URUGUAY: House of Bishops rejects bishop-elect Michael Pollesel

Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel’s election was announced by the Journal in December:

The Ven. Dr. Michel Pollesel, former general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, has been elected Bishop of Uruguay by the diocesan synod.

The election has still to be approved by the province of the Southern Cone, whose house of bishops meets in May 2012. “I expect the consecration would follow within the next month after that,” says Pollesel, who after resigning as general secretary last summer, became interim priest-in-charge at Toronto’s St. Nicholas Church, Birch Cliff.

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“I’m excited about the possibilities that this new challenge brings to me at this stage in my life and I ask for your prayers,” says Bishop-elect Pollesel.

It seems that the necessary approval from the Southern Cone’s house of bishops did not materialise. A bit of a poke in the eye for the Anglican Church of Canada.

From here:

The House of Bishops and provincial executive committee of the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur (de América) have declined to ratify the election of the Ven. Michael Pollesel as Bishop of Uruguay.

At the close of their 21 – 25 May 2012 meeting in Montevideo the bishops released a statement saying that “after discussion and prayer and in accord with its canons the Provincial Executive of the Cono Sur together with its College of Bishops did not ratify the election of the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel as bishop-coadjutor for Uruguay”

The Cono Sur statement did not state why Dr. Pollesel’s election was rejected, but noted the province “promised its close cooperation with the diocese in its future decisions.”

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Concerns whether Dr. Pollesel shared the Cono Sur’s doctrinal and Scriptural views or followed those prevalent in the Anglican Church of Canada were raised after his election, with some critics likening his election to that of Nicholas Henderson in Malawi – which was subsequently rejected by the Central African bishops and standing committee.  However, it is not known if these concerns played a part in the decision to decline to ratify the election.

Update: The Journal also reports on this and says:

The non-ratification “leaves Michael in an awkward space right now,” Hiltz told CoGS, adding that it was “puzzling” that no reason has been given for the non-ratification. He urged CoGS members to keep Pollesel and the diocese of Uruguay in their prayers.

“This is going to be an upsetting time for that diocese,” said Hiltz, noting that on some issues, the diocese of Uruguay has been at odds with the rest of the Southern Cone province. In 2010, the diocese of Uruguay explored the possibility of realigning with another province. The diocese of Uruguay, which currently has female deacons, wants to move ahead with the ordination of women, while the rest of the dioceses in the province are against it.

It sounds as if the liberal diocese of Uruguay is inviting cross-border intervention. I wonder if the Province of the Southern Cone would let them keep their buildings if they did realign with another province?

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2 Responses to URUGUAY: House of Bishops rejects bishop-elect Michael Pollesel

  1. Pauline says:

    Michael Pollesel is a total liberal and was our Executive Officer before he went to be General Secretary. I was a bit puzzled as to why he would be invited to be a Bishop in Uruguay. He was in a car accident a few years ago when he was injured and his wife was killed which was just awful for him.

  2. Michael Li says:

    This is 2012. The Diocesan Synod of Uruguay should be able to elect someone from South America.

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