Diocese of Chile prepares to divide into four dioceses and form its own province
The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church of South America has ratified the election of two priests who will serve as diocesan bishops if the proposed Anglican Church of Chile goes ahead. Currently, the Iglesia Anglicana de Chile (IAC) is a diocese of the Anglican Church of South America. But it has been moving towards becoming an independent Anglican Province – the 40th in the Anglican Communion.
Earlier this month, at a special synod, the diocese approved the draft constitution it will adopt if it gets the go-ahead to become an independent province. It also elected four people who will serve its proposed new dioceses. At a meeting in Lima, Peru, this weekend, the Church of South America’s College of Bishops ratified the election of Enrique Lago Zugadi as Bishop of Concepcion and Samuel Morrison Munro as Bishop of Valparaiso. They will be consecrated on Sunday 15 July at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Valparaíso.
The two other new diocesan bishops selected by the Synod did not need provincial ratification as they are already bishops in the church: the Auxiliary Bishop of Araucanía, Abelino Apeleo, will become Bishop of Temuco and the current diocesan bishop, Hector Zavala Muñoz, will be Bishop of Santiago and Primate of the new Anglican Province of Chile.
In a formal statement to Bishop Hector, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America, the Bishop of Argentina, Greg Venables, confirmed that the House of Bishops and the Provincial Executive Council had ratified the elections. “We have prayed a lot for you to ask the Lord to continue guiding you in the process of becoming a Province,” he said, “and we express the desire to continue working united as two Provinces in a concept of South American interdependence.”
The Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop Paul Kwong of Hong Kong, will lead an official delegation to Chile shortly to ascertain whether the proposed new province fulfils the requirements to be an Anglican province.