The Right Rev. Ralph Spence may be poised to step down from his post as spiritual head of the Diocese of Niagara but his influence remains strong here at home and across the Anglican Church of Canada.
Spence, who will play a key role at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference in England next year, is one of two Canadian bishops behind a contentious pastoral letter from Canada’s Anglican bishops on same-sex blessings.
Released shortly after Canadian bishops met with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at a Niagara Falls retreat house in late April, the letter has drawn howls of protest from both sides in the 20-year-old debate on the legitimacy of blessing same-sex unions.
“We found that a lot of people in the middle really liked what we did and people at either extreme didn’t,” Spence said of the letter he penned with the Right Rev. Patrick Yu, suffragan bishop of Toronto.
“I think that in itself says we’re marching down the right road in trying to get people to speak to each other,” Spence said yesterday.