Luis Fernando Ruiz elected bishop of Ecuador Central on first ballot

Luis Fernando Ruiz elected bishop of Ecuador Central on first ballot

Election requires House of Deputies consent at General Convention
March 17, 2009
By: 
The Public Affairs Office

The Rev. Luis Fernando Ruiz was elected March 17 as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ecuador Central.

Ruiz, 52, rector of the Catedral de San Pablo, Bogotá, in the Diocese of Colombia, was elected on the first ballot out of a field of three nominees. Ruiz received 102 of the 117 ballots cast among the Episcopal Church's bishops at their retreat meeting at Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina. A simple majority of the votes cast by the bishops was necessary for the election.

Ruiz's election requires the House of Deputies consent because it occurred within 120 days of the Episcopal Church's General Convention, which will be held July 8-17 in Anaheim, California.

Assuming the House of Deputies confirms the election at General Convention, the consecration will be held August 1.

The election originally was scheduled for December 20, but the Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, who has served as provisional bishop of Ecuador Central since 2006, cancelled the election and began the process to refer the matter to the House of Bishops. Delegates attending the February 14 diocesan convention of Ecuador Central authorized the House of Bishops to elect a successor to Ramos-Orench, who is retiring.

Ruiz has served several churches in the Diocese of Colombia and as a member of various committees and commissions of the Episcopal Church. He was a deputy to the 2006, 2003 and 1991 General Conventions.

As a lawyer, Ruiz has held various posts in the Colombian judicial system, including Family and Juvenile Court judge, and taught aspects of law in various universities.

The other candidates were: the Rev. Thomas Mansella, of the Diocese of Virginia, language services coordinator for the Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Canon Servio R. Moscoso, of the Diocese of New Jersey, rector of Iglesia San José in Elizabeth. Mansella withdrew his name but reconsidered that decision; his name was reinstated February 16.

Three other candidates -- the Rev. Rosalí Fernández-Pola, vicar of Misión San Mateo Apóstol y Evangelista, Peñuelas, Puerto Rico; the Very Rev. Ashton Jacinto Brooks, dean of All Saints Cathedral on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; and the Rev. Carlos Sandovol, rector of St. Simon's Church, Miami -- withdrew their names from the original slate of nominees.

The Diocese of Ecuador Central is one of eight dioceses of the Episcopal Church located outside of the United States and its territories. The others are Litoral Ecuador, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Venezuela and Taiwan. The dioceses of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are in U.S. territories (although the Virgin Islands diocese includes two islands under British jurisdiction). There is also the Episcopal Church in Micronesia (Guam and Saipan), and the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, which consists of Episcopal communities in six countries.

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