That this General Synod, in light of the appeal made by the Primate and other church leaders in February 1998 to the government to bring new commitment to "the challenge to rid the world of the plans and the means to nuclear annihilation", support their leaders' call to the Canadian government to:
-affirm abolition as the central goal of Canadian nuclear weapons policy;
-urge all states to begin immediately and conclude by the year 2000, a Convention for eliminating nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework;
-urge all nuclear weapons states to take their nuclear forces off alert status and commit themselves to no-first-use of nuclear weapons;
-renounce any role for nuclear weapons in Canadian defense policy, and call on other countries, including Russia and Canada's NATO allies, to do likewise;
-review the legality of Canada's nuclear weapons-related activities in light of the 1996 International Court of Justice ruling, and then move quickly to end all activities determined to be of questionable legality; and
-embrace publicly, the conclusions of the 1996 Canberra Commission report, including its recommendations that the nuclear weapons states commit themselves unequivocally to the elimination of nuclear weapons and agree to work immediately on the practical steps and negotiations for its achievement, and that the non-nuclear states join in cooperative international action to implement this commitment;
-and that this General Synod commend the church leaders' statement to dioceses and parishes, and urge Anglicans to engage themselves in the mounting public efforts to achieve these steps toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and, in particular, the initiatives of Project Ploughshares. CARRIED Act 82
Abstentions were noted from Chancellor David Wright, Captain Baxter Park, Captain Todd Meaker, Mr. Bryan Campbell and Canon Andrew Gates.
That this General Synod commend the statement on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and its supporting documentation for use as a study paper throughout the Anglican Church of Canada; and request the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to gather responses and report to the Council of General Synod in March, 1999.
That the resolution commence with the wording:
That, subject to further editing, this General Synod....CARRIED
The amended resolution was then put and - CARRIED Act 49
[The resolution now reads:
That, subject to further editing, this General Synod, commend the statement on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and its supporting documentation for use as a study paper throughout the Anglican Church of Canada; and request the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to gather responses and report to the Council of General Synod in March, 1999.]
1. declare its opposition to the use, production, stockpiling, sales, transfer or export of anti-personnel landmines;
2. communicate in writing this opposition to the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
3. urge the federal government to work for an international ban on the use, production, stockpiling, sale, transfer or export of anti-personnel landmines within the international community;
4. communicate in writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defence, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, our support of present Canadian initiatives and of further initiatives to assist in humanitarian mine clearance, including the Cambodia Mine Action Centre and other United Nations and bilateral mine clearance activities;
5. urge the federal government to declare an immediate Canadian moratorium on the production and export of landmines, their component parts, and related technology;
6. ask the federal government to increase its support for and participation in bilateral and multilateral programs providing assistance to the victims of landmines. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 79
That this General Synod call on the Government of Canada to:
1. declare Canada's opposition to NATO's long-standing, stated policy of possible first use of nuclear weapons;
2. press NATO to forswear the first use of nuclear weapons in any form;
3. press at the United Nations and other fora for more substantial and rapid reduction by all nuclear powers of the existing global stockpile of 45,000 nuclear weapons, as well as support a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, together with a ban on laboratory experiments; and
4. adopt as a foreign policy objective the elimination of nuclear weapons from the world in the near term, as General Synod in 1986 envisaged in calling for this elimination by the year 2000 (GS Act 88). CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 85
That in solidarity with the parish of St. Philip the Apostle and the Synod of the Diocese of Toronto, General Synod endorse the Nuclear Weapons Legal Action being brought by World Federations of Canada, Lawyers for Social Responsibility, the National Union of Provincial Government Employees, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Voice of Women. This legal action is seeking a court declaration that Canada's support for the NATO policy reserving the right to "first use" of nuclear weapons in response to an attack with conventional weapons is illegal under both Canadian and international law. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 110
It was noted that, because of conflict of interst, two Assessors of the General Synod, Mr. Justice Ronald Stevenson and Mr. Justice David Wright, as well as the following members of the delegation from the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, abstained from voting on the above motion. Rt. Rev. J.C.M. Clarke, Lt. T.C. Meaker, Col. R.I. McDowell, Capt.(N) T. Brown, Capt.(N) Canon G.R. Ives, L.Col. Rev. G.E. Peddle.
