversaries, but, for the other side, your solutions area our solutions.
'Two years ago we received a public letter of recognition of order and ministry from Primate Gregory Venables putting us under his Primatial authority and protection. It was a courageous and historical gesture. Now is a time for you to take a courageous and historical step.
'We would like to welcome you in the enlarged Southern Cone family, in this new "Pan-American Anglican Union". May the Holy Spirit give to you the wisdom and a fearless sentiment.
'With Him, united, in the midst of all pain, we will write a new chapter in the history of the Anglican Communion and of Christianity.
Your brother in Christ,
---The Rt. Revd Robinson Cavalcanti, is the Bishop of Recife, Brazil
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