Later in the day, the bishops continued their discussion about Anglican unity.
"That the House move into a committee of the whole." CARRIED Res. #HB-03-10-04
Bishop Burton offered a substitute to the motion which he and Bishop Bruce had proposed earlier to the House of Bishops.
Moved by: Bishop Burton
Seconded by: Bishop Bruce
"That in light of the Primates' Statement of October 16, 2003, we ask all parties involved in, or seeking, extra-territorial Episcopal oversight as specified below (Footnote 1) to stand down to allow for the work of the recently appointed Anglican Communion [Lambeth] Commission. With this in view we request the Primate of Canada, without prejudice to the provincial autonomy of the Anglican Church of Canada, to invite the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates, to initiate a process towards the provision of adequate alternative Episcopal oversight. Moreover we respectfully request the Archbishop of Canterbury to arrange for a report back to this House at its April 2004 meeting, and for him or his designate soon to arrange interim Episcopal oversight for the parishes in dispute with the Bishop and Synod of New Westminster, in consultation with the Bishop of New Westminster and the parishes concerned.
(Footnote 1) "a) Request the Bishop of Yukon to refrain from exercising Episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster
b) Request that the Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon stay disciplinary proceedings against the Bishop of Yukon
c) Request that the Bishop of New Westminster see a stay of disciplinary proceedings against the priests of his diocese against whom such proceedings have been initiated."
Copies of a motion moved by Bishop Hiltz and seconded by Archbishop Finlay were distributed.
Moved By: Bishop Hiltz
Seconded by: Archbishop Finlay
"That this House of Bishops acknowledges with gratitude the establishment of the Commission called for by the Primates in their statement of October 16, 2003, welcomes the announcement of the members appointed, and commits itself prayerfully to uphold them in the task they have accepted."
The Primate asked for a show of hands to test the mind of the House regarding the order the motions should be dealt with.
1. Bishop Burton and Bishop Bruce
2. Archbishop Hutchison and Archbishop Clarke
3. Archbishop Hutchison and Archbishop Finlay
4. Bishop Hiltz and Archbishop Finlay
Bishop Stavert noted that the bishops had heard from Bishops Ingham and Hockin, but had not had an opportunity to hear from Bishop Buckle about the situation in the Diocese of New Westminster. He asked whether it would be possible for the Bishop of Yukon to speak.
Bishop Buckle said that he thought he would be able to accept and work with some of what had been proposed. He made a few comments about the role of the Episcopal Visitor in the Diocese of New Westminster and stated that the had not discouraged the disaffected parishes from accepting the offer of an Episcopal Visitor. However, once the disaffected parishes announced that they would not accept the Episcopal Visitor, and had indicated that they wanted him to continue to give Episcopal oversight to them, he felt that he could not leave them. Bishop Buckle shared his feeling that it was important that the proceedings of discipline against the priest of the disaffected parishes and him be dropped. He said it would be difficult for him to consider withdrawing from the dissenting parishes if it meant they would then be left in a vacuum. Bishop Buckle concluded by asking, "If I withdraw, where am I leaving them ? If a solution could be found where they could say 'yes, this is good' then I would be able to withdraw."
Bishop Matthews distributed and read out the writing group's most recent draft of the bishops' pastoral statement, "A message to the Anglican Church of Canada" on the topic of blessing same sex unions. Questions and comments from the floor were invited. Discussion followed. The bishops had run out of meeting time and so it was agreed that the document should continue to be worked on. Generally it was agreed that it was preferable to offer a pastoral statement, but not appropriate to deliver a canonical response.
We entrust completion of the House of Bishops' document "A Message to the Anglican Church of Canada" to its authors and that it be forwarded to the House of Bishops for their final input. CARRIED HB Res. 04-04-07
[Niagara Falls, Ont.] Apr, 20, 2007 -- To Canadian Anglicans, from the House of Bishops
Brothers and sisters in Christ
The House of Bishops met at Mount Carmel retreat center in Niagara Falls from Tuesday April 17 to Friday April 20. We write this letter to the Canadian Church so that Anglicans will know what we did and how the meeting was for us. As has been our custom for the last while, we devoted the first part of our days together to prayer and Bible study.
