Diocese of BC desperately seeking same-sex couples to marry

The dioceses of Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal , Toronto and British Columbia are proceeding with same-sex marriages ahead of the final vote to approve them in 2019.

But, having scoured the province for likely candidates, poor Bishop Logan McMenamie has yet to find any men willing to marry another man; or a woman to marry another woman. If Anglicans in BC don’t get with the program soon, McMenamie will have to resort to compelling some of his eligible male clergy to tie the knot.

From here:

Bishop Logan McMenamie, of the diocese of British Columbia, announced at a diocesan synod in autumn 2016 that he will “move forward with the marriage of same-sex couples in the diocese” on a case-by-case basis. When the Anglican Journal contacted McMenamie’s offce in March 2017, no same-sex couples had yet approached the diocese about the possibility of marriage.

Niagara’s Bishop Michael Bird currently has the competitive edge in the same-sex marriage scavenger hunt: he has four couples under his belt.

Niagara, however, may have an unfair advantage since it has widened the net by including bisexuals, who, presumably, would only be satisfied with a ménage à trois, counting as 1.5 couples. Of course, if both candidates are bisexual, we would need a ménage à quatre, a bonus that would qualify as two couples. Transgender couples are also part of the Niagara strategy. I’m not sure exactly how that would work, but I estimate that, depending on the mood of the moment and assuming part-time transgenderism – gender, we are assured, is fluid – it would make a total of four possible copulative combinations, one for each week of the month: man-man, man-woman, woman-man and woman-woman. That would count as at least two couples, possibly four.

Bird said his thoughts on the matter have not changed and that he was committed to continuing “to walk along the path of full inclusion and to immediately proceed with marriage equality” with LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Two-Spirited) Anglicans in his diocese.

Diocese of Montreal has an unsustainable deficit

Mainline denominations love to talk about sustainability. Usually, it relates to the church’s obsession with anthropogenic global warming, something that may not actually exist and, therefore, something that demands the full attention of pious clergy everywhere.

The Diocese of Montreal faces a real instance of sustainability – or, rather, unsustainability. Its deficit is unsustainable. Ultimately, that means the diocese itself is unsustainable; the only question is, will debt cause it to evaporate before it melts due to global warming?

From here:

Delegates to the annual diocesan synod approved a budget for 2017 with revenue of $2.08 million and expenses of $2.38 million, calling for a $300,856 operating loss, a little less than the $331,975 loss now forecast for this year.The operating losses were $529,482 in 2015 and $400,983 in 2014.
Diocesan treasurer Ron O’Connell told delegates, “Our diocese cannot sustain this rate of loss.”He said, “It’s very important that these things be addressed sooner than later, so that people understand that it’s time for action.” A number of parishes as well are facing threats to whether they can sustain themselves, he said, and some of them need assistance from the diocese in finding ways to “re-purpose” church buildings and other properties.
In addition to the operating losses, the diocese is shouldering special costs of establishing a new “church plant” in the former Church of St. James Apostle. The impact of these on diocesan funds is estimated at $200,000 in 2016 and the budget provides for another $200,000 in 2017. Mr. O’Connell said a further $100,000 is expected to be spent in 2018, following which collections from new worshippers at the church plant are forecast to move the plant into the black.
The 2017 budget approved by the synod includes some spending reductions. With the shift to publishing Anglican Montreal to four times a year rather than 10, beginning this fall, the newspaper is expected to cost the diocese $40,000 in 2016 instead of the $53,500 in the original 2016 budget, and $32,100 in the 2017 budget.
Also, spending on the French language ministry in Sorel, expected to cost $31,500 this year, is eliminated from the 2017 budget. Audited financial statements presented to the synod showed that the assets of the diocese declined to just under $14.1 million including $8.7 million in investments at the end of 2015 from $15.1 million including $11.1 million in investments at the end of 2014. After deducting liabilities, net assets declined to $11.3 million from $12.9 million.

Bishop of Montreal will vote for same-sex marriage

Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson will vote in favour of same-sex marriage at the July General Synod. It’s hard to see how she could do otherwise since she has a number of clergy in her employ who are civilly married to other men.

The reasons she gives for her decision live up to the high standard of language-twisting set by other Anglican Church of Canada bishops. The church, she says:

“has the right and obligation to prayerfully consider new things and not simply to march in lockstep with society,” said Gibson. But, she added, “neither are we to remain stuck by interpretations of Biblical principles, which not everyone shares.

