EDITORIAL: Eroding pillars of the church

Anglicans may alienate traditional church community by avoiding marriage altogether

Last week, parishioners at the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral voted to allow the blessing of same-sex marriages, an unusually progressive move for a mainstream faith.

The Anglican Church, and this congregation in particular, understand the value of embracing people equally, and to a certain degree, rejecting arbitrary and antiquated doctrines that install bigotry as part of faith.

Whether this will help or further erode support for the Anglican Church in the Capital Region remains to be seen. In past years, the Victoria diocese has struggled to keep an audience. In January 2010 Anglican Diocese of B.C. announced it would close 19 of its churches in Greater Victoria largely due to declining membership,

And notably in 2008, Anglican parishioners in Metchosin kicked up an angry fuss – and eventually separated from the church – when the Anglican Church of Canada started sending signals that it would bless same-sex unions, as indeed it does now.

Allowing same-sex blessings – which is strictly symbolic, as opposed to a legal church wedding ceremony – cracks open the door for progressive equality within the church. But James Cowan, the outgoing bishop of the Anglican Diocese of B.C., says the church should get out of the marriage business altogether and leave all legal aspects of marriage in the hands of the state.

This is all fine and well, but Anglicans need to tread carefully about the messaging behind ditching legal marriage ceremonies.

Marrying and burying, so to speak, are two traditional tenets of churches the world over. Even more than that, bailing on legal marriage ceremonies, especially around the same time as adopting same-sex blessings, could open the door to bigotry and accusations that same-sex rights led to the downfall of marriage in church.

Allowing church blessings for all people is the right thing to do, but the Anglican Church needs to be mindful of unintended consequences of trying to level the playing field for marriage ceremonies.

Just Posted

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Most Read