Both Houses of the Episcopal Church’s 79th General Convention vote unanimously to admit Cuba as a diocese

Both Houses of the Episcopal Church’s 79th General Convention vote unanimously to admit Cuba as a diocese

July 11, 2018

The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops and House of Deputies voted unanimously to re-admit the Episcopal Church of Cuba as a diocese of the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Cuba will become part of Province II.

Following today’s unanimous vote in the House of Deputies, President Gay Jennings invited the Bishop of Cuba and her delegation to come forward, as all in the room gave a standing ovation.

 “I feel the breath of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the support now and the support all the years and for everyone who has supported us from the Episcopal Church,” Cuba Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio said in Spanish through an interpreter. “I’d like this special moment to remember that special generation…those who are no longer with us who suffered with hope we would return to our family.”

House of Deputies President Gay Jennings simply said, “Welcome home,” as she presented Delgado with a scarf decorated with the Episcopal Church shield, before inviting the Rev. Gerado Logildes Coroas and Mayelin Águeda, president of Episcopal Church Women of Cuba, to have seat and voice in the House.

Yesterday, following the House of Bishops’ unanimous vote, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry welcomed Delgado to the dais with a warm hug and led the House in the Doxology as she made her way to the podium.

Resolution A238 lays out the terms for reunification.

At the start of the 79th General Convention, the Episcopal Church in Cuba Committee struggled with constitutional and canonical questions regarding whether Convention could act now to admit Cuba, or if it would require a constitutional change be made over two consecutive conventions.

In the end, Convention acted as it did similarly in 2003 when it readmitted the Diocese of Puerto Rico into the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Puerto Rico had been since 1979 an extraprovincial diocese under Province IX’s authority. In the 1970s, it was expected that Puerto Rico, Cuba and other dioceses in the Caribbean would form their own province, though that never came to pass.

Formerly a missionary district, the Episcopal Church of Cuba has functioned as an autonomous diocese of the Anglican Communion under the authority of the Metropolitan Council of Cuba since it separated from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church in 1967.

 

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