|Panama Declaration Published in English
October 20, 2005
[Iglesia Episcopal de Panamá - Central America]
To The Archbishop of Canterbury,
The Anglican Consultative Council,
The Primates and
The Anglican/Episcopal Provinces
We, the Latin-American and Caribbean bishops, gathered in the context of the Anglican Theological Conference, proclaim our solidarity and make public our desire for unity in Christ who invites us to participate and seek for the perfect unity in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Embracing the opportunity of the meeting called by the Theological Education Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( CETALC), who invited us to reflect on the subject of Globalization: its implication and the challenges we face as a Church in the reality of an economical system that directly influences our missionary work, the bishops of the Anglican Church of Mexico, the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, the Anglican Church of the Central American Region, Province IX of the Episcopal Church, the dioceses of Haiti, Virgin Islands, Peru and Uruguay express our commitment to initiate an organizing process that will help us in the missionary expansion, common strengthening and joint reflection of the Church in the Latin American region.
Our commitment will emphasize the renewal of respect to the plurality, diversity and inclusivity that have been a permanent sign of Anglicanism and our spirituality based on the Holy Scriptures, the Creed, and the primary teachings of our doctrine.
One issue that continues to concern us is the polarization of the biblical and theological tendencies manifested in the Anglican Communion for the last three years, tendencies that have been denominated as Global North and Global South which with their apparent irreconcilable character have defied and placed the unity of our Communion in serious jeopardy.
In the midst of the discussion, the Latin-American and Caribbean bishops feel the pressure of adopting either one of these positions, nevertheless, we believe that neither one of the two alternatives represent our way of thinking, neither our spirit. For this reason, we propose a tendency that we refer to as Global Central, a position which encourages our Communion to rescue the participatory, diverse, tolerant and inclusive character that has identified us as the ‘via media’ approach to Christianity for a great number of years in our history.
In order to strengthen this proposal, we invite other Provinces in the Anglican Communion that do not identify or totally fit in the present vision of Global North and Global South, to develop this vision along with us and begin a journey on the path of reconciliation and bonding that will not allow the unity, as we know it, to be broken.
As Latin American bishops, we accept the commitment of revising the Anglican Latin-American Council (CALA), an initiative that came up in the year 1987during the celebration of the first Anglican Conference which gathered lay and clerical representation in all of Latin America.
The sustenance of the Global Central vision as the perspective that will direct our efforts is considered of great importance in order to make CALA a reality. We will strengthen the ties and strategies that are functioning for us at present, as well as the projects that serve our common ministries. These projects are:
We believe that bishops, as primary leaders of the mission of the church, continuously need to share our experiences, concerns, and strengths for mutual growth and common support. Therefore, we hereby motivate the Commission of Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean to grant us the necessary support required in the different and diverse processes of Education and to establish a Continuing Education Program for Latin American bishops, at least every two years.
In addition, that the vision of the Commission would expand in order to prepare projects and initiatives similar to this conference, that strengthen the unity and the growth of the leadership of the church, through participation, especially with women and youth.
We make a commitment to intensify biblical, theological, hermeneutical, ecclesiological and prophetical education in our dioceses.
Again, it is of great importance that communication among us be strengthened so that we can exchange experiences, materials, and publications of articles that help us in our common reflection and also serves as a contribution from within the Latin American context to the rest of the Communion.
We are committed to the task of strengthening the publication of Anglicanos, an informative Latin-American magazine that has been published since 1984 and has had an educational function in our dioceses. Our desire is to add to its educational function, an informative one, and so we recommend that the creation of a web site and a news agency be included in this project.
The primates of Mexico, Brazil, IARCA and the President of province IX in the Episcopal Church will coordinate efforts and make use of the necessary mechanisms available so that we can make good use of all the instances to meet and consult, in order that CALA will begin its activities.
With deep sentiment, we regret the forced exclusion of the Province of Brazil from the Global South Conference celebrated in Egypt; exclusion promoted by the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, and we also regret the reception and recognition of the deposed bishop and clergy, from the diocese of Recife by the Primate of the Province in the Southern Cone of America. Nevertheless, we express our hope to be in total reconciliation with our brothers and sisters of the Southern Cone and to continue in our journey of total communion with one another.
These acts of exclusion from events and the intromission and disregard of the authority in jurisdictions among Provinces, represent the breaking away from agreements and commitments established between primates and they are a product of the intolerant tendencies that we face and we hope that these tendencies will quickly disappear as a result of the inspiration and action of the Holy Spirit and our decisive actions geared towards change and renewal.
Republic of Panama, October 2005
The Most Revd. Orlando Santos de Oliveira
Primate of Brazil & Diocese of Southern Brazil
The Most Revd. Carlos Touché Porter
Primate of México & Diocese of México
The Most Revd. Martín Barahona
Primate of IARCA & Diocese of El Salvador
Rdmo. Lloyd Allen
President of Province IX, Episcopal Church & Diocese of Honduras
The Rt Revd Jubal Pereira Neves
Diocese of South Western Brazil
The Rt Revd Naudal Alves Gomes
Diocese of Curtiba
The Rt Revd Sebastiao Gameleira Soares
Diocese of Pelotas
The Rt Revd Filadelfo Oliviera Neto
Diocese of Recife
The Rt Revd Maurício José Araújo de Andrade
Diocese of Brasilia
The Rt Revd Armando Guerra
Diocese of Guatemala
The Rt Revd Julio Murray
Diocese of Panamá
The Rt Revd Héctor Monterroso
Diocese of Costa Rica
The Rt Revd Lino Rodríguez Amaero
Diocese of Western Mexico
The Rt Revd Benito Juárez-Martínez
Diocese of Southeastern Mexico
The Rt Revd Marcelino Rivera-Delgado
Diocese of Northern Mexico
The Rt Revd Ramiro Delgado
Diocese of Cuernavaca
The Rt Revd William Godfrey
Diocese of Perú
The Rt Revd Francisco Duque
Diocese of Colombia
The Rt Revd Orlando Guerrero
Diocese of Venezuela
The Rt Revd Alfredo Morante
Diocese of Ecuador Litoral
Rdmo. David Alvarez
Diocese of Puerto Rico
Rdmo. Miguel Tamayo
Diocese of Uruguay & Bishop of Cuba
Rdmo. James Ottley
Assistant Bishop of Southeast Florida
Rdmo. Jean Zache Duracin
Diocese of Haití
Rdmo. Edward Gumbs
Diocese of Virgin Islands
Rdmo. Sturdie Downs
Diocese of Nicaragua