A COURT in Brazil has ruled on a decade-long judicial battle
involving the creation of a breakaway diocese of Recife.
The church was established by the late Bishop Robinson
Cavalcanti after the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, who is
gay, in 2003. In 2005, Bishop Cavalcanti was deposed on the grounds
that he had broken communion with the Episcopal Anglican Church in
Brazil. When he left, he took 32 clergy and their congregations
with him, including several church properties.
Bishop Cavalcanti and his wife, Miriam, were found murdered in
their home last year. Their adopted son is alleged to have stabbed
both his parents, then tried to take his own life (News, 2 March
A judge has now ruled that all property, including five churches
and all their belongings, will be returned to the Anglican diocese
of Recife, and that the actions of Bishop Cavalcanti are
A statement from the Anglican diocese said: "From now on, all of
these parishes are under the direction and supervision of diocesan
Bishop Sebastião Armando.
"It is clear, therefore, that with the decision, the Judiciary
as enforcing justice and law, has put an end to this situation
which generated unprecedented legal instability in the Anglican
diocese of Recife, resulting in a deleterious effect on the entire
Brazilian Anglican province, reflecting poorly on the credibility
of the (church) institution and leadership in Brazil and
"Unfortunately, even with this new step, the unity of the
Church, so carefully cherished and painstakingly built over these
100-plus years during the existence of the Episcopal Anglican
Church in Brazil, once again remains shaken . . . certainly causing
in many people of faith a cooling of charity, which is our biggest
concern right now.
"This is an historical moment. We trust in the aid of Divine
Grace, with which we can reconstruct the unity of the Church. It is
our prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit,
touch our hearts, and tell them much more than we can express."