Declaration of the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (Global Center)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
“By this all men would now that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
We the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, who sign below, gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica from the 18 to 22 of May 2007, renew and ratify our position proposed in Panama, better known as the Global Center, in which we call the Communion to preserve its participative nature, diverse, ample and inclusive, characteristics which we consider essential to Anglicanism and at the same time our contribution to the Christian tradition.
Since our last meeting, our concern has grown because of the polarization regarding the biblical and theological positions manifested in the Anglican Communion, during the last years; positions known as Global North and Global South, non reconcilable in their character and putting the unity in the Communion at risk.
In the midst of this painful controversy, we do not identify with either side, because they don’t fully represent the spirit of our thoughts.
It has been proven in our relations that we greatly represent the plurality and diversity that are universal characteristics of Anglicanism and that we hold different positions on the themes that are presently discussed in the Communion. However, we have also experienced that the plurality and diversity we represent has become a rich source for growth, rather than a cause for controversy and division.
We unanimously express our determination to remain united as members of the same family and will continue to come to the Lord’s Table, together.
We invite our brothers and sisters in the episcopate, as well as all the members of the Clergy and laity who identify with this vision, to join together and work for an effective reconciliation, interdependence and unity in the diversity of our family of faith and so preserve the valuable legacy of which we are guardians.
As disciples of Jesus, called to live out the mandate of love (St. John 15:17), we declare our commitment to be together and with all our strength, struggle for unity, as an act of obedience to His will expressed in the Holy Scriptures. Trusting that the Holy Spirit, whose descent we are about to celebrate on the Feast of Pentecost, will guide and strengthen us on such a difficult journey.
The experience of these few days confirms our conviction that, we will make it with God’s blessings. Of this, we are sure and now we return to our dioceses comforted and full of joy and hope.
Comment: I know a surprising number of these bishops and admire the strength and the gentleness of such a statement. I think that their willingness to comment from the center and claim the center says much about the sense of theology and ecclesial development that is happening in this part of the Anglican Communion. I believe there may be more statements from the those who consider themselves part of the Global Center. I have much more hope for the Anglican Communion that I have had over the past few months.