Anglican Church in Central America
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|Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América|
|Primate||Sturdie Downs, Bishop of Nicaragua|
|Territory||Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama|
Four of the five dioceses of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de America were founded by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Anglicanism was also introduced by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel when England administered two colonies in Central America, British Honduras and Miskitia. In later years, immigrants brought the Anglican Church with them.
By 2008, the Anglican Church in Central America had voted to consecrate women bishops although none of have been consecrated as of yet. By 2013, the Diocese of El Salvador, and possibly others, offered ministries on behalf of and in support of LGBT members.
Sturdie Downs, Bishop of Nicaragua was elected in late 2014 to serve a four-year term of office as primate (2015–2019); he succeeded Armando Guerra, Bishop of Guatemala (2011–2015), who in turn succeeded Martin Barahona, Bishop of El Salvador (2003–2011).
Today, there are over 35,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of 30.1 million.
The polity of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América is Episcopalian church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are 5 of these, each headed by a bishop:
- The Diocese of Costa Rica
- The Diocese of El Salvador
- The Diocese of Guatemala
- The Diocese of Nicaragua
- The Diocese of Panamá
Some countries of Central America are part of other Anglican churches:
- The Anglican Diocese of Belize is part of the Church in the Province of the West Indies
- The Episcopal Diocese of Honduras is part of Province 9 of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America
Worship and liturgy
The Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América embraces three orders of ministry: deacon, priest, and bishop. The Spanish-language version of the Episcopal Church (USA)'s 1979 Book of Common Prayer is used.
Doctrine and practice
- Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God. He died and was resurrected from the dead.
- Jesus provides the way of eternal life for those who believe.
- The Old and New Testaments of the Bible were written by people "under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit". The Apocrypha are additional books that are used in Christian worship, but not for the formation of doctrine.
- The two great and necessary sacraments are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist
- Other sacramental rites are confirmation, ordination, marriage, reconciliation of a penitent, and unction.
- Belief in heaven, hell, and Jesus' return in glory.
Ordination of Women
Within the province, the dioceses represent a diversity of opinions on social issues. Regarding gender equality, the province has dioceses, including the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica, that recognize women in ordained ministry. In 2012, the Episcopal Church in Nicaragua ordained two women as priests.
On human sexuality, in 2003, the Primate, or Presiding Bishop, of the Anglican Church in Central America attended the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay and partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion. The Diocese of El Salvador formed a ministry for LGBT people in the country. In 2014, the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica, a diocese of the province, has taken steps to welcome LGBT members. Also in 2014, the diocese in El Salvador continued to offer a space for LGBT members to "freely express themselves."
- Cornelius Wilson, Bishop of Costa Rica
- Miller, Duane Alexander (January 2015). "Entrevissta con Bill Frey, primer obispo de la diocesis Episcopal de Guatemala". Misionologia Global: 1. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Five hundred priests threaten to leave Anglican church over female bishops". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=3587 World Council of Churches
- "La primada predica en Costa Rica". 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- "Dos mujeres sacerdotes en Bluefields". La Prensa. 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "Los anglicanos de El Salvador llevan la delantera en la Iglesia y la sociedad respecto a la plena inclusión de los LGBT". Episcopal News Service. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- "Iglesia de Costa Rica toma pasos para dar la bienvenida a la comunidad LGBTQ". 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- Neill, Stephen (1985). Anglicanism. Oxford University Press.