New Anglican Archbishop appointed

Date: 
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 08:45

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

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