Letter to Bishop Peters "about your decision last May to reject the ACPO [Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination] recommendations for Edward Rix and Jeffrey Reed and to refuse them postulancy in the Diocese of Nova Scotia on the basis of their position, or lack of a position, on the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood".
Mr. Johns presented a list of three Categories for ACPO [Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination] Assessors. The first is unconditional recommendation. The second and third are now worded so that clarity of assessment is indicated for the Bishop's consideration.
.....is recommended at this time for postulancy. We offer the following observations and suggest particular areas of training and experience to be included in the education and training process.
.....is not recommended at this time for postulancy. We offer the following observations and suggest areas of training and personal growth to be undertaken before further assessment by ACPO or other appropriate evaluation is considered.
.....is not recommended at this time for postulancy. We offer the following observations and suggest other areas of ministry and service which may be more appropriate.
That the proposed new categories be accepted. CARRIED #4-2-84
The number of persons assessed by ACPO from 1980 to 1983 was noted, and it was requested that the Bishops take great care in sending candidates to ACPO.
Bishop Lackey reminded the House that, at the June 1983 meeting of the House, Archbishop Hambidge, Archbishop Seaborn and he were appointed as a Task Force to study the matter of members of the Canadian Forces who wish to pursue the ordained ministry, and the place of ACPO [Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination].
That the written report be accepted as the working guidelines for the Canadian Forces personnel.
"When ACPO is contemplated for the Canadian Forces personnel, the following guidelines will be observed:
(1) The applicant must be co-sponsored by the Bishop Ordinary and a Diocesan Bishop.
(2) The Diocesan Bishop interviews the candidate and helps provide pastoral support through regular diocesan channels.
(3) If ordination is appropriate, then the Bishop Ordinary, at the request of the Diocesan or with permission of the Diocesan, may ordain.
(4) The ordained person may be considered for employment in the Diocese of the co-sponsoring Diocesan Bishop or until accepted into the Forces.
(5) If Provincial Postulancy is in effect, then this will be considered. CARRIED #3-2-84
The question of financial assistance for ACPO from the Armed Forces was raised.
1. This General Synod endorses the recommendation of the Commission that theological education, if it is to meet the challenge of the Seventies, must become ecumenical, flexible, and so structured at its various levels as to provide for the total membership of the Church; and to this end recommends that consultation with our Colleges and with other Churches be initiated by the National Executive Council in consultation with the Committee on Ministry.
2. This General Synod commends to our Colleges and to the whole Church the New Model for Theological Education as set out in the Commission Report, and requests each College to move as rapidly as possible, in continuing consultation with the Committee on Ministry and with other Colleges, towards the implementation of the principles involved.
3. This General Synod recognizes the need for (a) a more realistic and equitable scale of College fees, (b) a national policy on student grants and bursaries, and (c) some national system of co-ordinating financial assistance and/or subsidies to colleges and training centres, and refers this need to the Committee on Ministry for action and report.
4. This General Synod, having heard with interest that Advisory Committees on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) are being established in each Ecclesiastical Province at the request of the House of Bishops, and under the direction of the Committee on Ministry, recommends the development of this principle of selection and evaluation along the lines set out in the Commission's Report, providing always that it be administered with common sense and in consultation with diocesan authorities.
5. This General Synod, recognizing the urgent need for the identification and mobilization of the total theological education resources both ecclesiastical and secular, and the consequent need for the re-deployment of our own institutional, financial, faculty and student resources; and recognizing that this will involved continuing consultation and guidance requests the National Executive Council in consultation with the Committee on Ministry to establish the necessary national agency to continue, both with our own Colleges and with the proper authorities in other Churches, the consultations begun by the Commission, and to co-ordinate and regulate under the direction of National Executive Council in consultation with the Dioceses and Colleges concerned, all matters relating to theological education, deployment of resources, and financial aid whether to individuals or institutions. Put and CARRIED in both Houses.
Whereas the Advisory Committees on Postulants for Ordination are now or soon to be established in the four Ecclesiastical Provinces, but no common criteria or resources have been adopted;
Be it resolved that this General Synod directs the National Executive Council to arrange for developing standards of operation and criteria of selection for the use of the Advisory Committees on Postulants for Ordination in the four Ecclesiastical Provinces. CARRIED in both Houses.
Bishop Matthews reported on the Joint Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) which met November 19-20, 1994. This was in response to a recommendation from the October 1994 gathering of the House of Bishops which recommended to the Committee on Ministry that a small joint taskforce meet. It was suggested that the joint taskforce should be made up of two representatives from the Committee on Ministry and two representatives from the House of Bishops in order to review the ACPO process, and to make recommendations about the future of ACPO to NEC when it met in March 1995.
The Joint Committee made six recommendations which they presented. There was some discussion in plenary about the recommendations, the role of ACPO and whether or not it should continue. The question "Where do the ACPO recommendations go now?" was asked of the House.
At Archbishop Peers' request, a small taskforce was formed to investigate whether or not it would be possible for the House of Bishops to reach a common mind regarding ACPO. The taskforce consisted of Bishop Matthews, Bishop Bays, Archbishop Crawley, Bishop Mason and Bishop Morgan. They agreed to report back to the House later in the meeting.
When the taskforce reported back to the House they made several recommendations (see appendix i) and proposed the following motion.
That this House urges NEC to provide funding for ACPO at 65% of the 1994 budget for ACPO. CARRIED
House of Bishops' ACPO Report Response Group
Membership: Bishops Bays, Hiltz, Mason, Matthews and Archbishop Crawley.
1. That dioceses engaged in selecting non-stipendiary and locally raised up priests invite the regional Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) secretary or his/her designate to attend the diocesan screening procedure as an assessor in that process.
2. That future ACPO conferences offer the category "recommended at this time for postulancy" instead of "recommended at this time for training."
3. That at this time no ACPO procedure for the vocational diaconate be set up by the provincial or national church structures.
4. That this House of Bishops affirm the existing standard that no one be ordained to the priesthood without attaining an ACPO conference, while also acknowledging that there will be more than one expression of ACPO conference in the future.
5. That the April 1996 meeting of the House of Bishops spend significant time on the topic of "mutual ministry." We suggest assistance be sought from Bishop Tom Ray or Dirk Rinehart.
6. That this House of Bishops urges the National Executive Council (NEC) to provide funding for ACPO at not less than 65% of the 1994 ACPO budget.
(Note: The sixth recommendation was put before the House of Bishops as a motion. See House of Bishops Minutes, May 1995, pages 5-6.)