Primate of Brazil speaks out on General Convention’s passage of marriage equality

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Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, Primate of Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil, recently issued a statement concerning the Episcopal Church’s recent actions at General Convention to change the marriage canon and establish trial rites in favor of marriage equality.

It begins;

In the light of the decisions of canonical and liturgical character taken by General Convention regarding the marriage of people of the same sex, I want to express the following words:

  1. We respect deeply the TEC’s autonomous decision because this is a constitutive feature of our Anglican Communion.

  2. The decision was made after years of theological conversation, which reflects the degree of maturity of the Episcopal Church.

  3. This decision was taken in a spirit of prayer and reflected the overwhelming majority of the Church by lay and clerical representatives.

  4. The decision saved an important pastoral principle to offer to those who do not feel comfortable with, offering freedom of conscience.

 

Bishop Francisco notes that Brazil’s Supreme Court has recognized civil marriage between same-sex partners since 2011 and that the Brazilian prayer book has already been change to allow for the possibility of marriage equality, though the Church itself remains in conversation without reaching a final consensus yet.

Speaking to the changes being made in some Provinces regarding marriage equality, and the debate engendered in others, the Primate celebrates diversity while making clear the value of unity.

We see with joy changing processes in the churches of Canada and Scotland. We see with joy advances in discussion of the theme in the churches of England, Wales, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. We must respect this process which also occur in dioceses and parts of other Anglican Provinces.

I pray to God so that these processes are done with honest listening from all people. As Province within our Communion, we are committed to the unity and do not agree with any initiative that seeks to isolate the provinces that are adopting new pastoral and theological perspectives.

He also says that these are topics that need to be openly discussed at the next Primate’s meeting and that he understands the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments as expressing concern but not as an objection and that though he shares a sense of concern, he will remain committed to continuing relationship.

He ends by saying;

I reaffirm my solidarity on the ways where the Episcopal Church is searching to be a safe site for all!

God bless our Anglican Communion and let`s stay in dialogue!

 

To read the entire statement, go here

For more background info on Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, check out this profile on ENS

 

image: From left, the Rev. David Copley, the Episcopal Church’s officer for mission personnel, Episcopal Church-appointed missionary Monica Vega, Young Adult Service Corps missionary Kirsten Lowell, Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, primate of the Province of Brazil, Young Adult Service Corps missionary Nina Boe, and Episcopal Church-appointed missionary Heidi Schmidt. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENS

 

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Professor Christopher Seitz
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Professor Christopher Seitz

Thank you for a serious comment.

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Cliff Taylor
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Cliff Taylor

Seitz and the ACI-types have published a great deal of the conservative arguments against LGBT-inclusion. But, inversely, I wonder if the majority of people in non-LGBT welcoming dioceses are aware of how much discernment, prayer, and theological reflection The Taskforce on the Study of Marriage truly did before General Convention, including their final report and "Dearly Beloved". Of course their work has been critiqued by Seitz and others who interpret Scripture differently, but it still stands and should be posted on diocesan websites (Albany's homepage for example, offers no evidence that this was discerned by the entire church, and offers no alternative perspectives (see the Lev. 18:22 quote there)...
GC did not succumb to culture, it wasn't done to be popular or align with SCOTUS, and TEC isn't alone in the AC: I take the Primate of Brazil's words here as a breath of fresh air, a wonderful greeting in Christ and an uplifting exhortation.

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John Korkow
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John Korkow

http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/2014/09/the-ethics-of-sex-marriage-and-the-family/ Here are President Seitz's views concerning marriage, just so folks have a better sense of his point of view concerning the topic.

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Ellen Campbell
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Ellen Campbell

Very gracious and pastoral comments by the bishop.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Why do you say "anyone other than Brazil holds this view in the non-USA affiliates"?

Brazil is not part of TEC. The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil is an independent province of the Anglican Communion.

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June Butler
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Good point, Jeremy.

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