Yesterday, Kevin Robertson, who is married to another man, was consecrated as bishop in Toronto’s St. Paul’s, Bloor Street, one of the largest Anglican Church of Canada parishes in Canada; it also happens to be an evangelical parish.
A number of clergy objected to the consecration:
Standing on the chancel steps, Archbishop Johnson then read from a prepared statement. “As we gather in this sacred act to worship God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to confer Holy Orders, and to share in the holy meal, I want to acknowledge that I have received a formal letter of objection to these consecrations from some clergy and lay people of the diocese,” he said. “It contains arguments against the canonical and ecclesial validity of these consecrations. I have read and considered their arguments. I am grateful that they have chosen to make their objections known to me in this way with great dignity. I thank them that many of them have made the difficult decision to be here today – despite their serious reservations – because of the love and desire they bear for the unity and faithful witness of the Church to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While it is our intention to proceed today, I also want all of you and the whole diocese to know that I am engaged in a serious and mutually committed consultation with those objecting, to find effective ways that our ministries might flourish together in the highest degree of communion possible.
“There are those present who come with joy, hope and celebration of this moment and those who are anxious, dismayed and hurting,” he continued.
Johnson went on to say:
“Today was a wonderful, Spirit-filled day,” said Archbishop Johnson in an interview. “There were people here from all parts of the diocese. It was wonderful that people from a whole lot of different traditions and theological positions were able to come and be here, even if for some of them it was a struggle. I really appreciate the fact that we’re continuing to work together to build up the body of Christ.
Of course, if the objectors are correct, it could not have been “a wonderful, Spirit-filled day” at all – it would have been a disaster for the Diocese of Toronto. Johnson and the objectors are at polar opposite, irreconcilable positions on the legitimacy of Robertson’s consecration. Yet they all seem to be pretending to be merrily getting along together. Just another example of how Post-Truth – the OED’s word of the year – has infiltrated the church, I suppose.