This, our last meeting of the triennium was an appropriate time for us to be blessed by a visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. His Grace was with us for less than 24 hours, but his presence was a significant and valued gift. He lead us in prayer and conducted a retreat on the theme of apostolic ministry during which he delivered a number of reflections that gave us profound insights into our ministries and how we do them. We found the Archbishop of Canterbury’s humility, wisdom and humour filling both intellectually and spiritually. During breaks in the day, Dr. Williams met with the bishops of all four ecclesiastical provinces. His time with us was spirit-filled and especially important to us on the eve of a General Synod where many important decisions will be made and where a new Primate will be elected and installed. His reflections set the tone for our meeting.
We also heard from several other people whose presence and ministries enrich us.
Bishop Mark MacDonald joined us for the first time since his appointment earlier this year as National Indigenous Bishop and he spoke stirringly about a life spent in ministry with indigenous peoples. He spoke to us of how and where native people see God. He gave us a vision of a new partnership with indigenous people. He told us that the kind of renewed church that can emerge from this partnership will be very different, though exactly what it will look like we cannot yet know. Bishop MacDonald expressed a strong commitment to work with us towards that future.
Bishop Peter Coffin, who will soon retire as Bishop of Ottawa but who remains with us as Bishop Ordinary to the Armed Forces, spoke to us of spending Easter with Canadian troops in Afghanistan, at a time when there were several Canadian casualties. Bishop Coffin personifies the importance of this ministry at a critical time in world affairs.
We heard from Bishop Philip Poole who, with Bishop Coffin, attended the TEAM (Towards Effective Anglican Mission) conference in South Africa, an experience which Bishop Poole said moved him to tears. The conference examined how churches are responding to the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Bishop Poole said he was profoundly stirred by the energy and joy that the people he met bring to being church despite their very difficult circumstances. The gathering, he said, brought home to him, the many valuable ministries of the church.
We spent much of our time in consideration of the primacy, both what it has been and what it can become and, for this purpose, we were joined by former Bishop of Ottawa John Baycroft who presented us with a valuable reflection on a primacy rooted in Episcopal ministry and on different ways in which that ministry can be exercised. He spoke to us of the past as a means of envisioning a future for this crucial ministry.
As part of our discussion on the primacy, we agreed overwhelmingly to ask the General Synod when it gathers in June to establish a task force made up of members of the Orders of Bishops, Clergy and Laity “to undertake a detailed and comprehensive study of the nature, role, duties and authority of the Primate” and if necessary to recommend changes to the Canon on the primacy for consideration at the General Synod in 2010.
Wednesday evening, we attended a dinner with Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, our Primate, and his wife Lois, so that we could express our profound appreciation for his three-year ministry as Primate. Archbishop Andrew’s leadership of the church and his chairing of our house in the past three years bear eloquent witness to his passionate dedication to the principles of communication and reconciliation. He began his primacy by saying he would “bring people to the table” and he has strived consistently to do so.
We spent much of the following day in prayerful consideration of possible successors to Archbishop Hutchison, our 12th Primate, and as a result of these deliberations, we will submit a list of four nominees to the General Synod. They are Bishop Bruce Howe of Huron, Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Bishop George Bruce of Ontario and Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton.
As we considered candidates for the primatial election, news reached us of a death in the family of Bishop Bruce who was therefore obliged to leave us before the end of our gathering. We pray for him, for his family and for his deceased daughter-in-law.
We devoted a significant amount of time to a discussion of a statement from the bishops of Rupert’s Land about the resolutions on same-sex blessings produced by the Council of General Synod for the consideration of the General Synod. We also heard a substantive presentation by bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario about how we as bishops should prepare for the outcome of the vote by General Synod on this issue, regardless of what that decision might be. We agreed that we as bishops must be prepared to offer a pastoral response regardless of the outcome of the vote at General Synod.
On our last day together we worked on a draft statement to members of the General Synod and to members of the church that offers pastoral responses to a decision on the blessing of same-sex unions. This document will be developed further by its authors and will then be submitted to members of the House for approval by email and, we hope, for inclusion in the Convening Circular.
