Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Suffragan Bishop in Haiti, has been on leave from the Diocese of Haiti and is the Executive Director of Food for the Poor in Haiti. He took his new post in May of 2015. His position as Suffragan Bishop was effectively vacated. Bishop Beauvoir is not on the staff of the Diocese nor engaged in ministry within the diocese. Leave was granted by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese.
It is now a year since his becoming Executive Director of FFP in Haiti. The Diocese has renewed the leave of absence. The question then is, what is his standing in the House of Bishops? In the Diocese of Haiti? At what point does the position of suffragan no longer exist?
The Episcopal Church of Haiti (not the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti) is the current form of the church envisioned by Bishop Holly and confirmed in the concordat between the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the convocation of the Apostolic Orthodox Church of Haiti in 1874. That Church, the Apostolic Orthodox Church of Haiti became, on admission as a missionary district in 1914 a diocese in the Episcopal Church. It’s name is “The Episcopal Church of Haiti.” It continues to hold the vision of a national Episcopal and Anglican church of Haiti.
In spite of the catastrophic effects of the earthquake and continuing civil discord, the Episcopal Church of Haiti continues to grow and expand its ministry and holds the vision of Bishop Holly – the vision of an autonomous national Haitian Apostolic and Orthodox Church, part of the Anglican Communion.
The original concordat with PECUSA stipulated that Haiti would be given episcopal supervision by a board of four bishops from PECUSA until such time as it had three active bishops in Haiti, at which time the Episcopal Church of Haiti (by whatever name) could constitute its own body of bishops and continue apostolic orders as an autonomous church. That hope remains, and the ECH, now some 90,000 strong, stands poised to take new steps towards autonomy.
The Episcopal Church of Haiti came very close to presenting a resolution to the 2015 General Convention to divide into several dioceses so that it might better serve the people of Haiti. It will surely do so in the future.
In looking to the immediate and future development of the episcopate in the ECH it is important that the status of bishops in Haiti be clear. At this time there is, it would appear, only one active bishop in Haiti, that is the diocesan, The Rt. Rev. Jean-Zaché Duracin. Now 69, he will reach mandatory retirement age in three years.