New Southern Cone Primate by Bishop Frank Lyons

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 26 01:17:13 EST 2001


By the Rt. Rev Francis R Lyons

La Paz, Bolivia--The Right Reverend Gregory Venables was elected and
installed as the fourth presiding bishop of the seven dioceses that
form the Province of the Southern Cone of America of the Anglican
Communion on November 7.   The seventh, triennial Synod met in Salta,
Northern Argentina, to observe the 150th anniversary of the martyrdom of
Allen Gardiner and his companions, who launched Anglican mission to the
unreached peoples of the area.  Bishop Venables serves with his wife
Sylvia in Buenos Aires.  He previously was bishop of Bolivia and
ministered in Paraguay and England.

A resolution to permit the dioceses of Argentina and Uruguay the local
option of ordaining women to the priesthood failed to obtain a
majority.  A broader motion had failed three years earlier.

The Synod coincided with the triennial reunion of South American
Missionary Society (SAMS) International, including Great Britain,
Ireland, the United States and Canada, to promote greater on field
assessment, communication and coordination of programs.  Since their
last meeting SAMS Australia and SAMS New Zealand have been incorporated
into and represented by the Church Mission Society (CMS) of those
countries.  In addition, Latin area officers of the Anglican Church of
Canada and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG)
attended.  SAMS International promised wholehearted support for local
priorities: holistic mission, ministry formation, youth, and cross-
cultural mission both inside and outside the Province.

The ministry of retiring bishops Maurice Sinclair and David Leake were
celebrated as well.  Sinclair, the outgoing Primate, was an important
voice in the pastoral crisis facing the Communion.  Leake, born of
missionary parents in Northern Argentina, has labored devoutly for the
development and autonomy of the Province.  He is presently the longest
serving Anglican Bishop with 33 years of episcopal ministry.


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