"Be it resolved that this House of Bishops respectfully request the Primate to write a pastoral letter to the Church on The Windsor Report and in which he may also wish to invite submissions on the Report from Anglicans from coast to coast to coast." CARRIED Res.#HB 04-10-08
[Text of Pastoral Letter dated 30 November 2004]
A Pastoral Letter from the Primate
St. Andrew's Day November 30, 2004
My sisters and brothers in Christ
The six-month anniversary of my installation as Primate is upon us and I want to begin my pastoral letter to you with a word of thanks. Since June, I have had many opportunities to be with Anglicans across our country. We have a Church that is full of faith, life and energy. From coast to coast to coast I have spoken with children and young people, clergy, lay people, government officials, aboriginal leaders and our ecumenical partners. What I have discovered are communities of faith and love that give hope through the gospel of our Lord. I thank you for your ministry and for the prayerful support that I have received.
I write to you at this time at the request of the House of Bishops. We recently met in Saskatoon, with a spirit of reconciliation and fellowship marking our time together. The House passed a unanimous resolution receiving the Windsor Report with gratitude, recognizing its importance and commending it to the Church for study. A second resolution asked me to write a pastoral letter inviting the people of our Church to make submissions about the report.
The Commission that produced this report was created by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at the request of the Primates and was chaired by Archbishop Robin Eames of Armagh, Ireland. The Commission comprised 19 people from 14 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion and who covered a broad spectrum of geography, culture and theology. The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the director of Faith, Worship and Ministry for the Anglican Church of Canada, was a member. It is extremely important to realize that this was not a committee to settle the difficult questions that we face about blessing of same sex relationships. Their mandate was to maximize unity within the worldwide Anglican family despite the differences that we may have. The recommendations they made were unanimous.
The report begins by describing the relationship called communion, into which Christians are called by God, and how this relates to the mission of the Church.. It then describes the current difficulties and tensions that the Anglican Communion is experiencing.
The next section deals with principles of biblical authority and interpretation. How we hold these principles and make decisions, as close as possible to the local level, is one of the difficult questions that is raised. A clear challenge is the discernment of those issues that we can disagree about without dividing the Church.
The report then moves to its recommendations on the future life of the worldwide Anglican Church. It describes Instruments of Unity, especially the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and recommends the creation of an Anglican Covenant that would define the relationships among the member Churches of the Anglican Communion.
Further recommendations are directed to the Episcopal Church of the USA, and our own Canadian Diocese of New Westminster, asking them to express regret that their actions were undertaken without sufficient consultation with the rest of the Communion. It also called for a moratorium on the ordination of any further bishops who live in same gender unions and urged bishops not to approve Public Rites of Blessing for same sex relationships until "some new consensus" emerges internationally among Anglicans.
Another recommendation calls on bishops who have intervened in other dioceses and provinces to express regret for "the consequences of their actions" and "to effect a moratorium on any further interventions".
On my most recent webcast, available through our national Church website (www.national.anglican.ca). I invited all members of our Church to share their thoughts on the Windsor Report with me. I continue to seek responses. I have also invited each diocese to make an official response. These initial responses will become part of the message I take to Belfast, Northern Ireland, when all the Primates of the Anglican Communion meet in February 2005 and again to the Anglican Consultative Council that will meet in Nottingham, England, in June 2005.
Our General Synod has recognized the integrity and sanctity of committed, faithful same sex relationships. When we meet next in June 2007 we will need to address the outcome of these international consultations and our own Canadian processes to discern what decisions are appropriate for the life of this Church.
When the Primates gathered in 2000 they stated that "We are conscious that we all stand together at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ, so we know that to turn away from each other would be to turn away from the Cross".
My love for our Lord and our Church compels me to address these issues with determination, not for the purposes of winning or losing, but to honour the gospel values that we all share. I pray that you will accompany me.
I close with the concluding words of Archbishop Robin Eames' foreword to the Windsor Report:
"The Lambeth Commission ... offers this Report in the prayerful hope that it will encourage the enhanced levels of understanding which are essential for the future of the Anglican Communion. Above all I pray it will be viewed as a genuine contribution to what communion really means to Anglicans".
I wish you a blessed Advent and a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
Corrections to the minutes of October 27-31, 2001:
1. p. 22 - Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue
Msgr. Francois La Pierre's last name should be written as "Lapierre" (one word).
