Lady Bishop Bruch Appointed Chaplain of Treasury: “to Open Spaces Is the Mandate We Receive”

Bishop Izani Bruch from the Lutheran Evangelic Church in Chile was appointed evangelic chaplain of the Treasury Palace


Bishop Izani Bruch from the Lutheran Evangelic Church in Chile was appointed evangelic chaplain of the Treasury Palace. The appointment ceremony was on the 21st of April, with the presence of the Presidency General Secretary, Giorgio Jackson, along with different evangelic leaders.

 “I hold this chair with hope and joy; I expect we can develop a chaplaincy respectful of the evangelic world’s diversity in Chile. To open spaces is the mandate we receive, to dialogue with all differences, and it is from that government’s point of view we will do the required job at the Treasury,” as expressed by Izani, in an interview with ALC News.

The Lutheran Church in Chile congratulated the Bishop through social media for this “acknowledgement to her 30 year’ career.” Bruch arrived as a teology student to Chile coming from Brazil, then she became a vicar, pastor, bishop and also an active participant of the ecumenic movement and of different work networks of the civil society connected to human rights.

Izani Bruch majored in Teology of the Teologic Evangelic Community in Chile, she obtained her degree at Facultad Luterana de Sao Leopoldo en Brasil, and was ordained pastor in 2002. For 10 years she exercised her profession at the La Paz Congregation of Osorno and since 2013 she has been the pastor of the Buen Samaritano  Congregation in Peñalolén, Santiago.

Since 1999 the legal status of equality was enforced for all churches and religions registered in Chile. As a part of such enforcement, the government has appointed an Evangelic chaplaincy. Of the 16 millons of Chilean inhabitants, aproximately 17% are protestants according to the 2017 census.

In the chaplaincies of the Treasury there exist three religious authorities: catholic, evangelic, and jewish (as of 2012), institutions in charge of mantaining relationships between the religious world and the secular world, a historical heritance that has existed for over a century when  in 1925 the bond between the Church and the State was supressed.

The tasks of the chaplain at the Treasury, mainly, seek “to represent the Government facing religious institutions,” but in addition to it being a nexus between religions and the Executive, the appointment isn’t accessory. In fact, among its strategic goals, it is listed “to promote the effective equality and religious Freedom in Chile,” in addition to promoting the intereligious dialogue.”

 “Some oppose the existence of this position whithin the facilities of the Palace. This is so because, as the say, its existence isn’t justified in spite of its powers. This is the case of the Catholic University academic Jorge Precht, who, in a public opinion column published in Diario Constitucional among the arguments stated, he points out an issue of legal equality, an inconsistency between the secularity of the State and the strengthening of the ONAR, if the intention is to have counselling in ecclesiastic matters,” as stated by the Chilean media in the case.

Pastor Juana Albornoz, who died a year ago, was the first woman to be appointed Evangelic Chaplain at the Treasury Palace.

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