Anglican Church in Central America

Last updated
Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América
PrimateJulio Murray
TerritoryCosta Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama

The Anglican Church in Central America (Spanish : Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América) is a province of the Anglican Communion, covering five sees in Central America.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Anglican Communion International association of churches

The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.

Episcopal see the main administrative seat held by a bishop

An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.



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. This first period is often called the time of the chaplaincies. [1]

Anglicanism The practices, liturgy and identity of the Church of England

Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that evolved out of the practices, liturgy and identity of the Church of England following the Protestant Reformation.

British Honduras UK possession in Central America between 1862 and 1981

British Honduras was a British Crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, from 1862 to 1964, then a self-governing colony, renamed Belize in June 1973, until September 1981, when it gained full independence as Belize. British Honduras was the last continental possession of the United Kingdom in the Americas.

Bishop William C. Frey was consecrated as the first missionary bishop of the Diocese of Guatemala in 1967. [2]

By 2008, the Anglican Church in Central America had voted to consecrate women bishops although none of have been consecrated as of yet. [3] By 2013, the Diocese of El Salvador offered ministries on behalf of and in support of LGBT members. [4]

Julio Murray, bishop of Panama, was elected in April 2018 as primate, [5] he will succeed Sturdie Downs, bishop of Nicaragua in August 2018 when his installation service is expected to take place. Downs 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).

Sturdie Wayman Downs was consecrated as Anglican bishop on 9 February 1985. He is archbishop of the Anglican Church in Central America.


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:

A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.

Diocese Christian district or see under the supervision of a bishop

The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

Some countries of Central America are part of other Anglican churches:

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

The center of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América's teaching is the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basic teachings of the church, or catechism, includes:

Ecumenical relations

Unlike many other Anglican churches, the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América is not a member of the ecumenical World Council of Churches. [6]

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. [7] In 2012, the Episcopal Church in Nicaragua ordained two women as priests. [8]

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. [9] The Diocese of El Salvador formed a ministry for LGBT people in the country. [10] In 2014, the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica, a diocese of the province, has taken steps to welcome LGBT members. [11] Also in 2014, the diocese in El Salvador continued to offer a space for LGBT members to "freely express themselves." [9] The Diocese of Guatemala elected the Rev Silvestre Enrique Romero as bishop coadjutor in 2017. [12] The Rev Romero, prior to being elected bishop, served in The Episcopal Church (US) and offered to bless same-sex unions as priest-in-charge. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Homosexuality and the Anglican Communion

Since the 1990s, the Anglican Communion has struggled with controversy regarding homosexuality in the church. In 1998, the 13th Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops passed a resolution stating that "homosexual acts" are "incompatible with Scripture". However, this is not legally binding. "Like all Lambeth Conference resolutions, it is not legally binding on all provinces of the Communion, including the Church of England, though it commends an essential and persuasive view of the attitude of the Communion." "Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015." "Church of England clergy have appeared to signal support for gay marriage after they rejected a bishops’ report which said that only a man and woman could marry in church." The Church of England's General Synod is set to discuss a diocesan motion "to create a set of formal services and prayers to bless those who have had a same-sex marriage or civil partnership".

Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East anglican church organization

The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East is a province of the Anglican Communion stretching from Iran in the east to Algeria in the west, and Cyprus in the north to Somalia in the south. It is the largest and the most diverse Anglican province. The church is headed by a President Bishop, currently the Most Reverend Suheil Dawani, who ranks as a representative primate in the Anglican Communion. The Central Synod of the church is its deliberative and legislative organ. The province is divided into four dioceses:

The Episcopal Church (TEC) is governed by a General Convention and consists of 100 dioceses in the United States proper, plus eleven dioceses in other countries or outlying U.S. territories and the diocese of Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, for a total of 111 dioceses.

Latin America contains approximately 17.5% of the world's Quakers. Latin American Friends are concentrated in Bolivia and Central America. Most of these Friends are evangelical and are affiliated with Evangelical Friends Church International. Friends World Committee for Consultation organizes among them through the Comité de Amigos Latinoamericanos CoAL del Comité Mundial de Consulta de Los Amigos CMCA FWCC.