That the Minutes of the House of Bishops' October 27-31, 2001 meeting be adopted with the noted correction to Msgr. Francois Lapierre's last name. CARRIED #HB-05-04-02
Resolution #HB-02-10-11 on page 18 of the October 2003 House of Bishops Minutes noted the following correction: "3.) "Minutes" (p. 21): The name "Francoise Lapierre" was amended to "Francois Lapierre".
Archbishop Crawley briefly described the format planned for the session about alternate episcopal oversight (AEO). It included:
- Presentation of the Primate's Task Force Report on AEO
- Table group discussions
- Discussion in plenary
- Motion(s) about the report
Archbishop Crawley welcomed Bishop Morgan (retired Bishop of Saskatoon) to the meeting of the House of Bishops. Bishop Matthews reviewed the mandate of the Primate's Task Force on Alternative Episcopal Oversight (AEO).
Members of the Task Force included: Bishop Matthews (chair), Bishop Bruce, Bishop Morgan and Bishop Young. The Rev. Dr. Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate provided staff support to the Task Force.
Bishop Bruce reviewed the time line of events (nationally and internationally) leading up to the present (- sections 2 and 3 respectively in the report). He explained a bit about the process of consultation undertaken by the Task Force to gather input prior to writing their report.
Three models of alternative episcopal oversight were proposed in the report for the House of Bishops to consider (section 6). Bishop Matthews briefly described each of the models proposed by the Task Force. She described them as:
Model #1 (section 6.2.) -"is an 'in trust' model"
Model #2 (section 6.3) - "AEO when needed for a short period of time only"
Model #3 (section 6.4) - "not strictly an AEO model at all, but an arrangement between two bishops"
Bishop Matthews commented on section 6.6 which she said referred to ways of handling alternative episcopal oversight. She responded to a suggestion made by the Chancellor of the Diocese of New Westminster that there may be a legal impediment to the Task Force's proposals. Bishop Matthews informed the bishops that the Chancellor of General Synod and two other chancellors had had an opportunity to review the report. She said that they didn't think that there would be a legal impediment if one of the proposed models was taken up.
The bishops broke into table groups to respond to two questions.
1. Will one of the models in the Primate's Task Forces on AEO report work in your diocese ?
2. What are the concerns you have ?
The bishops reported back on their table group discussions.
Bishop Matthews gave notice of a motion. (Copies of it were distributed to the bishops.) She responded to the table groups' comments and asked the bishops to keep in mind that the consultation process had included input from laity and clergy (as well as bishops).
The bishops met the next day to continue their discussion.
Archbishop Hutchison gave notice of an amendment to the motion.
Bishop Matthews observed that it was understandable the members of the House would be most interested in model 3 (section 6.4) because it involved an informal arrangement between bishops. However she reiterated her point of the previous day, and asked that they keep in mind that the task force had received and considered input from bishops, clergy and laity. She asked that the bishops keep that in mind particularly when looking at models 1 and 2. She reminded the members of the House of Bishops that the proposed models were not legislative.
Discussion on the content of the Task Force report continued. Several bishops thanked the Task Force for their work.
Archbishop Crawley spoke to the House re taking an action (e.g. receiving a report) and how the action gets interpreted (by others). He said, "we must come up with a decision which will actually involve some 'doing'."
Moved by: Archbishop Clarke
Seconded by: Bishop Young
"That this House of Bishops adopt the Report of the Adequate Alternative Episcopal Oversight Task Force, while hoping that alternative episcopal oversight will not be required by the Anglican Church of Canada."
Moved by: Archbishop Hutchison
Seconded by: Bishop Ingham
"That this House receive with thanks the report of the Task Force on the AEO commending model 3 in the report of the task Force on the AEO commending model 3 in the report to the consideration of any diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada that should find it necessary."
Bishop Harvey challenged the validity of the proposed amendment. It was put to a vote and was carried as a valid amendment by the House. Archbishop Crawley declared Archbishop Hutchison's and Bishop Ingham's motion to be a valid amendment.
