A conservative Brazilian bishop who broke away from his church over the consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire was found murdered with his wife in the northeastern town of Olinda, according to the diocese.
Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife Miriam were found dead on Sunday (Feb. 26). Their adopted son, Eduardo, is a suspect in the stabbing deaths, church officials said.
Conservative Anglican media sites reported that Cavalcanti was returning from a parish visit.
Cavalcanti launched the breakaway Anglican Church — Diocese of Recife after Bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated as the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
According to a 2006 story by Episcopal News Service, Cavalcanti asked the House of Bishops in Brazil to express its opposition to Robinson’s election. When Brazilian bishops refused, Cavalcanti left the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, the officially recognized Brazilian branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Cavalcanti canceled relationships with U.S. dioceses and participated in irregular actions within the U.S., including confirmations in Ohio in 2004 without the diocesan bishop’s permission, ENS reported.
In 2011, when Brazil legalized gay marriage, Cavalcanti wrote that his country had legalized sin and “immorality.” Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams attempted to mediate the dispute between Cavalcanti and the established church, but to no avail.
In 2005, Cavalcanti was defrocked on the grounds that he broke communion with the official Anglican church in Brazil. When he left, he took 32 clergy and their congregations with him, according to ENS. He claimed church properties and refused to relinquish many diocesan documents.
The Brazilian church’s recognized diocese in Recife elected another man as bishop in 2006.
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