Primate will chair Cuba meeting

By on February 1, 2005

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is scheduled to visit Cuba this month to chair a meeting of the Metropolitan Council of Cuba (MCC), and to act as an observer and adviser at the annual general synod in the capital Havana this month.

It will be his first visit to Cuba and his first time presiding over the meeting of the council. The MCC was created in 1967 when Cuba lost provincial status in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America due to the break in relations between the United States and Cuba after the Communist takeover in 1959.

The Canadian church plays a special role in the Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba (IEC, Episcopal Church of Cuba), which is extra-provincial, or not part of a province. The Canadian primate is president of the MCC, which also includes another archbishop and a diocesan bishop. Besides Archbishop Hutchison, current MCC officers are Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and Bishop Lloyd Allen of Honduras.

In 2004, the Canadian church provided financial support totaling $30,000 to the Cuban church – $12,000 for clergy salary support; $5,000 for diocesan programs; $7,000 for the Evangelical Theological seminary of Matanzas founded by Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches in Cuba, and $6,000 for meeting costs and other incidental expenses related to the ecclesiastical oversight of the church.

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