According to the ACA, the Diocese of Toronto’s gift of $250,000 to the Diocese of New Westminster was a tithe
As I mentioned here, “the Diocese of Toronto’s Bishop Colin Johnson has paid Bishop Michael Ingham $250,000 for being the Canadian test case in the building dispute between the ACoC and ANiC. …. the ruling sets a Canadian precedent, effectively guaranteeing that the ACoC will be able to hang on to church properties – so that they can close and sell them.”
Rev. Dr. Murray Henderson from the Anglican Communion Alliance, a conservative group within the Anglican Church of Canada, has made a rather extraordinary statement about what he calls this “tithe” to New Westminster:
I further advocated at the Council Meeting that the announcement of the gift make it clear that this was not our taking a stand on the issue of same sex blessing, but strictly a matter of paying our fair share as a diocese and parishes which are interested in maintaining our ownership of our property. The Archbishop made this clear in his announcement last Saturday.
It is evident he does not wish the Diocese of Toronto’s payment to be a condoning of same-sex blessings – even though the diocese is actively engaged in performing them – but, rather, wants to pay a “fair share” of the litigation cost of ejecting worshipping congregations from buildings for which they have a use to place them in the hands of dioceses who are allowing them to stand empty.
It’s not entirely clear to me whether it is worse to bless same-sex couples or turf fellow Christians out of their buildings but evidently, it is to Rev. Henderson: how far would he take it, one wonders? Would he be content to see all parish buildings stand empty so long as his diocese retains ownership of them and has not taken a “stand” on same-sex blessings – even though, to the un-blinkered it obviously has?
Not only does the ACA statement illustrate the impotence of struggling conservatives in the ACoC but it bodes ill for any plausible possibility of a conservative come-back within the church. To make it worse, I fear Rev. Henderson has strained out a gnat (albeit a big hairy one) and swallowed a camel.