It is with a heavy heart that the Anglican Church in North America passes on the sad news today from the Anglican Diocese of Recife in Brazil. It was reported earlier that the Right Reverend Bishop Edward Robinson de Barros Cavalcanti and his wife Miriam Cavalcanti were tragically killed. Their lives were taken by a family member on Sunday, February 26 at around 10:00pm in the city of Olinda, Brazil. Details of their deaths are still being investigated.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti was among the great friends and steadfast heroes of the Anglican Church in North America. He and his wife, Miriam, are mourned by all of us in this Province. Our prayers and love are extended to the clergy and people of Recife, and to all friends and family, not least because of the tragic circumstances of their murder.
Bishop Robinson was a champion of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. He led his diocese to stand against the theological revisionism that plagued his Province and he stood with all of us in the parallel battles in North America and in global Anglicanism. Internationally, he was among the band of courageous bishops and archbishops who adopted North American congregations during our days of trial.
I personally have the warmest of memories of Robinson Cavalcanti throughout all of my years as bishop. Moreover, since the founding of our Province, he was often a guest at meetings of our Provincial Council and College of Bishops, most recently in September.
We thank God for the lives of these faithful servants. We entrust them to the merciful keeping of our Lord and Savior in whose Resurrection “death is swallowed up in victory.” Robinson’s words to us at this moment would be one with the Apostle Paul’s in I Corinthians 15, not least in the exhortation at the end: “Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Faithfully your archbishop,
Statement released from the Diocese of Recife:
“The diocesan family gives thanks to God for the life and devoted ministry of its Father in God, our pastor, teacher and friend, a true prophet and present day martyr, who championed the cause of the Gospel of Christ for the Church and for the Anglican Communion, which was attended by his wife, as a faithful helpmate, who supported him throughout his years in ministry.
“[Bishop Cavalcanti has] left for Eternity, leaving a legacy of service, love, and doctrinal firmness, by which this Diocese will continue. In due course we will be releasing the day, time, and place of his burial.”
-Bishop Evilásio Tenório, Suffragan Bishop Elect
-Bishop Flávio Adair, Suffragan Bishop Elect
-Rev. Márcio Simões, President of the Diocesan Council
Photo caption: Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and Archbishop Duncan at Provincial Council in June, 2011, Long Beach, California (Credit: Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh).