By Nicki Thomas, Toronto Star, June 1, 2011
Like so many other couples, Christopher Papps and his longtime partner think Trinity (College) Chapel is the ideal spot to tie the knot.
Papps has admired the building, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, since his days at the University of Toronto. His partner, an Anglican, wants a church ceremony.
“Of all the places we looked at, it was just the one we had a connection with and we could see ourselves getting married there,” said Papps, 33.
But they can’t.
Papps and his partner, Chris Moret, 37, are gay. And, despite the diocese’s provisional authorization of same-sex blessings, they can’t be married in the chapel.
Unlike adjoining Trinity College, which is affiliated with the university, the chapel is the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. And it hasn’t yet been allowed to offer same-sex blessings.
“Regrettably from my standpoint, they can’t,” said Trinity’s chaplain, Rev. Andrea Budgey. “The inclusion of same-sex couples in the church is something that’s the subject of pretty much constant conversation . . . I’m one of the people in the Anglican Church who would very much welcome the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people and that’s why I’ve been part of this conversation for a long time.”
And I'm one of the people, an alumnus of Trinity College, and former clergy of the Anglican Church, who no longer has any association with the church for many reasons, but this is among the top few.
It is the church's regretable unwillingness to move through the fog of resistance to full acceptance of gays and lesbians, including ordination, that will bear considerable responsibility for its demise.
Within the last several months, an active Anglican clergy stated to me and my wife, "I believe that within five years, there will be no Anglican churches in this part of Ontario."
Perhaps that prediction is slightly premature, but it certainly expresses a view from inside the church that does not bode well for the future of the hierarchical instition.
Just last week, the Presbyterian church, hardly known for its radical nature, authorized the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.
Just because the "power structure" has its collective head in the sand does not make the church's intolerance any less contemptible.