A letter was received by the Primate requesting that the Anglican Church of Canada, along with other Churches, celebrate the 1600th anniversary of the Council of Constantinople at which the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit was formulated, on October 4th, 1981.
That the Primate contact the clergy suggesting that on October 4th we join with the Orthodox Church in the 1600th Anniversary of the Council of Constantinople with its emphasis on the Holy Spirit. CARRIED
The Primate said that the Joint Anglican/Roman Catholic Guidelines on Mixed Marriages will be officially released at a press conference in Ottawa in four to six weeks time. Copies will go to all the Anglican clergy in Canada in a mailing from the Primate as soon as the document is available in quantity.
Bishop Baycroft stressed the importance of the Mixed Marriage document.
Moved by: Bishop Berry
Seconded by: Bishop Lackey
That we rescind the Guidelines of the House of Bishops on Mixed Marriages (Roman Catholic and Anglican).
Moved by: Bishop Lawrence
Seconded by: Bishop Mate
That this motion be tabled until we have the documentation before us. CARRIED
That on publication of the new Joint Anglican/Roman Catholic Guidelines on Mixed Marriage, they will take precedence pastorally over the previous Anglican Guidelines concerning Anglican/Roman Catholic Marriages.
And that these are joint Guidelines for pastoral care, and are to be jointly accepted. CARRIED
Bishop Goodings expressed deep appreciation, on behalf of the House, to Bishop Lackey and Mgr. Eugene-P. Larocque of Cornwall for their devoted efforts in this matter.
That the General Secretary be requested to communicate with Chancellor David Wright seeking his advice regarding the advisability of copywriting [sic i.e. copyrighting] the word "Anglican" in order to ensure its continuing use in the future as it has been used in the past. CARRIED
Bishop Berry distributed forms to all the Bishops regarding the translations of the Book of Alternative Services into French. He requested that the Bishops return the completed forms to him before the end of the meeting, or send them to the Reverend Paul Gibson, Church House, Toronto.
That this House express its deep appreciation to the Doctrine and Worship Committee for its diligent and devoted service and to the Anglican Book Centre for its great care and expertise in the publication of the Book of Alternative Services. CARRIED #4-9-85
It was noted that the 1988 Canadian Churchman calendar provides only the Lectionary for the Book of Alternative Services throughout the monthly entries, with the Book of Common Prayer schedule listed at the back of the calendar. It was recognized that both the Book of Alternative Services and the Book of Common Prayer are official books of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Bishop Berry explained that the hearings held at the General Synod of 1986 influenced the decision to publish the 1988 calendar as it is, but the matter would be studied in the light of the reaction to the 1988 calendar, prior to the publication of the 1989 calendar.
That this House, while fully supporting the Doctrine and Worship Committee's desire for the new lectionary and calendar designations (as approved by General Synod) to be included on the Canadian Churchman calendar, deeply regrets the decision not to include the Book of Common Prayer designations as well. CARRIED
The Rev. W.E. Lowe introduced members of the Rosewell Group as follows: The Hon. David MacDonald, Mr. Douglas Barrett and the Rev. D. McCalmont. Mr. Peter Flemington sent his regrets.
During the discussion which followed, questions were raised by the Bishops and responded to by the representatives of the Rosewell Group.
Mr. Lowe expressed the appreciation of the representatives of the Rosewell Group for the opportunity to be present and address the House, and said that he hoped that this would be of some assistance to the Bishops as they made their decisions.
Archbishop Scott thanked the members of the Rosewell Group for their generous contribution of time and expertise.
That this House of Bishops support the proposal being brought forth by the Rosewell Group and commend it to the National Executive Council for favourable consideration. CARRIED #3-11-83
That this Pastoral Letter be issued to the members of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Citizens of Canada. CARRIED. ONE OPPOSITION #7-10-84
It was agreed that copies of the Pastoral Letter on Capital Punishment should be sent to the leaders of the three Federal political parties. The Primate said that a mailing would go to all the clergy following the meeting of the National Executive Council, but that the Bishops are free to use the letter immediately and to release it to local papers.
It was agreed that clergy should be encouraged to read the letter in the Churches on a Sunday that is appropriate. The Diocesan Bishop may indicate what date he wishes to designate for the reading of the letter.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA AND THE CITIZENS OF CANADA
The violence that marks our society is a cause of great concern, for violence often begets violence. There is a streak in human nature which out of greed, or in order to attain revenge, or to cover inadequacies, hits out violently. Inequities in society at large also lead to actions arising from frustration and anger. Such violence strikes at the very heart of society. People cannot live together unless this tendency is controlled.
Society has developed mechanisms to keep violence under control. Law and order are necessary if citizens are to live in safety and be free to come and go. Our police forces and justice system are designed to curb destructive forces and to make Canada a safe place to live.
An increase in violence has brought great strains to our police and judicial system. Recent criminal acts have led to police being more heavily armed. Society has been shocked by the rash of murders of policemen in the course of duty. Prisons are over crowded and prison guards have a thankless and dangerous job.
