Sergio Carranza-Gomez Consecrated Sixth Bishop of Mexico

Episcopal News Service. October 17, 1989 [89193]

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 1 -- The newly refurbished seventeenth-century Cathedral de San Jose de Gracia, severely damaged during the earthquakes that struck Mexico City in September 1985, was filled to overflowing an hour before the start of the service for the consecration of the Rev. Sergio Carranza-Gomez as sixth bishop of the Diocese of Mexico on August 20.

Heavy rains pelted the crowds who arrived at the cathedral, including the choirs of Christ Church in Mexico City and St. Paul in San Miguel-Allende; ecumenical guests representing the Greek and Antiochian Orthodox churches, the Orthodox Church in America, the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of the Nazarene, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches; diocesan and visiting clergy; and presenters. One child, watching the 14 bishops robed in white and gold copes and miters enter to the accompaniment of organ and brass ensemble, was heard to shout, "Look, here come 'los reyes magos'" (the Magi of the Epiphany).

The Rt. Rev. Telesforo A. Isaac, bishop of the Dominican Republic, acting for the Presiding Bishop, was chief consecrator. Co-consecrators were the Rt. Rev. Orris G. Walker, bishop coadjutor of Long Island; the Rt. Rev. Onell A. Soto, bishop of Venezuela, the Rt. Rev. Arturo Sanchez, bishop of the Iglesia Episcopal Reformada Espanola; and the Rt. Rev. Lemuel B. Shirley, retired bishop of Panama.

A trumpet fanfare followed by sustained applause greeted the presentation of the new bishop to his people, and the sound of even louder clapping reverberated throughout the cathedral as Bishop Carranza moved down the center aisle of the nave to the reception that followed the service.

Bishop Carranza, 47, was influential in translating the Book of Common Prayer into Spanish. He has served as chancellor of Province IX, as one of two Latin American delegates to the Anglican Consultative Council, a deputy to four General Conventions, a representative of the Episcopal Church to the World Council of Churches Assembly, and a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

Carranza will lead Anglicans in a country where they now represent a tiny minority of the total population (less than one percent -- approximately 50,000 total). The Diocese of Mexico, one of five in the Mexican Episcopal Church, contains one Spanish-speaking parish, two English-speaking parishes, and 28 organized missions.

[thumbnail: The Rev. Sergio Carranza-...]