New Westminster Suspends Cursillo for Two Years: Director Divided over Blessing of Same-Sex Unions

Article excerpt

The diocese of New Westminster has suspended Cursillo activities for two years after a diocesan controversy over the blessing of same sex unions spilled over into the activities of the spiritual and evangelical movement

In a letter co-signed by Dean Peter Elliott, commissary to the diocese in the absence of Bishop Michael Ingham, and by Archdeacon Ronald Harrison, the local Cursillo group was asked to suspend its activities and disband its 19-member secretariat.

In an interview, Mr. Harrison said that he and Mr. Elliott were responding to two letters asking for the suspension. Lorraine Bryan, chair of the Canadian Anglican Cursillo secretariat, wrote to Bishop Ingham on Aug. 22.

Another letter arrived from five members of the local secretariat, supporting her request.

In an open letter to the New Westminster secretariat, Mrs. Bryan explained her request:

"The recent split (within the secretariat over last June's decision to bless same-sex unions) has resulted in words and actions that are harmful to the reputation of Cursillo in general, not just to your local movement.... Recent activities do not ... present Cursillo as an example of Christian evangelization or fellowship," she wrote.

In an interview, Mrs. Bryan said there were other problems with the movement in the diocese. There are 19 people on the New Westminster secretariat or board, where the norm is eight to 10, and there are no by-laws.

But the heart of the problem, she said, is political. "There were factions fighting. They were having trouble working as a unit," she said. …