It does not surprise us that there has been a renewed call for the re-institution of the death penalty for murder. We understand the feelings that have led to this and have sympathy with those who have been deeply hurt by criminal activity. However, we cannot be content with an answer that responds to violence with even more violence. An answer which destroys human life cannot enhance the respect for, and quality of, life in our society. On the contrary, an important Christian conviction is that anything that increases a general recognition within society of the infinite worth of the individual will be a powerful agent in the ultimate protection of that society.
We believe in the sacredness of human life. Life is God's gift and the Bible teaches us that men and women are made in the image of God. The distortion of that image that is reflected in a person committing a murder does not make that person any less important in God's eyes. In all of use there is some distortion of the image, but the Lord died for all of us.
We urge our people and members of Parliament that they consider seriously the implications of re-introducing the death penalty and not give in to a hasty response to recent violence. These implications include such things as:
- the impossibility of reversing the hanging where there has been a miscarriage of justice;
- the ignoring of evidence concerning the ineffectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent, and
- a belief that the murderer is beyond being changed by God's grace to be a creative member of society.
We are convinced that it is in the best interests of Canadian society as a whole that Capital Punishment not be reintroduced, but that as Christians we need to seek alternatives that recognize the infinite worth of the individual before God.
Mere incarceration without rehabilitation will not change the murderer. Reform of our correctional systems needs to become a priority of our Government. The parole system needs continuing review so that no one who continues to be a danger is released into society. Experiments which are taking place for renewal of penal institutions and programmes should be encouraged and extended.
We must give support to police forces and prison guards by providing sufficient personnel and adequate training. If society does not give the necessary support to our law reform officers we put them under almost overwhelming pressure to take the law into their own hands.
We encourage members of our parishes to be supportive to the victims of crime and their families. Feelings of fear and anger can become destructive and will only be healed by others reaching out lovingly. The Christian community also needs to be a support to families of guards who often have to cope with the pressures involved in this work.
Prison chaplains have a difficult role and need the support and prayers of the wider Church. The chaplain has the task of sharing by word, and by friendship, the news of a God who in his love both forgives us and calls us to live the new life.
For all of us that new standard includes a personal struggle against violence. Societal controls on violence are not enough. Each one of us is called to reflect the image of God. He is a God of love who cares infinitely for every individual.
THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA, NOVEMBER 1984
The Report of the Clergy Marriages Task Force was received and discussed. The policy of the Diocese of Calgary with respect to dysfunction and marital breakdown was found to be helpful in setting out a model of diocesan procedures and guidelines for the caring of clergy families. Some elements of it might be in conflict with human rights codes.
The bishops were informed that a Personnel Review Task Force has been established to study what services the national office is providing the dioceses since the retirement of the Reverend Richard Johns. A questionnaire is to go to all bishops as well as other networks of the church, and a recommendation will be made to NEC at some time in the future.
That this House asks the Primate to set up a Task Force to consider ways of enabling the implementation of the recommendations of the Clergy Marriage Report in the various dioceses across the country and report to a future meeting of the House. CARRIED
Archbishop Crawley spoke to the House of Bishops about two issues related to the General Synod Continuing Education Fund. The first point was about the definition used by General Synod for "sabbatical", and the second point was about priests using money from their continuing education funds for church computers.
Archbishop Crawley said that his difficulty with the General Synod definition of a sabbatical was its inflexibility in what qualifies as one. The current definition says that a sabbatical is 8 consecutive weeks (off) or study in a D.Min program. He said that the clergy of the Diocese of Kootenay have asked him to request more flexibility in what would qualify as a sabbatical because taking 8 weeks away from the parish is an unrealistic expectation for many parish priests. (Many parishes cannot afford to hire an interim priest for that duration.)
Archbishop Crawley asked his colleagues whether they would be prepared to pass a motion requesting the General Synod Continuing Education Committee to look at broadening their definition for a sabbatical leave.
In the light of current educational opportunities, the National House of Bishops requests the Continuing Education Committee of General Synod to examine ways in which the continuing education policy can be more flexible in its definition of a sabbatical leave. CARRIED #07-11-98
In the past, many parish priests used their continuing education funds to purchase books, and then they started to buy personal computers with it. However, Archbishop Crawley said that he has recently discovered that some parishes are using their priest's continuing education funds to subsidize computers for the parish. Archbishop Crawley expressed his feeling that in this age, computers are actually necessary tools of business. He asked whether others (in the House) shared his position. Discussion followed. Bishop Hutchison said that the Diocese of Montreal had other means of funding for priests wanting assistance to get hardware.
Archbishop Peers offered that "sabbatical" implies "rest" which might be a reason for the duration listed in the General Synod Continuing Education Fund's definition. Other words suggested as possible alternatives were "long term study" or "degrees". The Primate requested that Bishop Hannen and Bishop Lawrence work on possible wording which could be proposed with the request to the General Synod Continuing Education Committee.