Jueves 28 de septiembre del 2006 | Correio-e: firstname.lastname@example.org |Editora: Claudia Florentin
CUBA - Solution found for the Theological Seminary in Matanzas
By Manuel Quintero
Matanzas, 26 Sept. (ALC)- A conflict that threatened to bring about the dissolution of the oldest and most prestigious center of theological education in Cuba, the Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas (SET), was solved following a judicial ruling, the dean of the institution, Dr. Reinerio Arce Valentín, informed yesterday.
"In spite of the problems we have had to face in the last few months, we were able to get the 2006-2007 academic year started on 11 September with a spiritual retreat for the whole community", the dean informed in a letter.
The conflict began when the Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Cuba ? one of the founders of SET, together with the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches ? decided last June to split from the Seminary and continue the education of its pastors independently.
The Methodist Church also requested the dissolution of the Evangelical Seminary of Theology and the redistribution of the property, a proposal firmly rejected by the other two founding churches.
Facing the impossibility of reaching an agreement and of not having the Methodist Church recognized by the board of trustees after its separation from SET, the matter reached the Ministry of Justice, through its National Registry of Associations. The Seminary is recorded and recognized by this authority as an independent association since 1949.
As Dr. Arce Valentín explained in his letter, this Registry of Associations "ruled in favour of the Evangelical Seminary of Theology, recognizing the Seminary's board and directors and establishing that, according to Cuban laws, the dissolution was not applicable."
The letter emphasized that the board of trustees and the leadership of the Seminary remained faithful "to processes of reconciliation with the aim of reaching a solution for the Methodist break-up". The letter did, however, recognize that this ideal had not been achieved and expressed regret for the departure of the Methodist Church. Moreover, the Seminary's board of trustees" remains open to any reconsideration on the part of the Methodist Church in Cuba to join the Seminary again".
At the beginning of its new academic year, SET boasts the significant number of 332 students, either on campus or following the school's extension program, all coming from a host of different churches such as Episcopal, Presbyterian-Reformed, Baptist Fraternity, Quakers and other churches that send their students to participate in its Christian education programs.
On this coming 1 October, SET will be celebrating its sixtieth anniversary.
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