The Anglican Church of Mexico, originally known as Church of Jesus, is the Anglican province in Mexico, and includes five dioceses. The primate is Francisco Moreno, Bishop of Northern Mexico. The shield of the denomination uses the colors representing Mexico as well as those of the Episcopal Church (US) recognizing its historical connection with the US church.

Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church

The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, also translated as Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, or IERE 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 Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid.

Anglican Church of South America

The Anglican Church of South America is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion that covers six dioceses in the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil

The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil is the 19th province of the Anglican Communion, covering the country of Brazil. It is composed of nine dioceses and one missionary district, each headed by a bishop, among whom one is elected as the Primate of Brazil. The current Primate is Francisco de Assis da Silva, from the South-West Diocese, elected in 2013. IEAB is the oldest non-Roman Catholic church in Brazil, originating from the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation signed in 1810 between Portugal and the United Kingdom which allowed the Church of England to establish chapels in the former Portuguese colony. In 1890 American missionaries from the Episcopal Church established themselves in the country aiming to create a national church; unlike the English chapels, they celebrated services in Portuguese and converted Brazilians. The Anglican community of Brazil was a missionary district of the Episcopal Church until 1965, when it gained its ecclesiastical independence and became a separate province of the Anglican Communion. Twenty years later, IEAB began to ordain women. It preaches a social gospel, being known for its commitment to fight against problems that affect vast portions of the Brazilian society, such as social inequality, land concentration, domestic violence, racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Its stance as an Inclusive Church has caused both schisms and the arrival of former Roman Catholics and Evangelicals in search of acceptance.

Episcopal Church of Cuba

The Episcopal Church of Cuba is the diocese consisting of the entire country of Cuba in The Episcopal Church. From 1966 to 2018, it was an extra-provincial part of the Anglican Communion. As of 2016, it had about 10,000 members in forty-six parishes.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Cartago in Costa Rica diocese of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cartago is a Latin suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of San José de Costa Rica.

Religion in El Salvador

El Salvador's approximately 6.2 million inhabitants are mostly Christian. Evangelical Protestantism is experiencing rapid growth in recent decades while the Catholic share of the population is on decline.

The Anglican Diocese of Belize was established in 1883. The current bishop is Philip Wright.

The Anglican churches in the Americas.

William Carl "Bill" Frey served as missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church for the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and later as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado. As of 2015 he is in retirement in the Hill Country of Texas.

Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer Church in Madrid, Spain

The Cathedral of the Redeemer is a Protestant (Anglican) church in Madrid. It is the principal church of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain which is a member of the Anglican Communion.

Héctor Monterroso Gonzales is an Anglican bishop. Originally from Guatemala, he became bishop of Costa Rica in 2003. In 2017, he became assistant bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

The Anglican Church of Chile is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion that covers four dioceses in Chile. Formed in 2018, the province is the 40th and the newest in the Anglican Communion. The province consists of four dioceses. Its primate and metropolitan is the Archbishop of Chile, Tito Zavala.


  1. Monterroso, Hector; Miller, Duane (June 2017). "Entrevista del Rdmo. Hector Monterroso por el Dr. Duane Miller". Misionologia Global: 1–7. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  2. Miller, Duane Alexander (January 2015). "Entrevissta con Bill Frey, primer obispo de la diocesis Episcopal de Guatemala". Misionologia Global: 1. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  3. "Five hundred priests threaten to leave Anglican church over female bishops". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  4. "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  5. "Anglicans "a people of hope and here to stay" says new Primate-elect of Central America". April 24, 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  6. World Council of Churches
  7. "La primada predica en Costa Rica". 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  8. "Dos mujeres sacerdotes en Bluefields". La Prensa. 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  9. 1 2 "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.
  10. "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  11. "Iglesia de Costa Rica toma pasos para dar la bienvenida a la comunidad LGBTQ". 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  12. "Silvestre Romero elected bishop coadjutor of Diocese of Guatemala | The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts". Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  13. "St. Peter ~ San Pedro". Retrieved 2017-06-12.

Further reading