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Cuban church continues to grow, says bishop.

Despite the fact that the Episcopal diocese of Cuba has been in limbo for half a century, new signs of growth are sprouting up across the island nation, diocesan Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio told the members of General Synod in her July 8 address.

Speaking through an interpreter, Delgado painted a picture of a diocese that is using everything at hand to rebuild a church that for decades has struggled to survive against tremendous odds--and which is now starting to see the work pay off.

Delgado, who has spearheaded a new direction for the church since her consecration in 2010, reported that in the last triennium alone, two vocational deacons and five transitional deacons have been ordained, and eight new churches consecrated--significant numbers in a diocese where, according to Delgado, only 24 priests serve around 6,000 Anglicans.

The key, Delgado said, has been providing support where people's needs are greatest. In a country where poverty is rampant and food security a major issue, this means helping them on the most basic level.

"In the secular culture in Cuba, the church is now very visible because of the community projects we are engaged in," she said.

Delgado was joined by Jose Bringas, director of the Cuban church's office of development and mission, who spoke (also through an interpreter) to General Synod in greater detail about the diocese's current development work.

Bringas reiterated Delgado's point that in Cuba, evangelism and development go hand in hand. "One of the principles that we believe in is that the funds and the ability happen where there is need, and where the project will continue," he said.

Delgado acknowledged that the Canadian church had an important role to play in what Cuba has been able to accomplish.

The churches have had a special relationship since the U.S. embargo forced the Cuban church, which had up until then been a diocese of The Episcopal Church (TEC), to become an autonomous diocese.

Through the Metropolitan Council of Cuba (MCC), which is chaired by the primate of the Canadian Anglican church, Canada has long provided financial aid and spiritual support for Anglicans in Cuba. The MCC includes representatives from Cuba, TEC and the Church of the Province of the West Indies.

Andre Forget STAFF WRITER

PHOTO: ART BABYCH

Caption: Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio says the church is now visible in Cuba.

PHOTO: ART BABYCH

Caption: Jose Bringas

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Author:Forget, Andre
Publication:Anglican Journal
Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Sep 1, 2016
Words:402
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