The seven diocesan bishops and the primate of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB), recommended that Anglicans receive people of any race, culture, social class or sexual orientation with love.
The recommendation is part of a pastoral letter signed by bishops at the end of the 27th IEAB synod which ended this week. The Synod re-elected Glauco Soares de Lima as primate and confirmed the Revd Mauricio de Andrade as general secretary for a new three-year period.
The 27th IEAB synod, which ended with a worship service in Holy Trinity Cathedral of Porto Alegre, approved three motions to be addressed to state authorities. Anglican Episcopalians have been in Brazil for 104 years and have 100,000 baptised members.
One motion was in support of the march held by landless campesinos in Brasilia, demanding that Agrarian Reform be sped up. Another, addressed to the Justice Ministry, asked that police who violate human rights should be judged in civil as opposed to military courts. The third called on the National Congress to place more emphasis on investigating government corruption.
The pastoral letter alluded to the 1988 Lambeth Conference, recognising that the sexual issue, which touches on all aspects of social and individual life, is not completely resolved. "Studies about the factors which contribute to different understandings regarding homosexuals continue. As bishops we recommend dialogue, prudence and pastoral concern for people with a homosexual orientation in the faith community," said the Bishops' letter.
Anglican bishops stated that they cannot assume definitive positions about the ordination of homosexuals or marriages between people of the same sex, as the issue is not defined within the Anglican Communion. They argue that while the Bible condemns homosexuality in some passages, the Holy Book was not dictated by God, but rather is God's revelation which carries the interpretation of its authors who bring the influence of their culture and their era.