Except, of course, the new thing here requires precision marching in lockstep with society and to discard 2000 years of biblical understanding because not everyone agrees is to discard the entire bible since, well, not everyone agrees.

She continues by claiming the vote in favour makes her an ambassador[s] of reconciliation:

“If we are to be ambassadors of reconciliation, disciples of Christ, I see the potential in ministering grace and sacraments to more people and in calling all married couples to be models of Christian discipleship and hospitality.”

Except, the Anglican obsession with homosexuality has already shattered the Anglican communion so it can hardly be a reconciling influence.

She claims that:

We will not all agree but we are one body.


it is possible to achieve unity in diversity

Except that we have not been one body since Gene Robinson was consecrated and the diocese of New Westminster began blessing same-sex couples. Even Justin Welby has had to admit that there is no unity.

It sounds as if the Diocese of Montreal has decided to perform same-sex marriages even if the vote fails:

Several dioceses are more than ready to go ahead and some don’t ever see that day coming. The chancellor of General Synod is being consulted and we will see what happens after General Synod concludes.

The Shared Episcopal Ministry has withered away, as, surely, the conscience clause allowing clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples would, too:

The bishop also confirmed that since she assumed the episcopacy almost nine months ago a compromise arrangement known as Shared Episcopal Ministry, instituted by her predecessor, Bishop Barry Clarke, in 2011, to accommodate six clergy and several parishes who saw him as too favourable to same-sex marriage has been allowed to lapse.

Taken together, in context, Mary Irwin-Gibson’s charge to synod was, even allowing for the fact that she is an Anglican bishop, a masterpiece of prating twaddle.

Diocese of Montreal enters a new mission field: Debt Collection

Parishes in the Diocese of Montreal owed the diocese $519.758.72 at the end of 2015. Matthew 6:24 notwithstanding, Mammon is near and dear to the heart of the Anglican Church of Canada, so parishes that have not paid their protection dues will receive a visit from members of the Diocesan Overdue Account Management team who will encourage them to develop a viable strategic plan. That way, no legs will be broken.

From here (page 6):

Outstanding accounts receivables owed by congregations to the Diocese for diocesan-paid parish stipends, assessments, insurance, and benefits stood at $519.758.72 at year end of 2015 with an outstanding balance remaining for 2015 of $338,898.76 as of March 31, 2016.

This is in addition to the year-end diocesan deficit and other categories of outstanding diocesan receivables. Often, the same four or five parishes account for the majority of these repeated unpaid invoices over several years, indicating that strategic planning assistance is required in these cases.

Therefore, as a further measurement of when diocesan intervention is required, the Diocesan Council also adopted a new policy for Diocesan Overdue Account Management.

This policy essentially requires a congregation, in consultation with Diocesan leadership, to develop a plan for repayment of its outstanding accounts, including a strategy for future mission and sustainability.

The new Bishop of Montreal wants to make the church relevant

Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson is the new bishop of the Diocese of Montreal, a diocese whose membership has plummeted from 93,000 in 1960 to 11,000 in 2015.

How does she intend to make the diocese “relevant”? Well, she is going to carpet bomb the diocese with clichés. We have: “think outside the box” – a phrase I’ve heard used by witless business executives hundreds of times when they have run out of ideas – “build up their [the clergy’s] sense of engagement” and ….. wait for it, “make ministry viable and sustainable”. She does mention “sharing the Gospel”, which is odd since I’d have thought it too far inside the box to be worthy of attention. She is a liberal, so it is probably a gospel of the viable and sustainable rather than the real thing.

Needless to say, she has no “problem with same-sex marriage”.

From here:

Irwin-Gibson, 59, said there are no easy answers on how to ensure the viability of Anglicanism in Quebec but she is up for the challenge.

With fewer than 11,000 members in the Montreal diocese, down from about 93,000 in 1960, the denomination faces an uncertain future.

“Often we get stuck in the patterns of how we’ve been doing it,” said Irwin-Gibson, who replaces retiring bishop Barry Clarke.


Irwin-Gibson acknowledged the challenges are daunting but said she is ready to think outside the box to keep the Anglican Church relevant, even if the model of a traditional church and full-time priest in every parish is no longer possible.

