This morning the House of Deputies concurred unanimously with the House of Bishops vote to admit Cuba as a diocese of the Episcopal Church. Before the vote, President Gay Jennings asked for a moment of silence, saying, “This is a historic vote.”
The vote ended a 52-year separation. In 1966, the House of Bishops had voted unilaterally to separate from the Episcopal Church in Cuba.
A joyous celebration took place on the floor after the vote, in which deputies voted “sí” to indicate their asset. Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, bishop of Cuba, spoke to the house, saying, “Right now that I know the Holy Spirit is blowing on this entire convention.”
She asked the convention to observe a moment of silence in memory of those who “experienced so much pain because of the separation. I think of all of those people who are alive, some of them elderly now, some of them who have already gone, and are with God now … I would like you to stand to honor them, to honor their life, to honor their ministry in the Episcopal Church in Cuba.”
After presenting the bishop with a scarf patterned with the Episcopal Church shield, Jennings asked the house to suspend the rules to give the Rev. Gerardo Logildes Coroas, Delgado’s husband, and Mayelin Aqueda, the president of the ECW in Cuba, seat and voice in the House of Deputies immediately. The two were seated at a table in the house marked by a new standard labeled for their dioceses.
“It is a great day in the life of our church,” Jennings said. “Welcome home.”
photo credit: Cynthia Black