Gretta Vosper is interesting not just because she manages to believe she can be an effective Christian church pastor while disbelieving in the founder of the Christian church but because she is blazing the trail which, I am reasonably certain, will be taken by many Anglican Church of Canada clergy eventually. We already have our very own atheist theology professor. Imagine the heady Hegelian euphoria of endless indabas between theist and atheist clergy trying to reach the nirvana of good disagreement. It’s enough to make Justin Welby swoon.
Vosper tells us:
In 2013, I embraced the term “atheist” which means, literally, no belief in a theistic, supernatural being.
Atheism does not mean merely an absence of belief in God’s existence, it means asserting truth of the statement “God does not exist”, along with all the disagreeable consequences that accompany that idea. Vosper sounds more like an agnostic than an atheist. But, these days, being an atheist is cool while agnosticism just sounds indecisive and wishy-washy. And Gretta Vosper is undoubtedly more interested in coolness than truth.
The sub-executive committee of the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada is asking the church’s general council to conduct a formal hearing to determine whether or not Vosper should be defrocked.
Alan Hall, executive officer of Ministry and Employment for the United Church of Canada, said, in an email, that it could be a few weeks or months before a final decision is reached.
He said that there will be no provision to appeal the decision within the church courts.
The announcement made Thursday noted that Vosper will be allowed to continue in her role as a minister, with no restrictions, at West Hill United Church until a decision has been made at the hearing.
“The way forward is costly in terms of emotional and spiritual energy. The way forward is costly in terms of time and finances for both Ms. Vosper and the church,” said an online statement issued by the committee.
“At the same time, the sub-executive moved forward believing that a clear answer was required.”
The decision comes a week after Vosper spoke to defend herself against a report made by a review committee that found her “not suitable” to continue in her role because she doesn’t believe in God.
“From the outset of this process, we have urged the Toronto Conference to recognize that their decisions would impact not just one minister, but an entire congregation, and many more members of this church,” said Vosper in an online statement issued by her lawyers Thursday. “In spite of the many letters of support and concern about this process, the sub-Executive had continued down a path that can only result in division.”
1100 other contradiction addicted individuals have signed a petition to prevent the defrocking:
A petition in support of Vosper that rejects the report’s recommendations and a hearing had over 1100 signatures on Thursday.