THE diocese of Uruguay
has said that it has been "cut adrift" by the Anglican Communion
after its request to transfer out of the Province of the Southern
Cone of America was referred back to the Province.
The diocese had asked the
Anglican Consultative Council standing committee to transfer it to
the Episcopal Church of Brazil, which it says is more "compatible"
with its theology and mission.
Uruguay has made repeated
requests, for more than a decade, to the conservative Province of
the Southern Cone to allow it to ordain women to the
In 2010, the diocese
voted to seek another jurisdiction after a proposal to allow
dioceses individually to permit the ordination of women to the
priesthood was turned down by the tenth synod of the Southern
The Province also twice
rejected the diocesan appointment of a bishop coadjutor, the Ven.
Dr Michael Pollesel, former general secretary of the Anglican
Church of Canada, a fact that he described as the "last straw" in
relations between the diocese and the Province.
Dr Pollesel said:
"Following the release of the Report of the Sub- Committee of the
Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, that
offers suggestions for a way forward for the small diocese of
Uruguay and the Province of the Southern Cone, the diocese feels
totally misunderstood and unsupported.
"The report seems to
focus on the election of a bishop coadjutor, a process which the
diocese went through last year. . .
"The diocese saw this as
the 'last straw' in its attempts to move forward in its
understanding of mission. For over ten years, the diocese has been
requesting that the Province allow it to ordain women to the
priesthood. These requests have been rejected.
"The diocese sees itself
as being called to express its ministry and mission in ways and
means that appear to be unacceptable to the Province. And for this
reason, it had requested transfer to another metropolitical
jurisdiction that would support its attempts at carrying out
mission rather than thwart them."
The secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth
Kearon, said on Wednesday that the Standing Committee was unable to
respond positively to the request under the canon law of the
Province. It had offered pastoral advice, instead.