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

Well-versed in national competition, trio heads to B.C. Summer Games

The three will be representing Zone 6 in boys field lacrosse

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

Canada men’s sevens team hoping for a top eight finish

Captain Harry Jones hopes to inspire rugby youth

Women’s sevens roster stacked for the Rugby World Cup

The team is hoping to peak in San Francisco

Jacklin Road reopens

The section of road has been closed for five months

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

High winds, lack of rain suggest no breaks in sight for B.C. wildfire season

There were 11 new wildfires across the province over 24 hours, BC Wildfire Service officials say

How to sponsor a refugee, global refugee situation only worsening

‘U.S. is no longer a safe place for refugees,’ says local MP

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies as fire, crash happen at same time on Vancouver Island highway

Young male motorcycle rider collides with one vehicle, then struck by another in Nanaimo

Most Read