Some of the callers and writers were viciously, personally abusive, others were supportive and others disappointed.
That was the range of reaction reported by Bishop Ralph Spence and Dean Peter Wall of the diocese of Niagara after Dean Wall married a lesbian couple last August at Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont.
Reflecting their different positions in the diocese ? Bishop Spence is Dean Wall’s supervisor ? and their different roles in the event, Bishop Spence’s mail was more critical than Dean Wall’s.
“Some were indifferent and some were furious,” said Bishop Spence. “Even people in favour of blessing same-sex unions were against jumping the process.”
However, he added, “some who were supportive of the issue were pleased that someone had the courage to do it.” Others felt he should have been tougher in his disciplining of Dean Wall, whose licence to perform marriages was suspended for three months.
Dean Wall said that his mail was “very positive and very moving,” but that he did receive some highly critical reaction that was quite personal and abusive.
Bishop Spence commented, “It’s history now. I am so keen to go on with life at the cathedral and the diocese.”