The Most Rev. Francisco Moreno, Primate of the Anglican Church of Mexico and Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Mexico, visited Trinity Wall Street in March. The Rev. Canon Alfonso Walls, Secretary General of the Anglican Church in Mexico, served as his translator.
What is the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Mexico?
Up until 1994, the Mexican Church was part of the Episcopal Church. We became an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion and now the Church has been trying to find its own way into fully becoming an autonomous province, because we still depend financially in some ways on the Episcopal Church.
Can you tell me about the Anglican Church in Mexico?
It’s about 20,000 people who know of the church, roughly, and about half of them are active in the church to a certain degree. And we have 100 priests in all five dioceses.
Are there any ministries that you are especially excited about?
We have a social justice ministry [called Receiving and Sharing] that we’re supporting heavily. It’s led by a woman priest, Elizabeth Bustillos, at the border. The ministry focuses on assisting displaced migrants. Not just from Mexico but those who are taken from Central America and left at the border with Mexico and abused and neglected. The ministry will help them with immediate needs like clothing and food, but also triage to nongovernmental and government [agencies] to help them get out of their situation of injustice and oppression.
We are equipping and empowering the ministry of the oppressed. Women in Mexico haven’t reached the level of equality in all sectors of the population. We’re encouraging people in that particular sector, like the priest who’s leading this particular ministry. You can’t proclaim the gospel without social justice.
What are some challenges you are facing?
Some challenges and opportunities that I have that are priority are education, evangelism, and stewardship. We are focusing on building those areas up so that people can focus on the mission of the church as a Christ-centered community of the faithful. I want to make sure that what we do we do in the name of Christ .