3/28/2019

The Episcopal Church of Haiti works for transparency, unity and a new election


The Episcopal Church of Haiti (the Diocese of Haiti) is setting forth a broad plan to strengthen the diocese through transparent and clear authority, exercised by the Standing Committee as the ecclesiastical authority, a visitor - bishop for pastoral concerns, a chief operations officer, and a committee on reconciliation. This path forward is the result of the work of the 2019 Synod and of the Standing Committee and the Executive Council.

The following letter was sent by the Standing Committee to all bishops of the Episcopal Church.


March 26, 2019

The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
All Bishops of the Episcopal Church

Dear Bishops:


Greetings in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Following a great farewell for Bishop Duracin on February 28, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Haiti immediately assumed its canonical responsibility of becoming the ecclesiastical authority until the appointment of a new ordinary. We are glad to report that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, many lay and ordained leaders have been at work to keep the Church in Haiti on the right path. Attendance at church services remains amazingly strong in spite of the political turmoil that has plagued the country these last months.

We are aware of the confusion created in the minds of many as they hear of all sorts of reports and comments about the last episcopal elections that did not receive the necessary number of consents for the ordination of the bishop-elect. Now that we must move cautiously to ensure that a next election will be successful, we are inviting all concerned to seek the proper answers to their questions by addressing them to the standing committee.

The Standing Committee is fully committed to total transparency and is eager to answer any and all questions concerning its functioning, and the integrity and dedication of its members. No question is taboo.

We count on your prayers and togetherness in this pilgrimage of Becoming in spite of the borders that separate us, the Beloved Community.

A blessed Lenten Season.

In Christ, we remain yours,


Rev. Father Fritz DESIRE

President, The Standing Committee
The Episcopal Church of Haiti


Additionally, the following report regarding the work of the Executive Council was issued:

Haiti Executive Council- Report

The first Executive Council was held March 21 from 9h to 13h at the Diocesan Office under the leadership of the Standing Committee, the ecclesiastical authorities of the Diocese. The following decisions made by the Standing Committee have been announced:
1. The Rev Kesner Ajax has been named Executive Secretary of the Diocese;
2. The Rt Rev Peter Eaton, Diocesan Bishop of Southeast Florida, Bishop visitor;
3. A COO will be named soon in consultation with the Presiding Bishop office.


Other decisions,
1. The Synod secretary must publish a summary report of all decisions made the previous year at the opening of each first meeting of the new year.
2. The Diocesan Committee “ Peace and reconciliation " will start its action among the Clergy according to the Plan submitted by the Standing Committee.
3. Election and installation of the next Bishop Diocesan will be organized during the next two years.
4. The division of the Diocese will be part of the Standing Committee agenda in its discussion with the Presiding Bishop.
5. Business in the Diocesan institutions and Diocesan Committees will keep on going as usual.
Peace,


Rev. Fritz Desire
President, Standing Committee of Haiti


Leadership of the Diocese during this period leading up to the election and installation of a new diocesan bishop is in place, and clear. Principles of transparency and reconciliation are being applied. A process for both a new election and of reconciliation in the diocese is being implemented. It also seems clear that the two processes - for election and for reconciliation - are related but separate. The work on reconciliation will inform the skills and abilities sought for in new bishop candidates, At the same time the Standing Committee will provide the leadership that in turn will guide the work of election and reconciliation both.


Interestingly the Executive Council will take up the issue of division of the Diocese with the Presiding Bishop. The long-standing effort to form new dioceses in Haiti seem now to be coming to fruition.


The Episcopal Church of Haiti is, as a single diocese, is in terms of baptized members perhaps the largest in the whole of the Episcopal Church. Even with the turmoil in the civic sector and conflicts within the church, the Episcopal Church of Haiti is vibrant and alive. There are good reasons to consider dividing the current diocese in to several dioceses, all part of The Episcopal Church of Haiti, working with an ecclesiastical structure influenced by years as part of The Episcopal Church and modeled on Bishop Holly's vision of an autonomous apostolic-orthodox Episcopal church of Haiti.


All of this is very promising.

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