Yukon’s bishop heads south

Reverend Gary Gordon is moving on. On Saturday the bishop of Whitehorse received word from Pope Francis, in an apostolic letter, that he had been appointed bishop of Victoria.

Reverend Gary Gordon is moving on.

On Saturday the bishop of Whitehorse received word from Pope Francis, in an apostolic letter, that he had been appointed bishop of Victoria.

Gordon is expecting to relocate in August. It’s not clear who will replace him.

In an interview with the Yukon News this morning, Gordon said he was surprised to learn about the change and a bit saddened to be leaving the Whitehorse community.

He has served as the bishop since 2006, after being elected by Pope Benedict XVI.

“Being out in all the communities, in all four seasons, was a pretty special thing,” Gordon said. “There are some beautiful churches and wonderful people here.”

Gordon has 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.”

It led to more than 120 protesters packing the lobby of the Yukon legislature in protest, demanding the publicly funded school be allowed to form a gay-straight alliance.

Eventually, Scott Kent, then the Yukon’s education minister, overturned the bishop’s policy and replaced it with a department-wide one that allowed gay-straight alliances to form at Catholic schools.

Gordon referred to the situation as “challenging,” and said that the job of any bishop anywhere is to strengthen Catholic institutions.

“It’s unfolding and it’s a work in process,” he said. “Evangelizing doesn’t happen overnight.”

Gordon called the memories he created in Whitehorse an “enormous treasure” that he will carry with him.

Contact Sam Riches at sam@yukon-news.com

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