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