That action be taken on the correspondence as follows:
That the Secretary of the House should write to Bishop Clarke extending warm wishes from this House, and conveying deep appreciation for his distinguished service as Bishop Ordinary to the Forces. CARRIED
That this House of Bishops, out of concern for the more vulnerable members of society, affirm the principle of progressive taxation, whereby those with greater wealth pay a higher proportionate amount of taxes than those with lesser means, and oppose the principle of regressive taxation, whereby those of lesser means are required to pay the same percentage tax as the wealthiest income earners, and that the Economic Justice staff of the Public Social Responsibility Unit be asked to prepare a position paper for this House of Bishops on the Goods and Services Tax for consideration at its next meeting. CARRIED
That this House request the Primate to send a letter of prayerful support, on behalf of the House of Bishops, to the Diocese of Massachusetts and Bishop-Elect Barbara Harris, at the time of her consecration. CARRIED
Dr. J. Reed reviewed the present situation, reminding the Bishops that the Report was prepared by a Committee of the National Executive Council to which body it will be presented in November, 1985.
Dr. Reed invited the members of the House to make recommendations regarding possible changes and actions. He said that the Paper which he wrote is factual while Mrs. Phyllis Creighton's Paper deals with social justice. Dr. Reed reviewed his Paper, and invited comments and suggestions. He said that he would be pleased to make revisions in the light of the Bishops' reflections.
There was discussion on the statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that he regards the homosexual person as a handicapped person who has gifts which need to be recognized and used within the Christian community. Dr. Reed noted that page seven regarding origins of sexual orientation touches upon this area of concern.
The Bishops recognized that this is a very complex subject, and thanked Dr. Reed for his useful Paper. It was recognized that there is a great deal which is, at present, unknown about the condition. Dr. Reed said that treatment and healing are very complicated and it is essential to determine what sort of help people are seeking. Dr. Reed said that there is undebatable evidence that some people are able to change their sexual orientation, but the specialists are not clear about what the nature of that healing is.
Dr. Reed stressed that the important issue is what the Church is going to decide about discipline. He stressed that guidelines for ethical behaviour are the same for all.
The Primate reminded the House that the Church's model has traditionally been one of responsible relationships within marriage of a man and a woman. He said that we must recognize that there is no strong evidence as to whether homosexuality is cultural or genetic in origin.
There was agreement that Dr. Reed's Paper should be included in the study material, and it was agreed that suggested revisions should be conveyed to Dr. Reed. Dr. Reed recommended that the introductory section should be expanded and the Bishops agreed that Dr. Reed should proceed with the elaboration.
That Phyllis Creighton be asked to re-write her paper to deal only with the social justice issues, in the light of the acceptance of Dr. Reed's paper. The present Task Force be augmented to deal with the Paper prior to the November, 1985 meeting of the National Executive Council. CARRIED #16-9-85
Copies of the Courtesy Guidelines, as accepted at the meeting of January, 1978, were distributed.
That the words, "or in responding to an applicant for a position" be inserted between the words, "a person" and "from another" in Guideline #1. CARRIED #7-2-84
Moved by: Bishop Goodings
Seconded by: Archbishop Hambidge
That the Guidelines, as amended, be approved. CARRIED #8-2-84
Moved by: Archbishop Hambidge
Seconded by: Bishop Allen
That these revised Guidelines be sent to all clergy by the Diocesan Bishops, and that a supply of copies be available from the National Office. CARRIED #9-2-84
1. Any Bishop desiring to approach a person, or in responding to an applicant for a position from another diocese, should first consult with the Bishop of that diocese.
2. Parishes should be informed that before they can approach a person in another diocese, consultation must take place with their own Bishop who, in turn, would request permission of the Bishop of that Diocese.
3. Clergy who desire to leave their present diocese and who want to make inquiries before submitting their resignation or notice, should first inform their own Bishop and then (with his consent/permission) proceed by approaching the office of Personnel Resources and/or bishops of other dioceses, not any of their parishes.
4. The Department of Personnel Resources should provide adequate notice to a Bishop whenever any of his clergy are informed of a vacancy. A general policy of this Department is not to approach a person who has been an incumbent of his present parish for less than five years or an assistant for less than two.
I address you, as your Primate, to share with you several important facts regarding the recent resolution of our Canadian House of Bishops concerning the ordination of persons with homosexual orientation and serious consideration.