“How do we do ministry in a meaningful way without the model of some old guy (who) lives in the house next door?” she asked.

“My goal is to encourage the clergy, to build up their sense of engagement, to … make ministry viable and sustainable for the next generation,” said Irwin-Gibson, whose last posting was Kingston, Ont., where she was the dean of St. George’s Cathedral for six years.

Diocese of Montreal elects first female bishop

MiGThere isn’t anything surprising about that, of course. Nor is there anything surprising about this:

Irwin-Gibson listed nine priorities, of which the sixth was “to continue the Diocese of Montreal’s inclusive policy of ordaining partnered gay people.” She was the only one of four whose statement mentioned the topic.

The only surprising thing is that a suitable “partnered gay” person couldn’t be found for the position of bishop; the diocese had to make do with Irwin-Gibson instead. Still, at least she mentioned the priority of looking for more “partnered gay people” to ordain.

Same-sex blessings are more for the benefit of gay Anglican clergy than laity

The Diocese of Montreal authorised a liturgy for same sex blessings in 2010 and, since then, a grand-total of zero people have taken advantage of it. However, since 2010, the Diocese has ordained two male clergy “married” to other men. It’s hard to resist the conclusion that the Anglican Church of Canada has torn the Communion apart not, as it would like us to believe, for the benefit of the all the gay couples battering at church doors desperate to have Anglican approval for their domestic arrangements but for a few self-serving gay clergy.

From here:

Locally, a focus of the debate was resolutions adopted by the diocesan synod in 2007 and 2008 urging him [Bishop Barry Clarke] to approve a liturgy, not for same-sex weddings, but to bless marriages already solemnized in a civil ceremony. He did so in 2010. There has been no public indication that anyone in the diocese has made use of this arrangement since then.

However, the bishop has ordained several partners in same-sex marriages, including the Rev. Donald Boisvert, now the incoming principal of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College, as deacons and priests and welcomed some from other dioceses, including Dean Paul Kennington of Christ Church Cathedral. Opponents of same-sex marriage protested against these actions.

Rev. Dr. Donald Boisvert appointed principal of Montreal Diocesan Theological College

Donald Boisvert assumes his new post on September 1st 2015.

The mission of the MDTC states that:

We are committed to a ministry of theological education which, in the context of a worshipping community, is grounded in the revelation of scripture, shaped by our Anglican tradition, and open to ecumenical collaboration.

This ministry equips the whole people of God “for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” [Ephesians 4: 12-13] Consonant with this vision, our mission is to edify the ministry of the Church through programs of ordered learning that encourage the development of those intellectual competencies, practical skills, and spiritual gifts that make for mature Christian witness and service.

This seems to be a fairly straightforward statement that any orthodox Christian seminary might make. It just goes to show that one cannot take the claims of Anglican seminaries particularly seriously.

Boisvert, is gay, lives with his spouse, Gaston, and has written a book, “Out on Holy Ground: Meditations on Gay Men’s Spirituality” in which he extols the holiness of phallic worship and gay sex.

He is unclear on whether the time that he “publicly cruised other men, or participated in some of the more arcane rituals associated with S/M sex” was before or after he attached himself to Gaston but, either way, the seminary must believe its students will benefit from being led by someone who appreciates the finer points of holy gay cruising, S/M sex and phallic worship. For the edification of the church.

Earth Day Dopiness from the Diocese of Montreal

God dwells in creation, therefore God, in a way, is creation making the earth God’s body; Jesus is God, or the earth, so when we wound the earth we re-crucify Christ. Get it? No, me neither.

This is from the Earth Day sermon delivered by Rev. Elizabeth Welch:

The sins of others wounded Christ’s body and our sins are currently wounding the earth. The theologian Sally McFague writes that one way to approach our relationship to the earth is with the understanding that the earth is the body of God. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda adds that Christianity proclaims a God who dwells in Creation, is not then the earth in some sense the body of Christ which we are continuing to crucify?

Diocese of Montreal marches to preserve the climate

Other than dressing up in long robes and aspiring to the elevated career apex where the wearing of comical hats is permitted, there is nothing that interests Anglican clergy more than climate change.

It isn’t much of a testimony to the persuasive powers of Diocese of Montreal clerics, then, that only 15 congregants could be convinced to march to “Preserve the Climate”. Only one priest seems to be present; it was raining, of course, and high humidity does make one’s robes cling so.