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Robinson Cavalcanti is deposed from the IEAB (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil)

Robinson Cavalcanti is deposed

from the IEAB (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil)

 

Published on June 17, 2005 at 9:13:03 P.M.

 

Canonical Trial # 001/2005 of Bishop Edward Robinson de Barros Cavalcanti

 

 THE BISHOP PRIMATE OF THE EPISCOPAL ANGLICAN CHURCH OF BRAZIL, in the presence of the House of Bishops in extraordinary session in the city of Porto Alegre, on the 10th day of June in the year two thousand and five, Anno Domini, according to the General Canons of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, declares the following:

 

THE EVIDENCE

 

With the presentment (denúnicia) in hand, within canonical guidelines, from the Ecclesiastical Chancellor, and by decision of the Superior Ecclesiastical Tribunal in session, after verification of the origin of the presentment and in the opinion of the Superior Ecclesiastical Tribunal against Bishop Edward Robinson de Barros Cavalcanti, and considering the following evidence:

 

  1. The accused violated the General Canons of the Church, as stipulated in Chapter IV, Canon 1, Article 1, letters “f” and “i”. In letter “f” the canon speaks of “non compliance with ordination vows.” Letter “i” speaks of the “deliberate violation of the Constitution, of the General Canons of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil and of the canons of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, to which he is canonically bound.”
  2. The accused deliberately made a unilateral declaration of suspension of the relationship of the Anglican Diocese of Recife with the Province of Brazil, proclaiming the Anglican Diocese of Recife to be an autonomous Diocese of the Anglican Communion, with no further links to the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil in a letter of his authorship, dated January 25, 2005.
  3. The accused bishop also modified the official seal of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, by removing its reference to the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.
  4. The accused further violated the Canons of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil in the same paragraph and line by gravely undisciplined attacks against Provincial Convocations and by publicly using offensive language against the Bishop Primate and the House of Bishops, which can be verified in several subsequent pronouncements made by him.
  5. Beyond this, the accused participated in Confirmations in the Diocese of Ohio, of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), in the United States, without the knowledge of the local diocesan bishop, nor that of the Primate and House of Bishops of the Brazilian Church, in March of 2004, which constitutes an ostensive break in collegiality with the bishops in our Province.
  6. The accused, despite inhibition of the exercise of his jurisdiction, and despite prohibition by the Bishop Primate, held a Diocesan Synod in December of 2004.
  7. Beyond this, the accused brought an action in the Civil Justice Tribunal against the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil to protect his rights as the head of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, without the Province of Brazil having taken any steps to remove from him any rights. This action was adjudged without merit in the first and second instances by the Civil Justice Tribunal, which judgment was handed down on April 15, 2005.
  8. Referring to paragraph #2, of Article 3, Canon 1, Chapter IV of the General canons of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, which says, “in the case of a disciplinary transgression by a bishop, the Bishop Primate should intervene in a pastoral manner, listening to the advice of the House of Bishops”, the Bishop Primate sought dialogue not only by letter, but also in person, in compliance with a resolution of the House of Bishops, on the following occasions:

1.      From August 26 to 28 of 2004, the Bishop Primate visited the Provincial Theological Seminary of Recife (SAET) and taking advantage of his trip made an appointment in advance and held a pastoral visitation with Bp. Robinson, in his diocesan offices.

    1. In November of 2004, Bp. Robinson was called to the bishops’ retreat, in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul from the 20th to the 23rd and to the meeting of the Executive Council of the Synod of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (26th-27th) but Bp. Cavalcanti did not attend. These dates had been previously set in March of 2004. He informed the Bishop Primate of his decision not to attend in a letter dated November 10, 2004.
    2. On November 17, 2004, the Bishop Primate called a meeting for December 17, 2004, in the city of Recife with Bp. Robinson [Cavalcanti] and his immediate staff, for a time of dialogue with the Bishop Primate, the Suffragan Bishop and the Interim Supervisory Bishop. None of them came, not the accused, not any of his staff.  On November 19, 2004 Bp. Robinson had responded to the letter of invitation, agreeing to the meeting under conditions that were accepted by the Bishop Primate.
    3. On December 9th 2004, the Bishop Primate sent another letter to confirm the meeting scheduled for December 17, 2004, despite the fact of the suspension of the Diocesan Synod and the non compliance to this suspension, along with the decisions taken by this illegally held synod, and despite a letter from Bp Cavalcanti to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates, soliciting the separation of the Anglican Diocese of Recife from the Province of Brazil. The above meeting did not occur because of the non appearance by Bp. Calvacanti and his representatives.
    4. On January 17, 2005, the Bishop Primate sent a letter to Bp. Robinson and all the clergy of the Anglican Diocese of Recife calling for a meeting to talk [about the issues] on February 2, 2005 in Recife, with the view to possible reconciliation. Those clergy loyal to the diocesan bishop, as well as Bp. Robinson himself did not appear and sent a letter to the Bishop Primate attempting to justify their non-appearance.

 

  1. On May 26, 2005, the Archdeacon [of Recife] the  Rev. Miguel Uchoa Cavalcanti, claiming to represent, in his words, “everyone in the Anglican Diocese of Recife,” and therefore his own diocesan bishop, gave a statement on the meeting (in a ‘journal’ in England called “Anglican Mainstream”) which spewed accusations and diatribes at the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil and its Bishop Primate, affirming that Bp. Cavalcanti does not accept “the supervision of the Bishop Primate [of Brazil] given that the Bishop Primate acts illegally and approves behavior that is not biblical and against the teaching of the Anglican Communion.”

 

CONCLUSION

Taking into account the facts articulated above, and that the Superior Ecclesiastical Tribunal, by unanimous vote of its members, recognizes the culpability of Bishop Edward Robinson de Barros Cavalcanti, the Bishop Primate decrees, according to Chapter IV, Canon 4, Article 1, line D, of the General Canons of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, his deposition from the exercise of ordained ministry in this church. Consequently, all his canonical, sacramental, pastoral and liturgical bonds, as well as all prerogatives and duties of the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil do hereby cease.

D. Orlando Santos de Oliveira

Bishop Primate

 

(translated by The Rev. Christopher A. Smith, June 25, 2005 from the deposition posted on the official website of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, www.ieab.org.br)


You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to lcrew@newark.rutgers.edu 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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