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Since Vatican B, the Catholic Church has been undergoing its most intense challenges.  This is indeed a critical time for Catholicism worldwide.  The toll is being especially felt in Latin America.  While still predominantly Roman Catholic, thousands of Latin Americans are leaving the Catholic Church on a daily basis, seeking other religious experiences.  While our Church does not condone nor practice proselytism, numerous groups and individuals have sought refuge and comfort in the embrace of the Orthodox Church.

 

In particular, in the region of Central America and the Caribbean, and in the absence of a canonical Orthodox Metropolis. those individuals and groups wishing to become Orthodox. established independent “uncanonical” church entities living an Orthodox existence to the best of their ability.

 

With the establishment by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of our Holy Metropolis in 1996 and the election of Metropolitan Athenagoras as the first canonical Hierarch of the Mother Church of Constantinople for Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and the Islands of the Caribbean, the Holy Spirit was placing the foundation for the miracle that followed.

A former Roman Catholic priest, responding to a calling from within, to minister to the indigenous Mayan population of the Country, became Orthodox and established a Church, known officially as the “Orthodox Catholic Church of Guatemala”.  Last January, upon the petition of the leader of this group, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras proceeded to receive them into the canonical fold of the Holy Metropolis.  For over twenty years, the then un-canonical  Fr. Andrew Giron, who is presently a canonically ordained Archimandrite of our Church, ministered and labored unceasingly among the indigenous Mayans living in the mountainous regions of Guatemala and Southern Mexico.  The group has 338 Churches and chapels throughout the region and numbers over 500,000 faithful and catechumens.

 

The need now is to properly catechize and prepare these hundreds of thousands of faithful for proper reception into the Church, through chrismation and baptism where necessary.   The Archepiscopal Vicar for Guatemala, the Right Rev. Fr.Andrew Vujisic and two other clergymen, one from Colombia and the other from Mexico, will travel each month to the Country, and begin catechizing 500 leaders of the community who in turn will be charged with the responsibility of catechizing the faithful.  While this is a daunting task and will take years to accomplish, Metropolitan Athenagoras’ vision for the future of Orthodoxy in the whole of Latin America is beginning to bear fruit.

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Sacro Arzobispado Ortodoxo de Mexico
Agua Caliente esq. Saratoga
Col. Lomas, Hipodromo
Naucalpan, Edo. de Mexico CP53900
MEXICO
contact@GOArchMexico.org