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Venezuela admitted as diocese of Episcopal Church

By James Thrall
8/5/2003
[Episcopal News Service]  With a unanimous voice vote, deputies admitted the Diocese of Venezuela into the Episcopal Church Tuesday morning (A142).

Because the diocese still must take several steps to fulfill the requirements of full membership, including conforming its constitution and canons with the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church, the diocese was not permitted to seat a deputation immediately, as Puerto Rico did when it was admitted. But Venezuela did seat one deputy who has seat and voice and will return with a full deputation at the next General Convention.

“Thank you for admitting us into the plenary,” said Francisco Salazar, Venezuela’s deputy, speaking through a translator. The Diocese of Venezuela was a chaplaincy of the British from 1834 until 1982” before coming an extraprovincial diocese to Province IX, he said.

In recent years, “the youth ministry of the diocese has flourished and really taken off,” he said. “To be part of the body of Christ will help us to accomplish our mission in a better way and feel that we are part of the larger community.”

Channing Horner of West Missouri, a companion diocese of Venezuela, confirmed that on a recent visit, “We saw a vital diocese with a specially vigorous youth work.”

Like Puerto Rico, Venezuela will be included in Province IX.