Panamanian archbishop elected Americas regional delegate to the primates standing committee

Michael Curry asks not to be considered for election in order not to cause offense

The Primate of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de Americas (the Anglican Church in the Central America Region – IARCA), Archbishop Julio Murray, has been elected as the Americas regional Primate on the Anglican Communion’s Primates’ Standing Committee and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). The Primate of the Anglican Church of South America, Presiding Bishop Greg Venables, was elected as the deputy. The elections took place as the leaders of the Anglican Church in the Americas and Caribbean gathered in Toronto, Canada for a regional Primates’ Meeting.

The Standing Committee includes five Primates elected to represent Anglican Communion regions. The existing regional Primates are Archbishop Philip Freier of Australia, representing Oceania; Archbishop Richard Clarke of Ireland, representing Europe; and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa, representing Africa. The representative for Asia will be elected next year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby is President of the Standing Committee. Other members are elected by the Anglican Consultative Council. They include the Chair of the ACC, Archbishop Paul Kwong of Hong Kong and the Vice-Chair, Canon Maggie Swinson from the Church of England.

The other members are Bishop Jane Alexander, from the Anglican Church of Canada; Bishop Eraste Bigirimana of the Anglican Church of Burundi; Mr Alistair Dinnie, from the Scottish Episcopal Church; Mr Jeroham Melendez, from the IARCA; Bishop Joel Waweru, from the Anglican Church of Kenya; and Ms Louisa Mojela, from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Before today’s election, the Presiding Bishop of the US-based Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, asked that he not be considered for the vacancy; saying that his election to the Standing Committee might cause “consternation in parts of the Communion”. In January 2016 the Primates of the Anglican Communion had asked that representatives of the US-based Episcopal Church be excluded from certain decision-making posts within the Communion as a consequence of its decision to permit same-sex marriages.

The Archbishop of Canada, whose Province is also considering same-sex marriage, also asked that he should not be considered – in part for the same reason as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and in part because he is due to retire in June next year.

The Anglican Consultative Council meets every three years. It will next meet in April 2019 in Hong Kong. The Standing Committee members are the legal trustees of the Anglican Communion and direct the work of the London-based Anglican Communion Office.

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