The following is a statement from the Metropolitan Council of Cuba (MCC). MCC guides the the autonomous Episcopal Church of Cuba in matters of faith and order, meeting annually in Cuba prior to synod. The Chair of MCC is Archbishop Fred Hiltz who sits along with Archbishop John Holder of the Church in the Province of the West Indies and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Episcopal Church USA. The General Secretary, the Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, serves as secretary to the Council.
In that kairos time of the much-anticipated joy in the coming of the Messiah, whose life and ministry would proclaim peace and goodwill among the nations, we rejoice with the people of Cuba in their time of chronos, in which the United States of America and Cuba have announced steps towards the normalization of their relationship.
We commend the courageous leadership of President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro. We give thanks to God for the role Canada has played in providing venues for negotiations in the interest of this historic development.
Having met with family members of some of the “Cuban Five”, we rejoice with them and with their families that they have all been able to return to Cuba, and we rejoice with Alan Gross and his family at his release and homecoming. We rejoice families in both countries who can anticipate the easing of travel conditions. With all Cubans we await the potential that will accompany the normalization of relations.
We believe this development abounds in hope for a movement from hostility to hospitality, embargo to engagement, alienation to accompaniment, in the interests of all for whom Cuba is, has been, and always will be home.
For some forty years, the Metropolitan Council of Cuba, representing The Episcopal Church, the Church in the Province of the West Indies, and the Anglican Church of Canada, has provided pastoral oversight and guidance to the Episcopal Church of Cuba. In that story there have been a number of challenging moments, and more than a few exceptionally grace-filled moments. Among the latter, we especially note God’s leading in the discernment that led to the appointment of Griselda Delgado del Carpio as Bishop of Cuba. Her vision for the church in Cuba and her leadership in engaging clergy and laity in advancing that vision, have been nothing less than inspirational. The gospel is at the heart of that vision, incarnated, in partnership with other churches, in the midst of the people of Cuba.
In her December 17 statement, Bishop Griselda expressed hope that the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States would “bring light to the new times and challenges for the Cuban People”, and prayed that “the same Spirit would allow them to rebuild understanding and affirm commitments to defend truth, justice, and peace that come from the incommensurable love of the Triune God.”
In this hope and prayer, the Metropolitan Council of Cuba remains firmly committed to accompany the Episcopal Church of Cuba, for we share an unwavering trust in the Child of Bethlehem, the Lord of Life. “Behold,” God says, “I make all things new.”