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  • NSIEAB 12:15 PM on 07/29/2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Primate’s message on the Week against Human Trafficking 

    Dear Brothers and sisters,

    “No human body can in any circumstances be an object to be enslaved.”

    Archbishop Justin Welby

    On this week, we celebrate internationally the Campaign against Human Trafficking. This is a human tragedy that only in the last years has been noticed by governments and non-governmental organizations. In our country, human rights bodies have denounced several categories of human trafficking, such as slave labor, organ trafficking, sexual exploitation of boys and girls and illegal adoption of children. Human trafficking has no borders and exists both here in Brazil and abroad. According to statistics put together by several international bodies, Brazil occupies the 10th position in the world in terms of human trafficking reported cases, but we must keep in mind several cases go unreported.

    Brazilian society must be more conscious about this silent and obscure problem, which amasses at least 30 billion dollars in the world, enriching national and international mafias. Children and adults are lured into a world of dreams that becomes a nightmare. Economic and social exploitation submits them to undignifying living conditions and, many times, to death.

    The Church reaffirms its commitment to human dignity and places itself emphatically against such crimes. Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and carries an ontological dignity which must not be violated. No person should be submitted to restrictions on his/her freedom, mobility and ability to choose work. Nobody should be traded as merchandise, regardless of age, social condition or gender.

    This week, the United Nations promotes several activities around the world, under a campaign called Blue Heart, which proposes clarifications on this topic, thus informing people about these crimes. Several international bodies, churches and social organizations have joined this campaign. In Brazil, such events will happen in nearly all states.

    The Anglican Communion, through the Archbishop of Canterbury, took part of a joint agreement, with other 12 world faith leaders, for the end of human trafficking last December. In several Anglican provinces, actions are being taken to raise awareness about this theme. Our Brazilian province should do the same in concrete ways.

    I call upon our Province to engage with combatting and preventing human trafficking. May our dioceses and churches save some time to gather their members and discuss about it, offering prayers for victims and their families. These actions can be done in partnership with other churches and human rights organizations. If there’s no local network against human trafficking, why not organize parish-based groups?

    May God inspire us to take into consideration this time as an opportunity so we learn about this topic and take action protecting victims, preventing these crimes, and proclaiming prophetic words wherever we are.

    May God bless all of us.

    ++ Francisco, Primate

  • NSIEAB 12:07 PM on 07/22/2015 Permalink | Reply  

    A message from Primate of Brazil related to decisions taken by TEC on Marriage understanding 

    In the light of the decisions of canonical and liturgical character taken by General Convention regarding the marriage of people of the same sex, I want to express the following words:

    1. We respect deeply the TEC’s autonomous decision because this is a constitutive feature of our Anglican Communion.
    2. The decision was made after years of theological conversation, which reflects the degree of maturity of the Episcopal Church.
    3. This decision was taken in a spirit of prayer and reflected the overwhelming majority of the Church by lay and clerical representatives.
    4. The decision saved an important pastoral principle to offer to those who do not feel comfortable with, offering freedom of conscience.

    The Church of Brazil feels strengthened by the fact that here we are also living a broad process of reflection on the search for consensus on this issue. In our country, since 2011, the Supreme Court already recognizes the legality of civil marriage between people of same sex.

    Our Province is discussing this matter – under the methodology of Indaba – in all instances of the Church. Our new Prayer Book already contemplates a change of language, stabilishing the gender neutrality that is a significant step of inclusivity. This change do not requires us to celebrate matrimony between people of same sex, but we’re open to the future and new pastoral requirements from our time.

    We see with joy changing processes in the churches of Canada and Scotland. We see with joy advances in discussion of the theme in the churches of England, Wales, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. We must respect this process which also occur in dioceses and parts of other Anglican Provinces.

    I pray to God so that these processes are done with honest listening from all people. As Province within our Communion, we are committed to the unity and do not agree with any initiative that seeks to isolate the provinces that are adopting new pastoral and theological perspectives.

    My hope is that in our next Primates meeting we can have sincere and honest conversation. We should not have a single issue agenda, but we need be open to conversation.

    I understood the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reflection on the resolutions changing the canons as expressing a concern, but not as an objection to the passing of the resolutions in an autonomous church. I greatly welcome and share his concern and trust that we can walk on together.

    I reaffirm my solidarity on the ways where the Episcopal Church is searching to be a safe site for all!

    God bless our Anglican Communion and let`s stay in dialogue!

    ++ Francisco

    Primate of Brazil

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