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Canadian Primate speaks of Canadian and Cuban churches’ futures

Canadian Primate speaks of Canadian and Cuban churches’ futures

The Episcopal Church of Cuba began as a missionary diocese of TEC in 1901. In 1967 the Diocese of Cuba was cast adrift due to the political cold war between the US and Cuba. The Cuban church has been governed by the Metropolitan Council of Cuba since that time. The Council is made up of the primates of TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) and the Church in the Province of the West Indies. The current bishop diocesan is the Rt Revd Griselda Delgado Del Carpio. She was selected as bishop by the Metropolitan Council in JAN 2010, when the Cuban diocesan synod was unable to elect a bishop. The Wikipedia reports that the diocese is 46 parishes and has approximately 10,000 members. (The Anglican Journal of the ACoC reports that the Cuban church has about 3,500 members.)

The ACoC has been directly involved with material and financial support of the Cuban church with the Canadian Primate’s participation in the Metropolitan Council. However, the Canadian Primate, the Most Revd Fred Hiltz, has stated recently to his church that the continued participation of the ACoC in the life of the Cuban church at this point is unknown. After the thaw between the US and Cuba and the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the extra-provincial Diocese of Cuba voted to rejoin TEC by a narrow vote. In FEB 2015, the diocesan synod voted 39 to 33 to return to TEC. Should the Diocese of Cuba rejoin TEC, then TEC would have the primary obligation of financially assisting in the areas where the ACoC now helps; clergy salaries, two seminary salaries and the bishop’s discretionary fund.

In 2015 the Cuban church sent a delegation to Salt Lake City to the TEC General Convention to convey the church’s desire to reunite with TEC. At Convention TEC established a commission to exam the Cuban synod’s resolution. TEC stated at that time that the church wouldn’t be able to respond to the resolution before the next General Convention in 2018. The commission has not reported on its activities as yet. Because of this, there was nothing to report to the Dio Cuba diocesan synod held recently. Presiding Bishop Micheal Curry was not in attendance at the diocesan synod but has plans to be in Cuba in June for the upcoming meeting of the Metropolitan Council. It will be Michael’s first visit to Cuba and it will be an opportunity for him to meet the Cuban Episcopalians and to obtain a firsthand understanding of the situation on the ground for the Cuban church.

The photo, from the Anglican Journal, was taken in front of Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Havana of folks attending the recent diocesan synod in Cuba. Archbishop Hiltz can be seen in the very back to the right of Bishop Delgado Del Carpio’s mitre.

 

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