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Drexel Gomez marks 50 years of ministry: The Church of England Newspaper, Feb 11, 2011 p 8. February 11, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.

Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The former Archbishop of the West Indies has celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  Well wishers greeted Archbishop Drexel Gomez at the close of the special service on Feb 1 at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, thanking him for his services to the church in the Caribbean and to the wider Anglican Communion.

Born in Nassau, Archbishop Gomez was educated at Codrington College in Barbados and went on to become the principal of the theological college.  Elected Bishop of Barbados at the age of 36, he was subsequently translated to Nassau and elected Archbishop of the West Indies in 1999.

Archbishop Gomez played a central role in the Communion’s deliberations over the past twenty five years.  In addition to attending the 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008 Lambeth Conferences, he served as chairman of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (IASCER) and chairman of the Covenant Design Group, which produced The Anglican Covenant.

The archbishop also played a leading part in rallying conservative opposition to the innovations of doctrine and discipline taking place in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada.

Under his leadership the Province of the West Indies broke with the Episcopal Church and set in place a theological litmus test for Episcopal missionaries who wished to serve in the Caribbean.  Archbishop Gomez was also one of the chief consecrators of the Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood of the Ekklesia Society for service in the United States under the authority of the Church of Kenya.

However, the West Indian primate consistently championed the Anglican Covenant as the way forward for the Communion through its divisions, repeatedly telling audiences in the UK and US that the “Covenant was the only game in town.”

In his final appearance on the international Anglican stage at the 2009 ACC meeting, Archbishop Gomez urged the delegates to endorse the Covenant.  However, his advice was not taken and the covenant process was subsequently thrown into disarray when the meeting declined to endorse the full document.

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