Plans to update the hiring policy at Vanier Catholic Secondary School are on hold until a new bishop is in place, Yukon’s Department of Education says.
The same is true for any memorandum of understanding to define the roles of the department and the bishop at the school.
Albert Trask, Yukon’s assistant deputy minister of public schools, said the episcopal corporation can’t work on the documents until a new bishop is in place. Anyone acting in the position doesn’t have the authority to approve major decisions.
Gary Gordon was made the bishop of Victoria in June. He had served as Whitehorse’s bishop since 2006.
So far, no replacement has been named. Trask said he doesn’t know how long it will take.
Gordon had spent the last year embroiled in the controversy involving Vanier Catholic Secondary School’s same-sex policy, which, on the school’s website, called homosexuality a “disorder” and homosexual acts an “intrinsic moral evil.”
In response to public concerns, the department promised the changes now on hold.
The plan is to resume work as soon as a new bishop is in place, Trask said.
Trask said he doesn’t know how close the two sides were to completing discussions before Gordon left.
In the meantime, the Department of Education’s policy on sexuality, which calls for the school to create a welcoming environment for gay students, is the one that stands at the school.
“With the policy, only school council can set school policy, the episcopal corporation never had the authority to set policy,” said department spokesperson Mark Hill.
“They had drafted guidelines that there was discussions about. But in the end the school council did not have the appetite to adopt a different policy.”