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Liberal schism in Brazil: The Church of England Newspaper, March 31 2013, p 7. April 4, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Church of England Newspaper.
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The largest Anglican congregation in South America has quit the diocese of São Paulo and the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB). On 17 March 2013 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 Church of England was the first non-Roman Catholic Church established in Brazil with chaplaincies and Rio de Janeiro, Santos and São Paulo beginning in 1810. The São Paulo Anglican chaplaincy was registered with the government and legally incorporated in 1873, the parochial council statement said– 17 years before the Episcopal Church of the USA founded the IEAB.  “Therefore, the English chaplaincies have 80 more years of life and their assets are untouchable, according to the treaty of 1810, and this agreement has always been respected by the IEAB.”

The parish council stated that in 1975 Saint Paul’s had “spiritually” joined the diocese of São Paulo but it’s assets remained independent of diocesan control.   “This agreement was formalized by the Parochial Board, emphasizing the existence of spiritual bonds but not property.”

The congregation also announced that it would remain under the spiritual oversight of Bishop Roger Bird of São Paulo and retired Archbishop Glauco Soares de Lima. The primate of Brazil and general secretary of the IEAB have not responded to queries as to the status of Bishop Bird and Archbishop Soares de Lima within the church’s House of Bishops, nor has Bishop Berger responded to queries as to whether he too has left the IEAB.

However the IEAB website as 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 reasons the schism are unclear but is not linked to the secession of the diocese of Recife. The Cathedral worships the liberal Catholic tradition and welcomes “all Brazilians who enjoy the inclusive way, didactic, therapeutic and caring way of proclaiming the Good News of God’s Kingdom … We are and will always be, respectful of the inclusive of tradition our Mother Church – the Church of England – who founded us and of which we are proud to belong.”

The Cathedral has provided the bulk of the income for the diocese of São Paulo and 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.”

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