Election of Bishop by Bishops.

Fr. Luis Fernando Ruiz of Columbia was elected bishop of Ecuador Central by the House of Bishops. This marks one of the few occasions these days when a bishop is elected for a diocese by the House of Bishops.

The Episcopal Church is noted for the attention it pays to the election of bishops by the people and clergy of a diocese, with consent by bishops and standing committees (Deputies if within 120 days of General Convention). The House of Bishops rarely elects bishops any more. It elects the Suffragan bishop for the Armed Forces. Prior to the last election it elected The Suffragan Bishop for the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. Both these bishops are suffragan to the Presiding Bishop. The House of Bishops is also empowered to elect missionary bishops, although it has not done so for many years now.

The election of Fr. Ruiz is one of those rare instances when a diocese has requested that the House of Bishops act as the electing body for the bishop of a diocese. The account of the election process and the events leading up to this election are reported by Episcopal News Service, HERE. The ENS article did not mention that Fr. Ruiz was also on the Joint Nominating Committee for the Presiding Bishop.

His election is part of a continuing effort to bring to healing the body of the Diocese of Central Ecuador wounded by the actions of its former bishop Neptali Larrea Moreno who was deposed. The election of Fr. Ruiz must be followed by the consent of the Deputies to General Convention.

The Constitution and Canons provide that when the House of Bishops elects on behalf of a diocese there must be three candidates chosen by a nominating process in the diocese or by a Joint Nominating Committee. (There is no required number in elections under diocesan canons, except as provided for in the canons of the diocese itself.)

The process came close to falling short of the requirement for three candidates. The ENS article notes that in addition to Fr. Ruiz, "the other candidates were: the Rev. Thomas Mansella, of the Diocese of Virginia, language services coordinator for the Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Canon Servio R. Moscoso, of the Diocese of New Jersey, rector of Iglesia San José in Elizabeth. Mansella
withdrew his name but reconsidered that decision; his name was reinstated February 16." and that "Three other candidates -- the Rev. Rosalí Fernández-Pola, vicar of Misión San Mateo Apóstol y Evangelista, Peñuelas, Puerto Rico; the Very Rev. Ashton Jacinto Brooks, dean of All Saints Cathedral on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; and the Rev. Carlos Sandovol, rector of St. Simon's Church, Miami -- withdrew their names from the original slate of nominees." Had Fr. Mansella not reconsidered there would have been too few candidates.

Keep Fr. Ruiz in your prayers. The work of supporting the clergy and people of the Diocese of Central Ecuador will be rewarding and challenging both. Bishop Ramos has done a wonderful job of rejuvenating the Diocese. Now, with that good beginning, its new Bishop can provide it with the leadership for an expanded ministry in Ecuador.


  1. What a jolly-looking face. May God bless Bishop-Elect Ruiz, and the people of the Diocese of Ecuador Central!

  2. FELICIDADES! Onward Central Equador (a grand, lush and beautiful country filled with the blossoming vast potential in every regard)!


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