Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church

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Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church
Sello-iere comunion784x1181.jpg
Primate Justin Welby
Headquarters Madrid, Spain
Territory Spain
Bishops Carlos López Lozano
Website Official Site of the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church (in Spanish)

The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church or IERE (Spanish: Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal) is the church of the Anglican Communion in Spain. It was founded in 1880 and since 1980 has been an extra-provincial church under the metropolitan authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its cathedral is the Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid.

Exterior of the Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid, the only cathedral of the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church

Doctrine[edit]

In keeping with the rest of mainstream Anglicanism, the IERE considers itself to be part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Christ and his apostles. It claims to maintain apostolic succession via the Church of Ireland's bishops and it holds to the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. It keeps the three creeds of the Primitive Church.

The IERE considers itself to morally be the continuing church of the ancient Hispanic Church by maintaining the sacramental system as handed down through the Mozarabic Rite. Due to its Reformed tradition, some would say this is largely a Church that places itself within the confines of the Evangelical stream of Anglicanism.

History[edit]

A plaque in the Cathedral of the Redeemer.

The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church was formed "...being born of individuals who left the Church of Rome for reasons of Biblical conscience but desired epsicopacy and an ordered vernacular liturgy for which Anglicanism provided the original precedent."[1] The IERE was organised in 1880, by Juan Bautista Cabrera, former Roman Catholic priest, and other former Catholic priests and Reformed[clarification needed] ministers. In 1878 he had requested the Church of England to consecrate a bishop. In 1880 the (Anglican) Episcopal Church in the United States sent a missionary-bishop of Mexico to visit Spain and Portugal and contributed in organizing the congregations into the IERE and the Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church, each with its own synodical government.

At the Synod of 1880, Cabrera was elected the first bishop of the IERE, under the pastoral care of William Plunket, 4th Baron Plunket, then Bishop of Meath and later Archbishop of Dublin. He had been interested in the two Iberian churches and determined to act to consecrate a bishop in Spain. The church remained without a bishop for a time after Cabrera died and was placed under the authority of the Church of Ireland.

The IERE experienced persecution during the regime of General Francisco Franco. In 1954, Santos M. Molina was consecrated as a bishop and the church experienced a resurgence. In 1980 the IERE became an extra-provincial diocese under the metropolitan authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Liturgy[edit]

Interior of the Cathedral of the Redeemer.

The IERE uses the Mozarabic Rite, also known as the Hispanic Rite, a Latin liturgical rite. It dates principally to the 7th and 8th centuries. St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), who was influential at the Fourth Council of Toledo 633, according to the wishes of that Council, gave the Hispanic rite its final form before Muslim conquest of Hispania. Mozarab is the term for the Christian population living under Muslim rulers in Al-Andalus.

Previous to its organization, there were several translations of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer into Spanish in 1623[2] and in 1707.[3]

In 1881 the church combined a Spanish translation of the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer with the Mozarabic liturgy, which had recently been translated. This is apparently the first time the Spanish speaking Anglicans inserted their own "...historic, national tradition of liturgical worship within an Anglican prayer book."[4] A second edition was released in 1889, and a revision in 1975. This attempt combined the Anglican structure of worship with indigenous prayer traditions.[5]

An experimental "Rito 1" or "Rite 1" for the church dating from 1984 has a few interesting aspects. One item is that after the president or the Bishop if he is in the presbyter seating prays for the absolution of the sins of the congregation, the assembly responds by praying in turn for the absolution of the sins of the bishop: "God have mercy on you also, forgive you your sins through Jesus Christ and give you eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen."[6]

Organisation[edit]

The IERE has a democratic, synodical (parliamentary) polity. The Synod is the highest authority in the Church; the laity and clergy have equal representation in it. The parishes are represented by one cleric and by one lay person. The Synod elects the Standing Committee, which governs the Church between synods. The IERE is not a Church with an episcopal government, like the Roman Catholic Church, but is a synodical Church governed by a bishop in synod. The bishop and the synod are required to work together in close co-operation. The current diocesan bishop is Carlos López Lozano.

The Church is divided for administrative purposes into three zones: Catalonia, Valencian Country, and Balearic Islands; Andalusia and Canary Islands; Centre and Northern Spain. As of 2001, the IERE had one diocese and 22 licensed priests (one woman) serving 20 parishes, in Salamanca, Valencia, Valladolid, Seville, Oviedo, Tarragona, Murcia, Alicante, and Madrid.

Affiliations[edit]

The IERE is the representative of the Anglican Communion in Spain. It belongs to the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEDERE) and is member of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches. It is in full communion with the Old Catholic Churches as well as being part of the Porvoo Communion with the Scandinavian Lutheran churches.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, and Colin Ogilvie Buchanan. Liturgies of the Spanish and Portuguese Reformed Episcopal Churches. Grove, 1985. Page 16.
  2. ^ Church of England, and Tejeda, Fernando de n. 1595 tr. Liturgia Inglesa o Libro del rezado publico, de la administracion de los Sacramentos, y otros Ritos y ceremonias de la Iglesia de Ingalaterra [Texto impreso]. Augusta Trinobantum [s.n.], n.d.
  3. ^ Church of England, Felix Antonio de Alvarado, William Bowyer, and Fran Coggan. Liturgia ynglesa, o El libro de oracion commun y administracion de los sacramentos ... segun el uso de la Yglesia de Inglaterra. Londres: impresso por G. Bowyer, 1707.
  4. ^ Oliver, Juan M. C. "The Book of Common Prayer in Spanish." Pages 383-387. IN: Hefling, Charles C., and Cynthia L. Shattuck.The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey. Page 384.
  5. ^ Rowthorn, Jeffery. "Anglican Churches in Europe." Pages 439-442. IN: Hefling, Charles C., and Cynthia L. Shattuck.The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey. Page 439.
  6. ^ Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, and Colin Ogilvie Buchanan. Liturgies of the Spanish and Portuguese Reformed Episcopal Churches. Grove, 1985. Page 16.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]