Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention, accepting with joy the request of the sisters and brothers of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba, and welcoming the prospect of restoring the relationship between The Episcopal Church and La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba, admit it to The Episcopal Church and recognize it as a Diocese in union with General Convention, to be effective as set forth in this resolution; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention acknowledges that, while Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution does not expressly provide for creation of a new Diocese from an existing Anglican Communion Diocese, neither does it expressly limit or forbid General Convention from doing so; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention laments the actions of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church in 1966 that led to the precipitous and painful separation of The Episcopal Church and La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention commends the diligence of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba in completing the following actions set forth by The Episcopal Church Task Force on Cuba, based on Resolution 2015-B003: drafted changes to the Constitution and Canons of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba; sent the changed Constitution and Canons to the Metropolitan Council; pledged in writing to conform with these expectations (submit an annual Diocesan Parochial Report to the Office of The Episcopal Church, pay an Assessment to The Episcopal Church, and provide a complete accounting of the financial assistance received from The Episcopal Church); provided education for clergy and laity about The Episcopal Church, Constitution and Canons, and the workings of General Convention; provided a proposed annual budget to The Episcopal Church; provided Church Pension Fund with accurate reporting about active clergy and years of service, and retired clergy who are already in the Pension Fund; convened an Extraordinary Synod on May 11, 2018 to designate the choice of a province; and sent members to visit at the 79th General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention recognize that La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba has agreed to undertake all responsibilities pertaining to diocesan membership in The Episcopal Church as provided in the Constitution and Canons, including, but not limited to, fully conforming its constitution and canons to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church; submitting annual diocesan and parochial reports; contributing annually to the assessment for the budget of The Episcopal Church; and reporting fully on any financial assistance it receives from the such budget; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention express its deep gratitude to the Anglican Church of Canada for its long and continuing support for La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention call upon the dioceses, congregations and members of The Episcopal Church to acquaint themselves with the ministries of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba, to work in harmony and companionship with La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba for evangelism, mutual understanding, and the full expression of God's mission, and to consider ways in which they can be in relationship and partnership with La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba going forward; and be it further
Resolved, That the acceptance of the Diocese of Cuba into union with the General Convention shall become effective on such date as the Executive Council adopts a resolution accepting and approving a certification to it by the Secretary of the General Convention that he has received from the Diocese of Cuba the following:
(1) A certified copy of the Constitution of the Diocese that contains an unqualified accession to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and otherwise conforms in essential part to such Constitution and Canons;
(2) A certified copy of the Canons of the Diocese that conform in essential part to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church;
(3) An annual diocesan parochial report as required by Canon I.6 for the last full year prior to compliance with this resolution;
(4) A commitment by the Diocese to a contribution to the budget of The Episcopal Church for the year in which the Diocese is to come into union with the General Convention;
(5) An accounting of any funds received by the Diocese from the General Convention budget in the last full year prior to compliance with this resolution; and
(6) Evidence that all clergy in the Diocese have complied with the requirements of Canon III.10 and Article IX of the Constitution;
And be it further
Resolved, That, following such effective date,
(1) The Diocese of Cuba shall take such steps as shall be required by the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church for the Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Cuba to be received as a Bishop of The Episcopal Church;
(2) The General Convention designates the Diocese of Cuba to be added to the Second Province of The Episcopal Church;
(3) The Diocese of Cuba shall be entitled to all rights pertaining to membership in The Episcopal Church as provided in the Constitution and Canons, including, but not limited to, seat, voice, and vote in the House of Bishops and in the House of Deputies, in accordance with the rules of those Houses;
And be it further
Resolved, That the Bishop Diocesan of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba upon passage of this Resolution be eligible to participate in the House of Bishops consistent with its rules of order; and be it further
Resolved, That immediately upon the close of business of the 79th General Convention, the active clergy of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba shall become eligible to participate going forward in the International Clergy Pension Plan (ICPP) and its related plans, which will be administered by The Church Pension Fund (CPF) consistent with the terms of the ICPP, an administration agreement between La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and CPF, and applicable law, including the receipt of any necessary licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control or any other applicable governmental authority; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention direct The Episcopal Church, together with La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and other potential ministry partners, in consultation with CPF, to collaborate on a plan to fund the past service liability accrued by the active clergy of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba; and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention support the formation of a 3-year interim body to accompany La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and The Episcopal Church as they fully reunify. The body would consist of eight members, four from La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and four from The Episcopal Church jointly appointed by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, to facilitate complete reunification of life, ministry, and mission; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention reaffirm the principle that dioceses of this church that are not located within the United States may seek autonomy according to the procedures set forth in Resolution A235 of the 1991 General Convention or may join other provinces of the Anglican Communion; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program Budget and Finance to consider a Budget allocation of $400,000 for ministry and mission of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and $50,000 for the interim body’s work for the implementation of this resolution
In 1966, with the effects of the Cuban Revolution and the political response of The United States, the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church voted to separate the Diocese of Cuba from The Episcopal Church leaving it an autonomous diocese without a provincial home. Prior to that time, in 1961, Episcopal Schools in Cuba had been closed and appropriated, and many clergy and their families were displaced. Some remained in Cuba; some either returned or immigrated to the United States. Some clergy who remained in Cuba were imprisoned, executed, or disappeared. Church buildings were closed and left to deteriorate. The church was polarized politically, and its clergy and lay leaders suffered.
But the Church continued, in the living rooms of the grandmothers, who held prayer services and Bible Studies in their homes. Through them is transmitted a story of pain, and of faith.
Under the leadership of more recent Cuban Bishops, including Bishop María Griselda Delgado del Carpio, the people have devoted themselves to the vision of a missional church. Innovative projects are evolving that benefit the need of the local communities: creating day care centers, inventing irrigation systems that help with sustainable farming, developing animal husbandry to raise and tend to animals to help feed communities.
Questions have been raised as to the ability of the General Convention to act on this matter, given that Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution authorizes the creation of "new Dioceses" from the division of an existing Diocese, the union of two existing Dioceses, or the conversion of a Mission Diocese or District. Article V does not state that these are the only sources for new Dioceses. The General Convention has recognized by Resolution 1976-D004 of the White and Dykman Annotated Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church as the "authoritative, currently available work covering the legal and canonical background of our Church." This book is readily available in the Digital Archives of the Archives of The Episcopal Church. White and Dykman firmly (pp. 99-100) affirms " the correctness of the theory upon which the General Convention has ever acted from the beginning . . . it has the power to legislate on any subject unless expressly forbidden to do so by the Constitution. . . . The General Convention made the Constitution and it amends the Constitution, and assumes that all power is in the General Convention which the Constitution itself does not limit."
Resolution A180 has been proposed to this General Convention to add a provision to Article V, Section 1 to specify creation of a new Diocese specifically from Dioceses or parts of Dioceses in the Anglican Communion. While, as the Explanation notes, "it would be in the interests of good order and predictability to have such explicit authority", It should be noted that the General Convention has in the past admitted Anglican Communion Dioceses of Puerto Rico (Resolution 2003-A141) and Venezuela (Resolution 2003-A142). (These Resolutions are also readily available in the Digital Archives.) Accordingly, this Resolution can be viewed as confirming an existing power of the General Convention.
Also proposed to this General Convention is Resolution D083, which supplies a procedure, similar to that required for the election of a Bishop, to obtain consents to receive any existing Bishop of the Anglican Communion following that Bishop's Diocese joining The Episcopal Church. No second election should be required. This proposal can be enacted at this General Convention.
La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba has, through its own synods, expressed a clear desire to reunify with The Episcopal Church. Today, it is the right thing to do.
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