That when the report on the Canadian Interfaith Network has been received and questions addressed to the Committee, the House move into "in camera" to discuss the report. CARRIED #5-10-84
N.B. In camera minutes NOT included in electronic database.
The Rev. W. Lowe introduced the Rev. David MacDonald, president-Elect of the Canadian Interfaith Television Network, Dr. David Nostbakken, who has special responsibility for production and animation and the Rev. Canon Ebert Hobbs who has been involved in funding and development.
Mr. Lowe said that the two to three day hearing is to be held before the C.R.T.C. in November in Hull, Quebec. He reported that data revealed in the public hearing would be reviewed, and if approved, the licence will be issued in January or February of 1985.
Mr. MacDonald said that a free, no-pay television licence has been applied for. He stressed that a key question is the situation with the Roman Catholic Church whose real problem is both size and the Anglophone/Francophone division, further complicated by the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has had no personnel for communications for the past several years. He reported that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said that they felt it would not be appropriate for them to become further involved, as a Conference of Bishops, but would encourage regional participation.
Canon Hobbs reviewed financial statements which were distributed, for information. He reported that a Feasibility Study is now being conducted by Community Charitable Counselling Service and that their report will be part of the public document which is available at the Hearing. Among the questions and concerns raised by the Bishops were the following:
- What is the potential viewing audience ?
- What are the financial implications ?
- It was recognized that neo-religious groups will be given air time as well.
Dr. Nostbakken spoke regarding the Children's Broadcasting Institute. He said that research reveals that there is a large concern on the part of parents and teachers regarding the quality of programs which reach children. He stated that television has become a way of life for children and that, by the time they have graduated from high school, they have watched on an average of 15,000 hours of television. This has a great influence on their beliefs and attitudes.
Concern was expressed regarding production costs. Mr. MacDonald expressed the opinion that the C.R.T.C. will accept the Canadian Interfaith Network application, and Mr. Lowe added that the C.R.T.C. is concerned that the coalition of religious communities stay together in this endeavour.
Archbishop Scott reminded the Bishops that there is to be a meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 6th November regarding the Canadian Interfaith Network, and enquired as to the possibility of any of the Bishops being present at that meeting. Unfortunately, all of the Bishops indicated that other commitments made attendance at that meeting impossible.
The Primate shared a letter which had been sent to the Rev. David MacDonald from the Jesuits in which they expressed enthusiastic support and indicated that financial support would be available for the Canadian Interfaith Network. The Jesuits indicated in their letter that they would encourage other Roman Catholic groups to give their support to the project.
Bishop Nock introduced Papers submitted by the House of Bishops' Task Force on Evangelism and Spirituality. (See Appendix A.) [Text of Appendix A is NOT included in electronic database.]
At the conclusion of the discussion, the Task Force asked what direction the House wished to give to it. It was requested that the Papers be made public, and the General Secretary was asked to arrange for their duplication and availability for distribution.
That the Report be accepted and referred to the Task Force to do further work and report to the House of Bishops in November. CARRIED
The Primate invited Bishop Nock to take the Chair. In introducing the report, Bishop Nock pointed out that the responses already received could be placed in three major areas:
1) relationships between the national office and dioceses and parishes;
2) matters pertaining to Provincial Synods, jurisdiction, etc;
3) the Primacy and the responsibilities of the General Secretary.
Mention was also made of the place of the House of Bishops.
i. Relations with the House of Bishops
At the request of the Chairman, Bishop Peers introduced this section of the report, including the recommendations. A general discussion followed in the course of which it became evident that recommendation #3 (a) and (b) were regarded as unsatisfactory because they were seen to be destructive of the leadership role of the Bishops. Particular attention was also called to the final paragraph on page fifty-four of the Report basically because of the underlying fallacious assumptions which contributed to inaccurate conclusions.
Various questions were raised as follows:
- If the Provincial organization, and the House of Bishops were not within the terms of reference, why are they mentioned in the report ?
- Can the operation of the Church be assessed in the strict light of business procedures ?
- Are business procedure criteria adequate and appropriate to us ?
The discussion surrounding the last two questions indicated a negative response to the questions.
Moved by: Bishop Goodman
Seconded by: Archbishop Watton
"That Bishops Valentine and Short be requested to prepare a statement as the response of the House and to present it to the House for approval." (See Appendix B.)
"That the House ask Bishops Valentine and Short to reproduce as accurately as possible their comments to the House relating to Section M p.54 of the Price Waterhouse report, also the recommendations on p.55, and that this House express its general agreement."
The original Motion was withdrawn with the consent of the House and the amendment, becoming the Motion was CARRIED
Copies of the Statement were requested. (Appendix B.)
Relations with the Provincial Synods
ii. In the brief discussion of this Section of the Report, it was noted that responses had been sent in from the Provincial Synods.
STATEMENTS RE PRICE WATERHOUSE REPORT
"In reference to p. 54, last paragraph:
1. While I cannot speak about "the public" -- although this may fall within the significant are of folk-religion -- it seems to me that the `church members' referred to do comprehend 'the special and sensitive place' of the House. It is precisely, perhaps, Price Waterhouse who don't comprehend it.
2. The paragraph refers to the 'historic role' of the episcopate giving 'tremendous authority' to its view. I am not quite sure what Price Waterhouse means by that very difficult word 'authority', but in any event, their phrasing succeeds in conveying an image that the 'authority' derives primarily, or even only, from history and consists in some sort of medieval prelacy. I would suggest that in some very important senses the authority of the House inheres in the contemporary being and nature of the church as the church constituency sees and understands itself.
3. I find it difficult to understand what is really meant by 'extreme circumspection', but I suspect 'evasive circumlocution'. Similarly, the phrase 'wherever possible', seems to imply that it would only in the most rare and extra-ordinary circumstances that the House would speak apart from synodical structures. I find that those two phrases in conjunction convey a sense quite alien to that of prophecy in society or even meaningful leadership within the church."
"The House of Bishops and the Provincial Synods were not within the terms of reference set forth for the Price Waterhouse Report. One can only assume that these bodies conflict with what, in the eyes of business management, is an efficient organization. If this is true, and the general tone of the Report suggests that it is, then it is necessary to state that business management consultants are not really competent to deal with the structures of the Church; even though it must in all fairness be said that certain details of the report are most helpful.
To one who sees the Church from the perspective of a diocesan bishop, it is questionable that the corporation model is congruous with the nature of the Church. Perhaps we are to understand from the Report that what is wrong with General Synod is that is incompatible with the work style of the board room. It is therefore suggested in effect that National Executive Council become the governing body of the Church -- small, manageable and capable of quick decisions. Such a model has no place for four Provincial Synods all enjoying some measure of autonomy, and some thirty semi-autonomous constitutional bodies. One might suppose that it is incredible that the Anglican Church of Canada is not incorporated. Yet this (from some points of view) untidy structure is the Church.
At Lambeth Professor Charles Elliott pointed out that 'bigger is not better', and that efficiency is not the only criterion by which a structure or process is to be judged. It is simply true that the image of the large corporation is contrary to the nature of the Church, and alien to its spirit".