The Reverend Canon Ansley Tucker and the Reverend Paul Robinson members of the General Synod Ministry Committee brought two resolutions (from the Committee) to the House of Bishops about the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO). Their purpose was to receive the House of Bishops' input about the resolutions (#3-2-84 re. ACPO contemplated for Canadian Forces personnel and #4-2-84 re. Categories for use by ACPO assessors in relation to prospective postulants) to be taken back to the Ministry Committee, before bringing the resolution to the National Executive Committee for approval. (See appendix ii for resolutions).
Following a discussion in plenary, the consensus of the House of Bishops was that it would ask that the ACPO process continue.
That a joint task force of 2 episcopal chairs and 2 ACPO secretaries representing different regions meet with representatives from the Ministry Committee. CARRIED
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON POSTULANTS FOR ORDINATION (ACPO)
HOUSE OF BISHOPS
Guidelines re members of the Canadian Forces "who wish to be pursue the ordained ministry".
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 of until accepted into the Forces.
5. If Provincial Postulancy is in effect, then this will be considered.
Categories for use by ACPO assessors in relation to prospective postulants:
a) recommended at this time for postulancy -- with suggestions for "areas of training and experience to be included in the education and training process".
b) not recommended at this time for postulancy -- with suggestions for "areas of training and personal growth to be undertaken before further assessment by ACPO or other appropriate evaluation in considered".
c) not recommended at this time for postulancy -- with suggestions of "other areas of ministry and service which may be more appropriate".
The Primate read the following telegram to the House of Bishops from Canon Shafik Farah of Toronto:
"I pray you take a stand and speak out for peace with justice regarding the Palestinian/Israeli situation and for an end to the ongoing massacres in the occupied territories on the Gaza strip. How many more should die? And for how long should we wait ?"
That this House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada deeply regrets the acts of violence in the occupied territories of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The Bishops endorse the proposal by the Anglican Consultative Council for an international conference for peace in which all parties affected would be present.
The Bishops call on the Government of Canada and all peace-loving citizens to promote and support such a proposal." CARRIED
A member expressed his feeling that it would be appropriate to send to the Canadian government support for the proposed amendment before the legislature regarding the Canadian Human Rights Act. He inquired whether the House would be prepared to do so. The change to the Act would make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal.
That the House of Bishops support the legislation before the House of Commons to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Moved by: Bishop Williams
Seconded by: Bishop Buckle
That the motion be amended to include:
That the House of Bishops never-the-less still holds to those sections of the 1979 (House of Bishops) Statement regarding the orientation of homosexual men and lesbians." LOST
During the discussion that followed some members expressed their feelings that the amendment was inappropriate to send to the Canadian government, because legislation does not affect the internal workings of the Church. Also, it was agreed that if a motion of support was passed, the House needed to
1) send the motion of support to the Canadian government, and;
2) send a press statement to the Church.
Moved by: Bishop Burton
Seconded by: Bishop Lawrence
That the motion begin with:
"In accordance with the national House of Bishops 1979 Statement of Principle and reaffirming the 1995 resolution of General Synod ..." LOST
(The 1979 Statement would be appended)
Concern was expressed about not receiving the information before hand. The speaker complained about a pattern in meetings of putting motions before the House is prepared to vote on them (the motions).
The motion was put before the House. CARRIED
Archbishop Peers asked Bishop Ingham and Bishop Burton to write a statement to the Church from the House about the motion of support for the proposed amendment to the Human Rights Act before the legislature. The Primate requested that their statement be brought back for discussion over lunch.
A plea was made to the Agenda Committee, to schedule issues which require time for some thought earlier on the agenda, rather than at the end when the House is drained of energy and pressed for time.
The House of Bishops adjourned for chapel.
Over lunch the press statement written by Bishop Burton and Bishop Ingham was approved by those present.
ANGLICAN BISHOPS SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS AMENDMENTS
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has today sent a message to the House of Commons in support of the Human Rights Act. This is based on the church's belief that all persons are created in the image of God, and that Christ died for all. This statement is consistent with the existing policy of the Canadian House of Bishops since 1979, reaffirmed by the General Synod in 1995, that condemns bigotry, violence and hatred directed towards anyone due to their sexual orientation.
We wish to make it clear to the church that this action does not change the current status of the 1979 statement with respect to the ordination of homosexual persons. This continues to be a matter of discussion and theological reflection within the House, as within the church at large. No change of doctrine and discipline is being implied. Rather the Gospel imperative of live, compassion and justice is being upheld which continues to be the call of every Christian.
[N.B. Revised and corrected text of this resolution taken from Appendix x attached to the Minutes of the House of Bishops Meeting 28 October - 1 November 1996, see Resolution entitled "Minutes of the Last Meeting", p. 11.]
Bishop Matthews said that earlier in the meeting of the House of Bishops during the conversation about the Bishop of New Westminster's Council of Advice, it became clear that there was a need to clarify the jurisdiction of dioceses and diocesan bishops.
"Be it resolved that this House of Bishops ask the Council of General Synod to appoint a task force to work in consultation with dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces to consider and propose a definition of the jurisdiction of dioceses and diocesan bishops and ecclesiastical provinces with respect to discipline and doctrine. The Task Force membership is to include representation from the House of Bishops, and those with appropriate legal and canonical expertise; the report to be submitted to the House of Bishops and the Council of General Synod respectively."
