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A series of essays toward General Convention 2003 and beyond

Letter from the Rt. Rev. Hiroshi Ito, Bishop of Sao Paulo after General Convention 2003

Letter from the Rt. Rev. Hiroshi Ito, Bishop of Sao Paulo after General Convention 2003

Translated by the Rev. Mario Ribas

Sao Paulo, 29 of August 2003

To the clergy and laity of the diocese of Sao Paulo

We are limited creatures and we have received by the grace and resurrection of Christ, eternal life. In Ecclesiastes 3.1, we read, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."

History is a process; there are values and knowledge that sustain themselves and others that are supplanted as the time goes by. We, as human being, are capable of reading in our own life and in the cosmos the manifestation of Truth, which for us Christians, coincide with God manifesting himself.

I have to confess that I did not have much knowledge about homosexuality, but I have had an interest to know deeply about this matter.

Previously I thought that homosexuality was a special and minor phenomenon within society. I did not reject those who have a different sexual orientation, but I did have a definite prejudice towards them. Today I know, it is not like that.

This thought process of mine might be common amongst many Christians.

However when I met some people that have been persecuted and rejected by the society and also by the church that proclaims love, and inclusiveness, but in practices act differently, I started to question myself, and to deepen my studies about the issue.

Recognizing my own limitation in relation to the sciences and bible, I have to ask forgiveness to God and to those persons who have a different orientation of mine, because I have been ignorant and unconsciously rejecting of them.

I have translated a bible study, as one of many interpretations, to say that the bible never condemned homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not an option; neither is it an illness, but it is a way of being, scientifically and religiously justified with solid and consistent basis. We have to study and get to know more. For this, we have depended on a precious collaboration from Bishop Sumio Takatsu, for exegetic revision, and depended on Miss Valeria for the final version of the study.

Attached is the work of a Japanese theologian. I pray that it will contribute for our bible knowledge, and for our growing towards the biblical knowledge, and consequently overcoming our prejudices about homosexuality.

Your bishop
+Hiroshi Ito

This letter has been sent to all parishes churches in the diocese of Sao Paulo, together with a bible study prepared by Katsuhiro Kohara - Professor of the University of Doshisha, Kyoto, Japan on homosexuality in the New Testament.

You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.


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