Proposed amendment to the amendment:
Moved by: Bishop Stavert
Seconded by: Bishop Bedford-Jones
"That this House of Bishops receive with thanks the report of the AEO Task Force, omitting paragraph 6.4.1. and replacing it with paragraph 6.5.3. and omitting in that paragraph 6.4.1. and replacing it with paragraph 6.5.3. and omitting in that paragraph the words 'not AEO' and ending at the word 'ordination' and commending model 3 in the report to the consideration of any diocese in the Anglican church of Canada that should find it necessary."
Archbishop Hutchison and Bishop Ingham accepted thief amendment as friendly.
Moved by: Bishop Matthews
Seconded by: Bishop Johnson
"That the House of Bishops move into a committee of the whole." CARRIED Res. #HB-04-04.01
The debate about the amended amendment continued.
Moved by: Bishop Howe
Seconded by: Bishop Spence
"That the House of Bishops move out of a committee of the whole" CARRIED Res. #HB-04-04-02
The amended amendment was put before the bishops. CARRIED Res. #HB-04-04-03
Motion as amended:
"That this House of Bishops adopt the Report of the Adequate Alternative Episcopal Oversight Task Force, while hoping that alternative episcopal oversight will not be required by the Anglican Church of Canada.
That this House of Bishops receive with thanks the report of the Primate's Task Force on Alternative Episcopal Oversight, omitting paragraph 6.4.1., and replacing it with paragraph 6.5.3. omitting in that paragraph the words 'not AEO' and ending at the word 'ordination' and commending model 3 in the report to the consideration of any diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada that should find it necessary." LOST Res. #HB-04-04-04
"That the House of Bishops receive the report of the Task Force on Alternative Episcopal Oversight with thanks, and that further discussion be deferred until a future meeting of the House of Bishops and General Synod." CARRIED Res. #HB-04-04-05
[The text of the report of the Task Force on Alternative Episcopal Oversight is 50 pages in length and may be found on the Anglican Church of Canada website at: http://www.anglican.ca/primate/tpo/tpo00.html Text NOT included in electronic database.]
Bishop Johnson lead the first session on Shared Episcopal Ministry. He informed the bishops that he was presenting the report, "Shared Episcopal Ministry, Addendum to the Primate's Task Force report on AEO" for clarification and not for discussion.) He then reviewed the report, which proposed a model for shared episcopal ministry (where a diocesan bishop would share episcopal oversight with another bishop). The report also recommended that consideration be given by the diocesan synods to having a motion re Shared Episcopal Ministry when considering whether or not to allow same sex blessings in their dioceses.
The Primate's Task Force on Alternative Episcopal Oversight was made up of: Bishop Hiltz (chair), Bishop Bruce, Bishop Howe and Bishop Johnson. Archdeacon Feheley provided staff support to the task force.
Bishop Johnson reminded the bishops of the discussion they had had at their meeting in April . At that time they had agreed that the situation was serious, but could not come up with a proposal for how to continue. Bishop Johnson noted that the report he was presenting was an addendum report to the original report from the Task Force on AEO. He pointed out that the task force had decided to use the term "shared episcopal ministry" rather than "adequate episcopal oversight".
Archbishop Hutchison invited questions and comments for clarification (not debate).
Bishop Hiltz and Bishop George facilitated the second session about Shared Episcopal [Ministry].
Bishop Hiltz put three questions to the bishops for discussion in their table groups. They were asked to record their conversations for the task force.
1. What can I affirm in the addendum ?
2. Is there anything in the addendum that causes me concern ?
3. If I had a suggestion for strengthening the addendum, it would be ...
The groups reported back in plenary.
Bishop George lead the House through some revisions to the proposal made by the task force based on the bishops' comments during their first session on the addendum report.
"Be it resolved that in accordance with the Windsor Report (para 153), this House of Bishops at its meeting of November 3rd 2004, adopt the Addendum to the Report of its Task Force on Shared Episcopal Ministry, and in the interest of our commitment to unity and reconciliation commend it to all dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada." CARRIED Res. #HB-04-10-02
[Text of the report "Shared Episcopal Ministry, Addendum to the Primate's Task Force report on AEO" is available electronically on the Anglican Church of Canada website at: http://www.anglican.ca/primate/files/2010/11/SEM.pdf . Text also available in full below.]
