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.
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.
A report provided by the Rev. W.E. Lowe regarding the Canadian Interfaith Communications Network, along with a letter which Mr. Lowe prepared for distribution to all Parishes, was discussed.
Bishop Parke-Taylor distributed copies of a memorandum which he had received from the Media Communications Committee of the Diocese of Toronto in which the Committee raised concern regarding the philosophy, content and funding of the enterprise.
That the House of Bishops request that the issues raised by the Diocese of Toronto be discussed with Inter-Church Communications and that this matter be referred to the Program Committee for consideration. CARRIED #5-2-84
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
The Primate welcomed Bishop Hatfield and the Rev. Christopher Carr who presented the Report of the Task Force on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that the Report was completed prior to the recent rash of killings of police officers, which has created a high stress level. Because of the killings, the Task Force felt that this is a most opportune time to conduct an educational session on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that some Churches have not indicated agreement with the abolition of capital punishment, but that those who have done so have not changed their stands. Examples were given in which it was illustrated that the threat of the death penalty would not have been a deterrent to murder.
The Primate shared reflections from two lawyers who have studied the report, and invited open discussion.
That a short statement be issued by the House of Bishops on the subject of Capital Punishment. CARRIED #6-10-84
It was agreed that a small group prepare a suggested statement for the perusal of the House and that the Task Force be requested to revise the paper in the light of comments by the House. The statement, when approved, is to be addressed to the Anglican constituency and the citizens of Canada. The revised Report is to be presented at the February, 1985 meeting of the House.
The Primate thanked Bishop Hatfield and Mr. Carr for being present and addressing the House, and expressed appreciation to the members of the Task Force for their work.
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
That at the Fall, 1986 meeting of the House of Bishops, a major portion of the Continuing Education time be devoted to the death penalty and criminal justice, and that time be allotted to a study of retreats and meditations. CARRIED #6-9-85
Bishop Morgan informed the House that the Diocese of Saskatchewan is in the process of studying a request of the Cree people for the election of a Cree suffragan bishop. He said that there are ten Cree priests and three postulants and thirty Cree communities. He has spoken to the Diocesan Indian Council and with the Chancellor of the Diocese and it is felt that this is a very good thing for the Diocese of Saskatchewan. However, he expressed some concern regarding relationships with the rest of the church about going ahead.
That this House express its support and encouragement to Bishop Morgan as the Diocese of Saskatchewan proceeds to the election of a Cree Suffragan Bishop for the Diocese of Saskatchewan. CARRIED