Moved by: Bishop Ingham
Seconded by: Bishop Hutchison
"That the motion be tabled." LOST
The motion by Bishops Matthews and Finlay was put back on the floor. CARRIED
Archbishop O'Driscoll and Bishop Matthews, both members of the Bishop of New Westminster's Council of Advice, reported on the last meeting. The Council had been established by Bishop Ingham following the last diocesan synod when a resolution (#9) supporting blessing the unions of same-sex couples had passed 179 votes (for) to 170 votes (against). Bishop Ingham was unable to attend the meeting of the House of Bishops, but did send the members of the House a letter which was distributed to them following Archbishop O'Driscoll's and Bishop Matthews' reports.
The Council members included: the Ven. Neil Grey, St. Paul's Anglican Church, Vancouver; the Very Rev. Peter Elliott, Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver; the Rev. Margaret Marquardt, St. Margaret's Anglican Church, Vancouver; the Rev. David Short, of St. John's Anglican Church (Shaughnessy), Vancouver; the Rev. Silas Ng, Church of Emmanuel, Richmond; Mr. George Cadman, Chancellor of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon and also the Diocese of New Westminster; the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews and the Most Rev. Percy O'Driscoll representatives from the House of Bishops; and the Rev. Eric Beresford, Consultant for Ethics and Interfaith Relations at the national office.
Archbishop O'Driscoll reported that Bishop Ingham began the first meeting of the Council of Advice by indicating that the purpose of the council was for advice and that he would be the individual making the final decision on how to act on resolution 9. Archbishop O'Driscoll followed with a report of the May 1998 meeting of the House of Bishops and its reaction to Bishop Ingham's report on the Diocese of New Westminster's Synod and resolution #9. Bishop Matthews and Mr. Berserk also added their perspectives (for the Council of Advice) about the discussion which took place at the meeting of the House of Bishops. The Council of Advice then discussed what had occurred in the summer of 1998 around the issue of human sexuality at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England. Following that conversation, each of the members of the Council of Advice were given the opportunity to talk about what had happened in their parish since resolution #9 passed. Bishop Ingham then reported on the correspondence he had received since the diocesan synod meeting about resolution #9. Some of it has been supportive of him and others quite vicious and hateful. The Council of Advice then talked about emerging issues for the Diocese of New Westminster. At that point, Mr. Short who had been suffering from a migraine headache since the morning had to leave. Since the other members of the Council of Advice thought his contribution was important, the meeting ended then and the next meeting was scheduled for December 11, 1998.
Bishop Ingham's letter to the House of Bishops was distributed to them.
Archbishop Peers asked Bishop Mason and Archbishop Crawley to draft a resolution about where the House was on the issue for consideration later in the meeting.
Archbishop Peers thanked Bishop Matthews and Archbishop O'Driscoll for their work on behalf of the House.
1. `That we request the Primate to convey our prayerful concern to Michael Ingham. This was agreed to by the members of the House of Bishops.' CARRIED #04i-11-98
2. 'That we send the following message to Michael Ingham. "We recognize that the combination of the need for a further meeting of your Council of Advice, and the conflict between the dates for the meeting of the House of Bishops and your clergy conference, precluded the possibility of your fulfilling your intention of conferring further with the House at its November 1998 meeting.
In light of the time and energy spent in prayer, study, and work, to develop our 1997 Guidelines on Human Sexuality, we believe it would be inappropriate for any one of us to take unilateral action that goes beyond the Guidelines.
We want to consult further with you before you publish your final decision, and we have directed the Agenda Committee to set aside a block of time at our May 1999 meeting, for this purpose.'" CARRIED #04ii-11-98
Bishop Peters reported on behalf of the Organization Committee with respect to diocesan youth representation at General Synod.
He said that amendments to Section 8, sub-section (h) of the Constitution to provide an agreed procedure for dioceses to register youth members had received first reading in St. John's and would be coming up for second reading in 1992. A sample form to register diocesan youth members of General Synod was distributed, and the bishops were requested to use the form as if it were passed on second reading. Bishop Peters said that Certification of Election forms will be sent to all the dioceses, including the proposed form for youth members.
That this House ask the Budget Sub-Committee of General Synod to include annually in the House of Bishops' budget a sum of money to enable the wives of bishops to attend and be part of a specific program during the pre-General Synod House of Bishops meetings every three years. CARRIED
Moved by: Bishop Payne
Seconded by: Bishop Bays
That the proposals contained in Bishop Payne's report be submitted to the Budget Sub-Committee. CARRIED
A memorandum prepared by Archdeacon Hilchey was studied and discussed.
That the Guidelines regarding In Camera sessions of the meetings of the House of Bishops be approved.
The approved Guidelines are as follows:
1. By decision of the House in February 1977, the Agenda Committee will include an In Camera session at each meeting of the House.
2. In Camera sessions provide an opportunity for members of the House to seek advice from one another about pastoral and administrative matters.
3. In Camera sessions also provide an opportunity for consideration of sensitive issues about which the members of the House wish to take counsel together.
4. The Secretary will exercise discretion in recording comments made during such discussions. Any actions taken in relation to these matters, whether by motion or by consensus will be recorded in the same way as are those in open session.
5. At the end of each In Camera session, the House will decide what measure of confidentiality it wishes to apply to each of the decisions reached and actions taken. The Secretary will record those decisions.
6. The General Secretary and the recording secretaries are entitled to be present during In Camera sessions, unless the House wishes otherwise.
7. Should a bishop be in doubt about the degree of confidentiality which belongs to any matter to which reference is made in In Camera sessions, it is recommended that he consult the Primate.