Shared Episcopal Ministry
This model recognizes the reality that one Canadian diocesan synod has and that in the future others may also deal with the question of whether to allow the blessing of same sex relationships to take place within the parishes of their dioceses. In the event of a diocesan synod and bishop agreeing to such blessings we believe that it is important that a binding conscience clause for parishes and clergy be available. Regardless of the outcome of those Synods some parishes may feel disenfranchised and vulnerable, and therefore desire to seek Shared Episcopal Ministry, where the diocesan bishop would share his/her episcopal oversight with another bishop. When a diocese is considering the question of blessings, we believe that the same synod should consider a motion that would allow Shared Episcopal Ministry in their diocese. Such a resolution should include the provisions outlined at para 3) and 4) below.
The Process of Shared Episcopal Ministry
1. The Metropolitan of each Province would be responsible for assembling a list of current and retired bishops in good standing in the Canadian Church and who would be willing to participate in providing Shared Episcopal Ministry within the province. The provincial house of bishops must approve the list. The Metropolitan will not be included on the list for his/her Province. It would be important to have a number of bishops from different theological perspectives so that all parishes requesting Shared Episcopal Ministry might be served. A bishop from another province of the Communion would be eligible to be on the Metropolitan's list with the assurance that he/she would participate under the terms of these arrangements as outlined. The bishop would be designated as an episcopal assistant to the Metropolitan.
2. When a diocese has agreed to Shared Episcopal Ministry through a synod resolution the costs of that ministry, like all episcopal ministry is deemed to be an expense of the diocese. A suitable budget must also be agreed to between the individual parish and the diocese for the provision of Shared Episcopal Ministry.
3. If the incumbent and members of the parish believe that they cannot work with their bishop in the light of the current disagreements on issues of human sexuality , the rector and the canonically designated lay leadership shall meet with the bishop in a spirit of openness to seek reconciliation. After such a meeting, it is hoped that a mutually agreeable way forward can be found. If it is not a parish may elect the option of Shared Episcopal Ministry by a resolution passing with a 2/3 majority of those present and voting at a duly constituted parish meeting . The incumbent must also concur with the decision.
4. In order for the parish resolution to become effective the following provisions are to be followed:
- a. The parish and the diocesan bishop would choose a suitable bishop from the provincial list to provide Shared Episcopal Ministry taking into account such things as theological perspective and proximity to the parish. Their decision will be conveyed to the Metropolitan who may be asked to assist with the process.
- b. The parish would retain its voice and vote at synod and would be free to participate in the councils of the Church at all levels.
- c. The parish must maintain its current and future financial commitments to the diocese.
- d. The parish would be free to undertake new Church developments subject to diocesan procedures.
- e. Both the parish and the diocesan bishop would review the decision every three years or earlier if desired.
5. The duties of the bishop involved in Shared Episcopal Ministry takes as its point of origin the example of dioceses where there is/are suffragan bishop(s). He or she would not have jurisdiction but would be part of the process on appointments, episcopal visits, confirmations, pastoral care of clergy, advice on potential ordinands and participate in ordinations. This model would honour the process of appointment that each diocese currently follows. The diocese would insure that wide ranges of theological perspectives were represented on the committee dealing with postulants for ordination.
6. In the event that the parish seeking Shared Episcopal Ministry is in the diocese of the Metropolitan the senior bishop by date of consecration would fulfill the role given to the Metropolitan.
The model described above is designed to deal with the circumstances in which all sides acknowledge that there is a level of dissent between a parish and their diocesan bishop, however negotiated oversight is feasible Shared Episcopal Ministry as defined can provide a means of episcopal pastoral care and direction for the parish.
A Process in Circumstances requiring Conciliation
What follows is designed to deal with the circumstances in which all sides acknowledge that there is such a level of dissent and /or distrust between a parish and their diocesan bishop that negotiated oversight is not feasible To overcome the obstacle posed by such a high level of dissent, some means must be identified to provide Shared Episcopal Ministry from outside of the diocesan structure. The parish or the diocesan bishop may appeal to the Metropolitan using the following process.
