Monday, 15 November 2010

Uruguay to leave Southern Cone

Updated Tuesday

ACNS reports that Uruguay votes to transfer to another Province.

One week after a proposal to allow dioceses to individually permit women’s ordination to the priesthood was turned down by the Tenth Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone, the Diocese of Uruguay has voted to seek another jurisdiction with which to share its ministry.

The vote in the Province had been by a specific request of the Diocese of Uruguay and sought to allow a diocesan option in the matter, rather than Provincial wide adoption, so that the diocese could proceed to minister within a very difficult agnostic milieu. Uruguay felt that after a nine year hiatus since the last vote for approval, a patient wait would be rewarded. That was not the result and so the Uruguayan Synod took this measure to move away from the Province…

There is a further report from ENS URUGUAY: Diocese votes to leave Southern Cone

…Clergy members of the Southern Cone’s 10th triennial synod Nov. 4 refused to approve the canonical changes required to allow for the ordination of women to the priesthood. The changes, which required a two-thirds majority in all three houses, were approved by the bishops and laity. Uruguay ordains women to the diaconate.

The Diocese of Uruguay synod met Nov. 12 in the capital city of Montevideo and decided by a simple majority vote in orders to quit the province, according to Lyons.

The diocese wants to transfer from the Southern Cone within the year, he said, adding that if permission is not given, an appeal would be made to the Anglican Consultative Council to arrange for oversight, following provincial canons…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 12:01pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Sad to say, since this is in my hemisphere, but I don't know that much about Uruguay, although I know more than I want to about the Southern Cone as refuge for former Episcopalians.

Context suggests Uruguay wants to ordain women, right? Thanks.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 1:44pm GMT

Our prayers are with the diocese of Uruguay, as they move forward in their journey of being able to ordain women to the priesthood.

I personally admire their move, and has enabled me to decide which South American diocese to support. Given USPG has withdrawn support from South America.

Their web site is most informative, as is the Friends of Uruguay website with their wonderful crosses

Fr John

Posted by: Fr John Harris-White on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 2:10pm GMT


Wasn't it just a little while ago when everyone was bent out of shape about the DIocese of Pittsburgh trying to leave the Province? Why not be similarly bent out of shape about Uruguay?

For me, the difference MAY be that Uruguay is a "national church" (i.e. a church including the whole territory of one nation—and only one nation—within its borders).

Question: Is there any Uruguayan minority group of parishes who disagree with the majority diocesan vote to leave the Southern Cone?

Seems to me we must be careful about geese and ganders here.

Posted by: John-Julian, OJN on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 4:49pm GMT

Perhaps they ought join Cuba or Puerto Rico--the Bishop of Uruguay IS a Cuban and was helpful in the consecration of the first female Suffragan Bishop of Cuba--she has since passed away but it was truly a welcomed milestone in a country that is ripped, as in muscled, with machismo posturing but appreciates and honors ALL of its laity inclusively...the same can not be said for The Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 5:31pm GMT

The snarky side of me wonders how those who left other provinces to build up the Southern Cone in their image will react when dioceses or national churches want to leave them?
"You can't leave the Southern Cone!"
"Well, YOU left TEC and tried to take the silver and china with you!"
"THAT was different!"
But the more serious side of me wonders whether Uruguay was an original member of the Southern Cone, has dioceses who wish to ordain women, and is dismayed at the changes in the Cone.
Notice that Uruguay was apparently asking for the option to have WO. Not requiring it of all others. And the Southern Cone said "NO!"
But, isn't that what the kerfuffle in the CofE is allegedly all about? The option to NOT consecrate women and to not recognize them? Here the shoe is on the other foot, and we see how accommodating the anti-WO forces are. Not very.

Posted by: Peter Gross - peterpi on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 5:44pm GMT

The difference, John Julian, is that the constitution of the Southern Cone explicitly permits a member diocese to withdraw from the province.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 6:48pm GMT

If they joined the US they could close the loop, with the two provinces existing as geographically overlapping theologically-defined jurisdictions - the Dallas-Fort Worth solution writ large!

Posted by: Geoff on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 7:48pm GMT

The Diocese of Uruguay only has 5 parishes and 3 missions. There is an interesting video about it, on Episcopal life. They seem to have a real social conscience. It's rumoured Peru may leave as well.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 9:12pm GMT

So, instead of flying bishops, why not flying dioceses? We don't need a covenant--we can re-align without it. Just hop off the bus, Gus...

Posted by: Henry on Monday, 15 November 2010 at 9:44pm GMT

Estimado Uruguay -- no, make that *Querido* Uruguay:

"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You."

Posted by: David da Silva Cornell on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 at 1:26am GMT

So Much for Archbishop Venables and his reluctance to foster change that would have led to the emancipation of both women and gays.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 at 3:55am GMT

The diocese of Uruguay is very small as RIW says...probably 1000 attenders all round.It was once simply an english chaplaincy to business people in Montevideo and Fray Bentos.The english aspect is now miniscule. The present Bp of Peru ,an englishman went there as archdeacon and was made bishop supported by USPG. i think the feeling was that the Southern Cone needed a diocese of a rather different churchmanship to the rest to give balance. The Bishop then went to Peru where it would appear he has transformed a SAMS evangelical outpost into a more catholic/charismatic diocese albeit conservative re women priests. The Bp of Peru would be part of traditionalist networks I would judge, but he has hopes to become an independent province.Uruguay has been more liberal catholic..language aside it would go well with Brasil.
The Southern Cone is conservative evangelical except in the diocese of Argentina itself, where the diocese ( not Northern Argentina, mostly indian and currently vacant) is more mixed and uses the TEC 1979 prayer book in Spanish. Until the last two bishops the bishops tended to be USPG in churchmanship.
Uruguay is the most secular country in S America, officially so and with probably 40% of the population unbaptized. The RC Church is nowhere near as strong as in Argentina. There is a well funded Mormon push...some Methodists/ reformed etc. In a small way I would think there might be a modest future for a forward looking, socially concerned, liturgical/sacramental church that was more open and progressive and carried less baggage than the RC Church there.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 at 9:50am GMT

As I understand it, the rate of RC mass attendance in Uruguay is as low as 4-5%. A very secular country, perhaps more like Western Europe than South America in religious tone.

Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 at 11:51am GMT

I should have added that even a modest future depends on resources. I visited Uruguay in 2004 and hope to visit again when circumstances allow.The diocese has a good website. I contribute via the Friends of the Diocese of Uruguay which is a C of E based organization.It is a pity USPG is withdrawing funding for S America.
re the comments on Peru. In 1988 during the Lambeth Conference my parish hosted a visit from Bp Adrian Carceres of Ecuador..a very able bishop indeed, I thought.He had hopes for a province of the Andes which would take in Colombia/2 dioceses of Ecuador and Peru..poss Bolivia too. This would have brought together ex.Southern cone and TEC Province Nine dioceses...Seemed to make sense if it proved viable but I imagine in or present state its off the agenda.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 at 5:11pm GMT

The Anglican church in Argentina is almost exclusively evangelical. You go to their services, except for the ones attended by a few in English at the Cathedral and on Cranmer Street in BA, and you would think that you are attending an evangelical charismatic service: guitars, words of songs (no hymns) projected on the walls, clapping, laying of hands, people falling on the floor, Benny Hinn-style preaching, etc etc. (low church ?).....I hope Uruguay joins the US Episcopal Church.

Posted by: Gustavo on Monday, 22 November 2010 at 4:46am GMT
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