Anglican Church in Central America

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Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América
PrimateJulio Murray
TerritoryCosta Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama

The Anglican Church in Central America (Spanish: Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América) is a province of the Anglican Communion, covering five sees in Central America.


Four of the five dioceses of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de America were founded by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Anglicanism was also introduced by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel when the United Kingdom administered two colonies in Central America, British Honduras and Miskitia. In later years, immigrants brought the Anglican Church with them. This first period is often called the time of the chaplaincies.[1]

Bishop William C. Frey was consecrated as the first missionary bishop of the Diocese of Guatemala in 1967.[2]

By 2008, the Anglican Church in Central America had voted to consecrate women bishops although none of have been consecrated as of yet.[3] By 2013, the Diocese of El Salvador offered ministries on behalf of and in support of LGBT members.[4]

Julio Murray, bishop of Panama, was elected in April 2018 as primate,[5] he will succeed Sturdie Downs, bishop of Nicaragua in August 2018 when his installation service is expected to take place. Downs was elected in late 2014 to serve a four-year term of office as primate (2015–2019); he succeeded Armando Guerra, bishop of Guatemala (2011–2015), who in turn succeeded Martin Barahona, bishop of El Salvador (2003–2011).


Today, there are over 35,000 Anglicans out of an estimated population of 30.1 million.


The polity of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América is Episcopalian church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are 5 of these, each headed by a bishop:

  • The Diocese of Costa Rica
  • The Diocese of El Salvador
  • The Diocese of Guatemala
  • The Diocese of Nicaragua
  • The Diocese of Panamá

Some countries of Central America are part of other Anglican churches:

Worship and liturgy[edit]

The Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América embraces three orders of ministry: deacon, priest, and bishop. The Spanish-language version of the Episcopal Church (USA)'s 1979 Book of Common Prayer is used.

Doctrine and practice[edit]

The center of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América's teaching is the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basic teachings of the church, or catechism, includes:

Ecumenical relations[edit]

Unlike many other Anglican churches, the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América is not a member of the ecumenical World Council of Churches.[6]

Ordination of women[edit]

Within the province, the dioceses represent a diversity of opinions on social issues. Regarding gender equality, the province has dioceses, including the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica, that recognize women in ordained ministry.[7] In 2012, the Episcopal Church in Nicaragua ordained two women as priests.[8]

Human sexuality[edit]

In 2003, the Primate, or Presiding Bishop, of the Anglican Church in Central America attended the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay and partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion.[9] The Diocese of El Salvador formed a ministry for LGBT people in the country.[10] In 2014, the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica, a diocese of the province, has taken steps to welcome LGBT members.[11] Also in 2014, the diocese in El Salvador continued to offer a space for LGBT members to "freely express themselves."[9] The Diocese of Guatemala elected the Rev Silvestre Enrique Romero as bishop coadjutor in 2017.[12] The Rev Romero, prior to being elected bishop, served in The Episcopal Church (US) and offered to bless same-sex unions as priest-in-charge.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monterroso, Hector; Miller, Duane (June 2017). "Entrevista del Rdmo. Hector Monterroso por el Dr. Duane Miller". Misionologia Global: 1–7. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  2. ^ Miller, Duane Alexander (January 2015). "Entrevissta con Bill Frey, primer obispo de la diocesis Episcopal de Guatemala". Misionologia Global: 1. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Five hundred priests threaten to leave Anglican church over female bishops". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  4. ^ "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  5. ^ "Anglicans "a people of hope and here to stay" says new Primate-elect of Central America". April 24, 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  6. ^ World Council of Churches
  7. ^ "La primada predica en Costa Rica". 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  8. ^ "Dos mujeres sacerdotes en Bluefields". La Prensa. 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  9. ^ a b "Los anglicanos de El Salvador llevan la delantera en la Iglesia y la sociedad respecto a la plena inclusión de los LGBT". Episcopal News Service. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  10. ^ "La formación de un ministerio para los HBT en El Salvador". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  11. ^ "Iglesia de Costa Rica toma pasos para dar la bienvenida a la comunidad LGBTQ". 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  12. ^ "Silvestre Romero elected bishop coadjutor of Diocese of Guatemala | The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts". Retrieved 2017-06-12.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "St. Peter ~ San Pedro". Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2017-06-12.

Further reading[edit]

  • Neill, Stephen (1985). Anglicanism. Oxford University Press.

External links[edit]