1. The Metropolitan of each province would be responsible for assembling a list of current and retired bishops in good standing in the Canadian Church and who would be willing to participate in providing Shared Episcopal Ministry within the province. The provincial house of bishops must approve the list. The Metropolitan will not be included on the list for his/her Province. It would be important to have a number of bishops from different theological perspectives so that all parishes requesting Shared Episcopal Ministry might be served. A bishop from another province of the Communion would be eligible to be on The Metropolitan's list with the assurance that he/she would participate under the terms of these arrangements as outlined. The bishop would be designated as an episcopal assistant to the Metropolitan.
2. If the incumbent and members of the parish or the diocesan bishop believe that they cannot work together in the light of the current disagreements on issues of human sexuality , the rector and the canonically designated lay leadership shall meet with the bishop in a spirit of openness to seek reconciliation. After such a meeting, it is hoped that a mutually agreeable way forward can be found. If it is not, a parish may elect the option of Shared Episcopal Ministry by a resolution passing with a 2/3 majority of those present and voting at a duly constituted parish meeting . The incumbent must also concur with the decision.
3. The diocesan bishop would seek the consent of his/her diocesan council (or equivalent) to implement Shared Episcopal Ministry. The parish or the diocesan bishop would advise the other party that they were petitioning the Metropolitan to appoint a bishop to provide Shared Episcopal Ministry.
4. The Metropolitan shall meet with all involved to endeavour to resolve the outstanding issues. The Metropolitan may request two others who are acceptable to both parties to join him/her to review the situation, to consider the appeal, and to make recommendations to all parties.
5. Prior to implementation the Metropolitan will have ensured that there is an agreement between the Parish and the diocese on how all costs related to Shared Episcopal Ministry will be borne, including diocesan assessment.
6. With the consent of the Diocesan Bishop and of the parish, the Metropolitan will appoint a bishop to provide Shared Episcopal Ministry from the list approved by the provincial house of bishops. The Metropolitan would take into account the question of reasonable proximity to the parish and diocese and the theological position of the parish .
7. The parish would retain its voice and vote at synod and would be free to participate in the councils of the Church at all levels.
8. The parish would be free to undertake new Church developments subject to diocesan procedures.
9. Both the parish and the diocesan bishop will review the decision every three years or earlier if desired.
10. The Duties of the bishop involved in Shared Episcopal Ministry takes as its point of origin the example of dioceses where there is/are suffragan bishop(s). He or she would not have jurisdiction but would be part of the process on appointments, episcopal visits, confirmations, pastoral care of clergy, advice on potential ordinands and participate in ordinations. This model would honour the process of appointment that each diocese currently follows. The diocese would insure that wide ranges of theological perspectives were represented on the committee dealing with postulants for ordination.
11. In the event that the parish seeking Shared Episcopal Ministry is in the diocese of the Metropolitan the senior bishop by date of consecration would fulfill the role given to the Metropolitan.
Shared Episcopal Ministry provided under either circumstance is based on a spirit of reconciliation, co-operation and goodwill. In order not to institutionalize schism it is always to be understood as a temporary arrangement directed toward reconciliation between the parties. . Changes in parish or diocesan leadership are appropriate times for renewed efforts towards the ultimate goal of full restoration of the relationship between the parish and its bishop.
The document says that
“The Duties of the bishop involved in Shared Episcopal Ministry takes as its point of origin the example of dioceses where there is/are suffragan bishop(s). He or she would not have jurisdiction but would be part of the process on appointments, episcopal visits, confirmations, pastoral care of clergy, advice on potential ordinands and participate in ordinations. This model would honour the process of appointment that each diocese currently follows”.
In reference to Suffragan bishops and appointments there are a variety of models that are followed across the Canadian Church
- In Huron the suffragan appoints and the diocesan signs the license
- In Nova Scotia and PEI the diocesan appoints and signs the license
- In Toronto the Area (or suffragan) signs the appointment letter and co-signs the license with the diocesan.
We would recommend that the diocesan bishop and the bishop involved with Shared Episcopal Ministry clarify the process they will use prior to the bishop beginning his/her ministry in a parish.
 Whenever the term parish meeting is used in this document it refers to the full members of the parish that have the right to be present and to vote at its annual meeting as defined by the canons of the diocese
 Whenever the term parish meeting is used in this document it refers to the full members of the parish that have the right to be present and to vote at its annual meeting as defined by the canons of the diocese