New Anglican Centre opens honouring a priest martyr
The memory of the slain priest, the Revd Atilano Coco, murdered by General Franco as he seized Salamanca during the civil war, was honoured in the new Anglican Centre in the historic city, opened last weekend.
A spacious well equipped conference facility, with modern accommodation for 50 persons, catering and a chapel, awaits those coming to use this new resource centre for the Communion. Bishop Carlos Lopez-Lozano, said, "Our church wants this to be a place for pilgrims, students and to serve the wider church, and especially the Anglican Communion."
The work is the result of the vision of 43 year old Bishop in Spain who wants the centre to be "ecumenical and global".
The Spanish Episcopal Church, like the Lusitanian Church of Portugal and the Diocese in Europe of the Church of England, has been celebrating various anniversaries. Spain is marking the 125th anniversary of the consecration of their first bishop and indeed the 10th anniversary of their current diocesan bishop. The church is extra-provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent a special greeting to those assembled in Salamanca for the inauguration ceremony.
At the celebration Prof D Patrocinio Rios gave a stirring and emotional packed address on the witness of Atilano Coco, remembering the "outspoken" priest's zeal for education and the welfare of the people in his city. Non-Roman Catholics were simply not tolerated and Dr Coco gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The Latino Community from the cathedral in Madrid led music for the service in the new chapel, given by the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Frank Griswold, in memory of those killed in the recent Madrid bombings A presentation on behalf of the Anglican Communion was made by Canon Jim Rosenthal, who is an honorary canon of the cathedral. Te Deum was sung enthusiastically by the congregation as Bishop Carlos declared the centre open.
Co-operation with the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in Europe, and the Pontifical University is good, and the center can provide affordable housing for students as well as visitors. Special programmes allow discounts for people using the centre in university programmes. Spanish languages courses come in one month, three month and one year offerings, all at discounted rates.
The rooms for the centre are named for patrons of the Centre. Included are rooms called Compass Rose Society, Christ Church Ponte Vedre Beach, USA, Truro Church, USA, the Diocese of Los Angeles USA, Bishop Henry Scriven, and many more.
Like the Anglican Centre in Rome and St George's College, Jerusalem, the new centre can be a place of encounter in a territory and tradition unknown to many.
An interview with Bishop Carlos will appear in the New Years Anglican World.