(1) The recent resolution does not represent a new position or a departure of tradition on the part of your Bishops. The Church, throughout its history, has admitted to her ordained ministry those persons who have experienced a vocation to that sacred ministry, and whose vocation has been ratified by the appropriate authoritative bodies and persons within the Church. You should also be aware that there is now, in our Church, a very careful psychological and vocational screening process during a candidate's training period prior to ordination, with a detailed report on each individual being provided for the Diocesan Bishop. Further, the Church has always required an exemplary standard of behaviour for those who were to be admitted to the ordained ministry. This is seen specifically in the words of the Ordination questioning (Prayer Book page 652) where the ordinand promises to be a "Wholesome example and pattern to the flock of Christ", and in the Canons on Discipline of the Clergy in each Diocese of the Church.
(2) The resolution of the House of Bishops is meant to be a pastoral guideline for the Bishops, as they consider persons to be admitted to the Church's ordained ministry. The resolution re-affirms the standards that have always been expected of all clergy.
(3) The pastoral guidelines included in the resolution re-affirm the discipline which is common to all clergy, regardless of sexual orientation. Again, there is no change in expectation or in the exercise of discipline.
(4) The House of Bishops, in the resolution which has been adopted, re-affirms that the only appropriate place for sexual activity is within the marriage relationship.
As an affirmation of this position, and as a pastoral guideline for our Bishops and others dealing with candidates for ordination, we have therefore agreed upon the four guidelines in our resolution:
"1. Our present and future considerations about homosexuality should be pursued within the larger study of human sexuality in its totality;
2. We accept all persons, regardles of sexual orientation, as equal before God; our acceptance of persons with homosexual orientation is not an acceptance of homosexual activity;
3. We do not accept the blessing of homosexual unions. (For background to this see Primate's Press Statement pages 2 and 3.)
4. We will not call in question the ordination of a person who has shared with the Bishop his/her homosexual orientation if there has been a commitment to the Bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex as a part of the requirement for ordination."
It should be clearly understood that, in the resolution, the House of Bishops has not instituted a new mandate to ordain persons of homosexual orientation. We continue to set forth the same standards which have guided our discipline and pastoral ministry in the past.
We share these matters with you so that you may understand our actions and deliberations more fully.
Yours faithfully, The Most Reverend Edward W. Scott, Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada.
Official database also contains the text of Primate's Press Statement referred to above, see "Statement regarding the Reporting on the Anglican Bishops Relating to the Ordination of Persons with a Homosexual Orientation" dated 27 February 1979.
The House of Bishops has learned with deep dismay that the South African Government two weeks ago further outlawed virtually all expression of dissent from its apartheid policy by banning eighteen organizations and two black newspapers and by arresting and banning numerous individuals. By this act, the South Afican Government has demonstrated yet again its total defiance of Christian convictions within and outside the country. Legislation now before the South African Parliament will also drastically curtail and control the provision of welfare and support to those in need.
Our Church of the Province of South Africa has long made clear its detestation of apartheid and the repressive laws which go with it. The stand taken during the past nearly thirty years by leaders like De Blank, Reeves, Crowther, Huddleston, Winter and Good is clear witness to it. The House of Bishops is appalled at this increase of rule by decree, and at the further denial of human rights for the great majority of the people of South Africa, by a Government which has made a total travesty of its claim to be ruling in the name of Christian civilization. In our view, opposition can only be effective by the isolation of that government at all levels. The House of Bishops calls on the Canadian Government, which with other western nations continues to sustain the apartheid system through extensive economic, diplomatic (and in some cases military) links, to sever all connection with the South African Government until apartheid is eradicated.
Archbishop Hutchison asked Bishop Bennett to lead the session which was a result of the presentation earlier by the Rev. Dr. Thompson and Mr. McKerracher about the declining membership of the church and the need to find new ways for growth. Bishop Bennett said that he was a member of the Communications and Information Resources Committee and that he had thought it would be of value to continue the discussion. Therefore he had suggested that those bishops who were interested might continue the session from that morning in the evening. (The time had originally been planned by the Agenda Committee as a "free" night).
Bishop Bennett shared some of his own experiences with the church in which he had found himself thinking outside the box and having to embrace change. He said he thought it would be helpful for the members to share their experiences with each other.
That this House of Bishops move in camera, including Bishop Ely. Archdeacon Feheley, the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan and Ms. Jo Mutch. CARRIED HB Res. 02-10-05