Rio Grande Bishop Elect
My friend Michael Vono has just been elected Bishop of the Rio Grande, the Episcopal Diocese that covers New Mexico and a small part of Texas down to El Paso.
Already certain critics of the Episcopal Church have homed in on the fact that Michael is in favour of the ordination of women and gay people in faithful relationships. Shock, horror!
Not one of them has commented on the fact that Michael is respected throughout the American Convocation of Churches in Europe as a wise pastor, a caring priest, and one who has built up a flourishing and Christ-centred congregation in St Paul’s within the Walls, Rome.
When I was Vicar-General of the Church of England Diocese in Europe, we had consultations with the Convocation of American churches, the Spanish Episcopal Church and the Portuguese Lusitanian Church as well as the Anglican Military Vicariates in Europe to explore ways of cooperation and united action as Anglicans. We all had our separate histories and slight differences, and some of the delegates magnified these. But Michael Vono was one of those who promoted charity and unity.
Now the Rio Grande Diocese has chosen him for their new chief shepherd, and I predict that under his pastoral care they will go from strength to strength. Ad multos annos, Michael!