Peers to attend synod in Cuba

Published March 1, 2002

Archbishop Michael Peers, the primate, is going to Cuba in February to preside over a meeting of the Metropolitan Council of Cuba (MCC), and to act as an observer and adviser at the annual general synod in Havana. The Anglican Church of Canada plays a special role in Cuba, which is extra-provincial, or not part of a province. Cuba lost provincial status in 1967 due to the break in relations between Cuba and the United States stemming from the Communist takeover by Fidel Castro in 1959. Before that, the Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba was part of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA). “In order to keep Cuba connected to the Anglican Communion, metropolitan oversight comes from a metropolitan council,” said Rev. Philip Wadham, regional mission coordinator of partnerships at the Anglican national office. The council consists of two archbishops and one bishop. One of the archbishops is the Canadian primate, the other is Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and the bishop is Julio Cesar Holguin from the Dominican Republic. Archbishop Peers is the president of the Metropolitan Council of Cuba. He remains in that role until Cuba again becomes part of a province, or until he retires. However, if Cuba remains extra-provincial then the next Canadian primate becomes president of the MCC. “Every extra-provincial diocese is governed by a metropolitan authority of some sort,” Mr. Wadham noted. A meeting of the MCC immediately follows the synod, which begins Feb. 22 and ends Feb. 24. “The primate has no role at synod other than to give advice on proposed changes to the constitution,” Mr. Wadham said. “He can tell if proposals are in line with the general norms of the Anglican Communion.” The primate intends to stay on a few days to visit some Cuban parishes outside Havana, Mr. Wadham added. Mr. Wadham accompanies him to the Cuban meetings and acts as secretary for the MCC.


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