A FORMER Bishop of Recife, in the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, Robinson Cavalcanti, and his wife, Miriam, were found murdered at their home in Olinda, in north-east Brazil, on Sunday.
The diocese announced the news of their deaths, “in tragic circumstances”, on its website. Police are investigating reports that the couple’s adopted son, Eduardo, stabbed the couple after a quarrel. Associated Press has reported that he was in hospital after he tried to commit suicide by drinking poison.
Robinson Cavalcanti was deposed in 2005 after taking part in “irregular confirmations” in Ohio, in the United States, and 32 clerics were deposed with him. A traditionalist, he was against the Brazilian Church’s acceptance of gay clergy and bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury had tried for some time to bring about reconciliation.
The breakaway diocese of Recife has been under the temporary provincial oversight of the Province of the Southern Cone, and has close ties with the Anglican Church of North America.
Dr Williams sent a message of condolence, in which he said: “I have just received the terrible news about the murder of Bishop and Mrs Cavalcanti. I can hardly imagine the shock and grief this will have caused to his co-workers and his flock in Recife.
“Please be sure of our prayers here for all of you. I trust that God’s hand will be over you as you come to terms with what seems such a meaningless tragedy, in the light of our shared resurrection hope in Jesus Christ.”
A former Bishop of Paraguay, the Rt Revd John Ellison, also paid tribute to the couple. “As Anglican Bishop in Brazil’s fastest-growing diocese, he faced with characteristic honesty and integrity the dangers the Church would face if it continued to drift away from scripture. His courageous ministry was an example to us all.
“We thank God for Robinson and Miriam Cavalcanti, who ran with endurance the race that was set before them.”