The Anglican Church in the West Indies has a new head following the election of Jamaican Bishop Howard Gregory to the post of Archbishop for the Province of the West Indies during its provincial synod at the Cascadia Hotel yesterday.
Archbishop Gregory previously held the posts of head of Anglican Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands.
He succeeds Barbadian Dr John Holder, who retired in February 2018 and has become the first Jamaican to head the Anglican Church in the Caribbean since Archbishop William Hardie vacated the post in 1949.
During a short press conference following his election, Archbishop Gregory said there were many topical issues in the Caribbean on which the church needed to be lend guidance.
“At the moment we are dealing with issues related to abortion, we are dealing with issues related to marijuana, we are dealing with issues related to human trafficking and as a church we certainly have to be a part of the engagement of the society bring in some perspectives to bear on these things, not just out of emotion, not just political partisan in anyway but to bring our theological and biblical perspective to bear on these situations,” said the new Archbishop.
He said the positions on these issues, particularly with regard to marijuana and abortion needed to carefully weighed with medical perspectives.
“It certainly is an issue that is of significance, again I believe it is one of those where people line-up polarities and I think there has to be some way in which we meet around some common understanding. Which involves the contribution of medicine, which involves other disciplines as well,” said Archbishop Gregory.
The newly elected Anglican Archbishop also believes that the church cannot ignore the situation in Venezuelan and its potential effect on the Caribbean.
“We can’t be here in Trinidad and ignore that, because I think you’re experiencing it at this point more than anyone else. We certainly already are recognising the hospitality which Trinidad is engaging but there has to be a limit to that. But we also have to recognise that there are reasons why people are coming here and that some of the solutions that are being articulated internationally are not acceptable,” he said, “ I think we are moving much closer towards accepting the position of Caricom but we believe that as church we need to say more than what Caricom says from its particular vantage point.”
The new Archbishop however gave no perspective on the role the Anglican Church will play in dealing with the humanitarian crisis.
The matter is expected to be discussed at the Synod of the Church which ends on May 3.
- Peter Christopher