The Ontario House of Bishops is lending its voice to the diocese of Toronto’s College of Bishops in publicly supporting Kevin Robertson, area bishop of York-Scarborough in the diocese of Toronto, and his same-sex spouse, Mohan Sharma, in the ongoing controversy about the invitation of spouses to the Lambeth Conference in 2020.
In a statement released Wednesday, May 1, the ecclesiastical province’s House of Bishops announced it had met in April and discussed, among other matters, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s decision, announced in March, not to invite bishops’ same-sex spouses to the international gathering of Anglican bishops.
“There has been significant pain in this decision for Bishop Kevin’s family, for members of the wider LGBTQ2 community, and for many clergy and laity across the Province,” the statement reads. “Recognizing the diversity of theological positions in the Ontario House of Bishops, and in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, the Bishops of Ontario nevertheless wish to concur with the statement on this matter that was prepared by the Toronto College of Bishops on March 25th.
“We want to assure the Province of Ontario that we are committed to prayerfully supporting each other and walking in unity as members of the body of Christ,” the statement concludes.
The statement is signed by Archbishop Anne Germond, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario and archbishop of the dioceses of Algoma and Moosonee, plus the other bishops of the ecclesiastical province who are not members of the diocese of Toronto’s College of Bishops.
On March 25th, the Toronto bishops released a statement calling the decision not to invite same-sex spouses to the conference “troubling.”
They added, “While we recognize that the issues involved in a decision of this nature are many-faceted, we wish to express our dismay and sadness at the pain that this causes all of us within the College of Bishops, but in particular Bishop Kevin and Mohan as our friends and co-labourers in the gospel.”