Central Ecuador a model for San Joaquin

At the end of their meeting this week in Quito, members of the Executive Council sent a message saying that the Diocese of Central Ecuador may provide a model for the reconstitution of the Diocese of San Joaquin, in addition to reviewing the financial health of the Episcopal Church (which ended the year with a $1 million surplus).

The Living Church provides some background on the Ecuador situation and some notes on the announcement from the Executive Council:

The previous Bishop of Central Ecuador was deposed in 2006 for failure to provide adequate financial information over the course of a number of years. Subsequently the diocese learned that title to many of its assets–including the cathedral, the diocesan office building and a school-were listed as personal property of the former bishop. During the meeting in Ecuador council members toured a number of diocesan outreach ministry projects and congregations.

“We are gratified to see the rebirth of hope for the people of this diocese, which has emerged revitalized from the necessary inhibition and deposition of its bishop and a restructuring of the diocese under the leadership of Bishop Wilfredo Ramos-Orench, appointed by the House of Bishops as provisional Bishop,” council said.

“This is a new and unfamiliar landscape for all of us,” council members said in a section of the letter referring to Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin. “We stand with you and commit ourselves to provide pastoral care, to aid in reorganization, and to support legal actions necessary to retain the assets of the diocese for ministry. We will hold clergy leaders accountable to their vows to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of this church, and lay leadership accountable to the fiduciary responsibilities of the offices they hold. Up to $500,000 of income from trust funds will be made available in the calendar year 2008 to support the mission work of the Diocese of San Joaquin and similarly situated dioceses.”

The whole thing, including a link to a PDF file of the letter from the Council, is here.

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