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Uruguay election ratified: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2013 p 6. April 19, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.
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The House of Bishops of the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur (de América) has upheld the appeal of the Diocese of Uruguay and ratified the election of Archdeacon Michael Pollesel.

A statement released during holy week by the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Tito Zavala of Chile  said the bishops and provincial Executive Council had “with joy and thankfulness to God” ratified Archdeacon Pollesel election after consideration of the appeal and the presentation of new background material.

At the close of their 21 – 25 May 2012 meeting in Montevideo the bishops released a statement saying that “after discussion and prayer and in accord with its canons the Provincial Executive of the Cono Sur together with its College of Bishops did not ratify the election of the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel as bishop-coadjutor for Uruguay”

The Cono Sur did not state why Dr. Pollesel’s election was rejected, but noted the province “promised its close cooperation with the diocese in its future decisions.”

The December 2011 election of Dr. Pollesel by the Uruguay synod to succeed Bishop Miguel Tamayo had raised questions from conservative activists.  The former general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada and interim priest-in-charge of St Nicholas Church, Birch Cliff in Toronto was credited with crafting the “non-confrontational” approach to the debate over same sex blessings taken at the last General Synod.

Conservatives claimed that by making the issue of homosexuality value neutral, it privileged gay supporters in the General Synod and allowed Canada to also claim it had not violated the Anglican Communion’s strictures against gay marriage.

No explanation as to the reasons for the 2012 rejection and 2013 ratification of the election has been released by the province. However it is understood Dr. Pollesel — who has served as vicar general of the diocese since his election — persuaded the bishops that he did not share and what not propagate the Canadian church’s doctrines in Uruguay.

The small South American diocese has been an outlier within the wider Cono Sur in recent years, focusing its energies on “social gospel” issues.  On 12 Nov 2010 the diocese voted to secede from the Cono Sur after the provincial synod declined to authorize the ordination of women priests.  Uruguay had proposed the women priest resolution, which was passed by the lay and episcopal orders, but defeated in the clergy order at the provincial synod in Buenos Aires.

The 12 – 15 November 2011 meeting in Asunción, Paraguay of the provincial synod rejected Uruguay’s requested to secede, but adopted a motion requesting a study in the feasibility of dividing the province into Atlantic and Pacific halves with Peru, Bolivia and two dioceses in Chile comprising one province and Argentina, Northern Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay comprising the second. The New Zealand meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council declined to endorse the diocese’s request to secede.

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