These are the bishops on their way out: Niagara’s Michael Bird; Toronto’s Colin Johnson; Primate Fred Hiltz; and now, Rupert’s Land’s Donald Phillips.
They are all liberal and heartily endorse same-sex marriage. Why have they all decided to leave now? Do they know something we don’t about the fate of the ACoC? Are they concerned that there is no future for them in the ACoC because they are all heterosexual? Have they reached that stage in life when ambition yields to the sad realisation that all the ecclesiastical mayhem that can possibly be inflicted on the Anglican Communion in one lifetime has already been wrought during their climb up the greasy clerical pole?
We may never know but at least it is satisfying to bid them adieu.
Diocese of Rupert’s Land Bishop Donald Phillips plans to retire in the fall after the election of a coadjutor bishop this June, saying that it’s important to “go out on a high note.”
Phillips, who is 63, says the decision was “more personal than diocesan,” coming as it did after his wife’s retirement last summer. “I’m thinking, 18, 18 and a half years—that’s a good long run.”
Moving forward, Phillips sees the challenge of maintaining stipendiary ordained ministry as pressing for the diocese of Rupert’s Land and the Anglican Church of Canada. “Increasingly now, we’re having parishes that can’t afford to close, but they can’t afford a full-time priest…the way that [clergy] are deployed will hopefully start to change.”