The voting took place on 22 February at Ward College in the city of Ramos Mejia, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires during the 5th assembly of CLAI, with different regions represented in the council jockeying for different candidates.
‘I am very happy about this election,’ the Rev. Antônio Olimpio de Sant'Ana, the executive secretary of Brazil's National Ecumenical Council to Combat Racism told ENI. ‘We need to have more black people represented in this church body and we also need to have women in the leadership.’
Murray won after a third run off in voting for the presidency of the 150 member church council that is represented in 20 countries, after he and Pastor Felipe Adolf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ecuador each got 66 votes. The Panamanian clinched victory in the third round against Adolf, a former general secretary of CLAI.
Bishop Murray had garnered the second highest number of votes in the first round with the third candidate, Pastor Oscar Bolioli, president of the Methodist Church in Uruguay, getting the third highest number of votes.
Brazilian churches, which had said they were not happy with the report presented by the CLAI general secretary the Rev. Israel Batista, had backed Adolf, an Ecuadorian Lutheran.
Murray replaces the Rev. Julio César Holguín, bishop of the Dominican Episcopal Church, who became president at the 4th assembly of CLAI in 2001, held in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Article from: Ecumenical News International – by Peter Kenny