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Spanish Episcopal Church holds Synod in Salamanca

Posted on: June 9, 2017 12:15 PM
In the front row, two in from the left, Bishop Cabral, Bishop Lozez-Lozano, Archbishop Vercammen, Bishop Poggo
Related Categories: Europe and Middle East, evangelism

(en espanol at the end of this article)

[Iglesia Anglicana de España] The Spanish Episcopal Church of Spain recently celebrated its biannual Synod in the historic golden city of Salamanca.  Guests were housed in the student centre named after Atilano Coco, one of the priests of the church who was martyred under the Franco dictatorship.

Church leaders in attendance included the Archbishop of Utrecht, Joris Vercammen, who is the president of the Union of the Old Catholic church in all of Europe, based in the Netherlands; Bishop Anthony Poggo who was there to represent the Archbishop of Canterbury; Father Anthony Ball, who works at Westminster Abbey and is a canon to the Spanish Cathedral and Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral, who represents the Anglican faith in Portugal. The Synod was conducted in Spanish, and when necessary translating was done by Father Anthony Ball.

The theme of the Synod was “Mission and Evangelization in the European Context,” using 1 Corinthians, chapter 9, verse 16, as a guide: “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”  The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked the church to focus on evangelisation and synod attendees were able to hear various points of view regarding this subject and from missionaries who work throughout the diocese including Revd Guillermo Wilches, who works in the church in Sabadell, near Barcelona and Revd. Brenton McHugh, who works for an organisation called Christar, based in Malaga.  Revd. John Lovell of Valencia preached about the importance of accompanying people in their hour of need, listening to them. The talks stressed the importance of using social media to reach out to all ages and the common sense notion of greeting people and talking to them, whether churched or unchurched, and learning more about them; much of the talk simply came down to the point that to evangelise it is perhaps more important to listen than speak. Some will evangelise, others will be evangelised.  It seems perhaps as important to reflect on Christ´s pithy parables as well as the moment when he meets the Samaritan woman at the well, and evangelises her simply by listening.

One of the highlights of the Synod was the presentation of the beautifully bound book, Anglicans and Old Catholics in Portugal, Spain and Europe. The 127 page book with a bright blue cover was published by Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral who joked that the most divine of languages was Portuguese. The book covers the history of the Old Catholics and the Spanish and Portuguese Episcopal church from the 19th Century to the present. The book is presented in three languages:  Portuguese, Spanish and English.  Copies are available through contacting the diocesan offices in Madrid (+34.91.445.2560 or by email at

Messages of welcome were offered from international institutions, the Convocation of Churches in Europe and from the Roman Catholic bishop of Salamanca.  The Synod closed with a Eucharistic celebration employing the Mozarabic rite that the Spanish Episcopal church has used since the 19th century and a sermon was delivered by the Bishop of Utrecht stressing unity and solidarity. 

The new book on the history of the Anglican and Old Catholic churches in Spain, Portugal and Europe.

Spainbookcover _anglican And Old Catholic

Con la presencia entre otros invitados del Arzobispo de Utrecht, presidente de la Unión de Utrecht de Iglesias viejo católicas de Europa, el Obispo Anthony Ponggo, representante del arzobispo de Canterbury, el canónigo Anthony Ball, quien también ha representado al Arzobispo de Canterbury en sínodos anteriores, el obispo anglicano de Portugal Jorge Pina Cabral, como obispo asistente de la IERE.

El tema central del Sínodo fue "Misión y Evangelización en el Contexto Europeo", tomando como lema y guía del sínodo el texto de 1ªCorintios, 9:16. Durante Sínodo se pudieron escuchar varias ponencias, presentadas por expertos y representantes de agencias misioneras, que posteriormente fueron trabajadas en grupo.

Entre los actos centrales, se presentó un importante libro titulado "Anglicanos y Viejo Católicos en Portugal, España y Europa”, editado en tres idiomas (Castellano, Portugués e Inglés), que recoge la interesante historia de las relaciones entre las iglesias anglicanas ibéricas y los viejo católicos desde mediados del siglo diecinueve.

También se recibieron mensajes de felicitación al sínodo de diferentes instituciones internacionales, como la Conferencia Iglesias Europeas, el Consejo Mundial de Iglesias y otras organizaciones y agencias de colaboración, además de los saludos del Obispo de Salamanca y otros amigos de la Iglesia.

El sínodo acabó con la solemne eucaristía en rito mozárabe, propio de los anglicanos españoles es del siglo XIX y el sermón a cargo del Arzobispo de Utrecht.


El término sínodo proviene del latín sinŏdus, y este del griego σúνοδος [sínodos], que quiere decir. "caminar juntos"

El sínodo de la IERE es la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia, y en él están representados el laicado y el clero. Las parroquias están representadas por un clérigo y un laico. El sínodo elige a la Comisión Permanente, órgano que gobierna entre un sínodo y otro. La Iglesia Anglicana en España es sinodal, gobernada por un obispo en sínodo, es decir, el sínodo sin obispo no puede gobernar, y el obispo sin el sínodo tampoco. Desde su inicio en 1868 la IERE ha celebrado Sínodos periódicamente, para gobernarse y aprobar las directrices para los próximos años. En este sínodo se eligió una comisión que preparara el plan pastoral para los cinco próximos años.