Anglican Church of South America

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Iglesia Anglicana de Sudamérica
Primate Héctor Zavala Muñoz
Territory Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay
Members c. 22,000
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The Anglican Church of South America (Spanish: Iglesia Anglicana de Sudamérica) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion that covers the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and a diocese in Brazil, in South America.

Formed in 1981, as of 30 November 2007, the province reported 22,000 members.[1] Its members in South America are thinly spread, making it one of the smaller provinces in the Anglican Communion in terms of numbers, although one of the largest in geographical extent.

Background before 1981[edit]

During the 19th century, British immigrants to South America brought Anglicanism with them (Milmine p.8). In Britain, a voluntary Anglican society was formed in 1844 [1] to evangelize the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego. This later became the South American Mission Society (SAMS) and extended its activities the Araucanian regions of Chile and the Chaco. It still plays an important place in the life of the church[n 1][2]

The first diocese was established in 1869 as the Diocese of the Falkland Islands and the rest of South America, excepting British Guyana. The see of the bishop was in Buenos Aires (Milmine p.11).[n 2] Despite its title, the diocese's effective territory was restricted to the Southern Cone plus Peru and Bolivia. By contrast, Anglican/Episcopal congregations in Brazil and the more northern Spanish-speaking countries were effectively under the wing of the Episcopal Church of the USA (Milmine p.9). As the Anglican Church and its mission grew in South America, new dioceses were created from that larger one. Missionary bishops were appointed to smaller dioceses.

Until 1974, these missionary dioceses were under the metropolitical oversight of the Archbishop of Canterbury. For the next seven years, they were administered by an ad hoc council known by the acronym CASA (Consejo Anglicano de Sud América) (Milmine p.16), which also had Brazilian members.


In 1981, the five dioceses of Argentina (at the time including Uruguay, which became an independent diocese only in 1988 (Milmine p.48)), Northern Argentina, Peru and Bolivia (separated into two dioceses subsequent to 1988), Chile, and Paraguay came together to form the Province of the Southern Cone. The Province is distinguished by a conservative interpretation of Biblical texts and church practice.

In 2003, after the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Province of the Southern Cone severed its relationship with that Episcopal Church (the sole dissent in the diocesan synod being the vote of the Diocese of Uruguay, which voted[when?] to maintain full communion with both the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church): the Province objected to the selection of Robinson, the first openly homosexual, partnered bishop within the Anglican Communion. The Province is in full communion with the Anglican Church in North America, formed in 2009 by former members of the Episcopal Church.

Later, the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone decided to extend ecclesiastical jurisdiction to conservative congregations (including some from the Diocese of Virginia) that departed from the Episcopal Church, but were located within its geographical authority. This decision was not authorized by the Anglican Communion, and the schism remains unresolved.

In November 2010, at a Provincial Synod held in Argentina, Bishop Héctor Zavala Muñoz, Diocesan Bishop of Chile, was elected primate. He is the first South American-born primate of the Province.


Diócesis de Argentina (Diocese of Argentina)[edit]

Diócesis de Argentina Norte (Diocese of Northern Argentina)[edit]

Diócesis de Bolivia (Diocese of Bolivia)[edit]

Diócesis de Chile (Diocese of Chile)[edit]

Diócesis de Paraguay (Diocese of Paraguay)[edit]

  • Diocesan bishop — Peter Bartlett
  • Auxiliary Bishop - Andrès Rodriguez
  • Link diocese — Diocese of Nelson

Diócesis de Perú (Diocese of Peru)[edit]

  • Diocesan bishop — William Godfrey
  • Suffragan/Missionary Bishop - Michael Alexander Chapman
  • Suffragan/Missionary Bishop - Alejandro Mesco
  • Suffragan/Missionary Bishop - Juan Carlos Revilla
  • Suffragan/Missionary Bishop - Jorge Luis Aguilar
  • Link diocese — Anglican Diocese of Worcester

Diócesis de Uruguay (Diocese of Uruguay)[edit]

Separation of Peru[edit]

In July 2015 it was announced by the Anglican Communion secretariat that the Diocese of Peru was working towards separation from the Province of South America, with the intention of becoming an autonomous Province of the Anglican Communion, consisting of four dioceses. The four dioceses are to be formed by splitting the current Diocese of Peru into the new dioceses of Lima, Arequipa, Chiclayo, and Huancayo. No date has been announced for the formation of the new province, but the intended first bishops of each diocese have been consecrated. Bishops Alejandro Mesco, Juan Carlos Revilla, and Jorge Luis Aguilar, all consecrated in July 2015, are the first indigenous Peruvian priests to be consecrated as bishop in the Anglican Communion.[5]

Extra-provincial jurisdictions[edit]

The bishops and a number of communicants of four dioceses in the United States — the Diocese of San Joaquin (ACNA), the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (ACNA), the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (ACNA) and the Diocese of Quincy (ACNA) – have voted in their conventions to separate from the Episcopal Church and affiliate "on an emergency and temporary basis" with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America. Those who have chosen to remain in the Episcopal Church in the United States have reformed their dioceses and have elected new leadership. The Episcopal Church has pursued legal action to try to recover assets held by the dioceses that realigned.

In Canada, 72 parishes in Canada have formed the Anglican Network in Canada and identify as an "ecclesial body under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone".[citation needed] The province also claims one diocese in Brazil, the Diocese of Recife (Diocese do Recife) under Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti.[6] This is not to be confused with the Diocese Anglicana do Recife, which is a member of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

The Anglican Communion Office does not recognize jurisdiction of the Southern Cone bishops over dioceses and ecclesiastical bodies located geographically outside Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.[7] The arguments against this realignment claim that overlapping episcopal jurisdiction goes against Anglican polity and tradition; while those arguing in favor claim that while rare, there exist a number of examples of similar realignments throughout Anglican and Christian history.

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ But, since 2010, SAMS has been part of the new Church Mission Society.
  2. ^ This was due to legal requirements at the time, which did not allow the Church of England to consecrate or appoint bishops outside those territories under the jurisdiction of the Crown.


  1. ^ Anglican Journal: Quick facts: The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America Nov 30, 2007
  2. ^ History: Church Mission Society, Official website
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ The consecrations, and the intended new provincial structure, all announced at the Anglican Communion News Service.
  6. ^ "Southern Cone offers haven to disaffected US dioceses", Church Times, 16 November 2007
  7. ^


Milmine, Obispo Douglas (1993), La Comunion Anglicana en América Latina 

External links[edit]