Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, Gabriel Malzaire has been elected President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC).
The Antilles Episcopal Conference or the Antilles Bishops’ Conference comprises of nineteen dioceses from the Bahamas to South America.
Bishop Malzaire, who was ordained Bishop in Dominica on 10 July 2002, told Dominica Vibes in an interview on Tuesday 9 May 2017, the AEC comprises of Catholic churches that are of three different languages.
“They comprise the English speaking Caribbean, the French speaking Caribbean and the Dutch speaking Caribbean so those three language areas are covered by the Antilles Bishops’ Conference. As president of the conference, I’ve been appointed as head of the group of nineteen Bishops.”
The permanent board as it is referred to, is made up of a president, vice president and a treasurer who serve a three year term.
The new permanent board was elected via secret ballot on Thursday 4 May 2017 during their annual one week meeting which ran from April 30 to May 6 in St Lucia.
Prior to the election the vice president of the board sends forms to each members who nominates fellow Bishops for the offices. At the meeting two nominees are selected from nominees to run for each office.
“I think it is quite humbling because you know to just think that the Bishops have such level of confidence in me is quite humbling for me,” Bishop Malzaire said.
However, he added that at the same time there is a lot of work ahead. “In fact I was saying to the people on Saturday evening it will entail a little more travel because we have a lot of meetings.”
But, the board has found that web meetings have helped reduce the amount of travelling members does in order to meet and also decreases traveling and ticket costs.
Bishop Jason Gordon of Barbados was appointed Vice President and Bishop Gerard County of Saint Vincent was appointed treasurer.
Dominican Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix served as president of this board for two terms, from 1991 to 1997.