Because we believe that shalom - peace with justice, freedom and true security for all - is the future God intends for us;
Because Jesus, crucified and risen, commissioned his disciples saying, 'Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, so I send you';
Because we accept his commission to bear witness to the hope to which he calls in the midst of this suffering, fearful and broken world;
Because we recognize that weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, biological and chemical - confront us with a new moral challenge;
1. This General Synod
a) reaffirm its 1955*, 1962*, and 1965* statements on the arms race and war;
b) join with other churches and with concerned people all over the world in declaring the development, production or use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction - such as biological or chemical - are contrary to the will of God and the mind of Christ;
c) urge the Canadian government
i. to make every effort to prevent the escalation of the nuclear arms race and to take initiative towards mutual, balanced and verifiable disarmament,
ii. to assess in this light the use and the sale by this country of nuclear and weapons technology,
iii. to commit Canada to peacemaking and to alignment with other nations pursuing non-violent methods for the resolution of conflict without the threat to use nuclear weapons,
iv. commit Canada to continue the participation of the Canadian Armed Forces in peacekeeping as the instrument of Canadian will to ensure a more peaceful world, and
v. pursue actively all available channels to persuade every nation, and particularly the USSR and the United States of America to redirect funds and efforts otherwise used for the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction toward economic and social development of humanity, and
vi) re-double efforts to persuade additional countries to accept and abide by the conditions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in both letter and spirit.
2. The Anglican Church of Canada commit itself to
a) help Canadians to achieve a fuller understanding of God as Creator of all, the meaning of redemption, the nature of our global citizenship, and the implication of `Love your neighbour as yourself' for world peace, militarism and justice;
b) work with people in all parts of the world for a 'just, sustainable, participatory' society as the basis for peaceful relations;
c) develop a theology and ministry of peacemaking at all levels of its personal and corporate life under the pastoral guidance of the bishops.
3. This General Synod
a) ask the theological colleges in Canada to ensure that within their courses proper attention is paid to resources and training in human conflict resolution and in ministries of peacemaking;
b) ask each parish and diocese to commit itself to giving peacemaking a primary place in its liturgy and program;
c) commend the work of the ecumenical coalition, Project Ploughshares, and commit itself to participate in its work throughout Canada;
d) recommend that all Anglicans involve themselves with ways of reducing violence at all levels, acknowledging that if everyone were to eliminate his of her own violent reaction, such witness should be a positive sign of our Church's will to improve our world, beginning with areas over which we have direct control;
e) direct the Program Committee, especially through the Public Social Responsibility Unit, to encourage and assist diocesan Public Social Responsibility Units or equivalent diocesan groups, to promote discussion and disseminate information on problems of violent and human conflict resolution." CARRIED Act 87
General Synod resolution on War and the Arms Race
"1. The General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada has observed with deep concern the rapid development of weapons of mass destruction and recognizes, as was expected, that they are now in possession of all of the more powerful nations, of whom some groups are politically and ideologically ranged against others, and that this factor has created in truth a race for ever more powerful instruments of annihilation, a race to which both groups have succumbed:
The Church believes this to be against the Will of God and the Mind of Christ, and challenges the statesmen of the world jointly to ban the manufacture and use of all weapons and to curtail the production of conventional weapons.
2. While accepting, as it has, the apparent necessity of our country and other democracies to create and sustain measures and alliances of defensive power, the Church has nevertheless persistently pleaded for continued negotiations among the statement of the world, whether within or without the framework of the United Nations, in order that they may find ways of settling disputes - political economical or otherwise - without recourse to war, or obtaining justice for all by peaceful means, and in particular of setting up such adequate international inspection and control as will enable all nations to abandon the use of all thermo-nuclear weapons. The Synod believes that the time has come when such methods and such objectives must be accepted by all if the world is to be saved from self destruction:
Realizing this, the Synod welcomes conferences at the highest levels of Governments to an extent realized during the past summer, directed towards these objectives and prays that they will result in the removal of suspicions, fears and tensions, in fostering respect for the rights of all nations to determine their ways of life, and in the ultimate attainment of justice and peace.
3. In this tenth Anniversary Year of the United Nations the General Synod again affirms its conviction that the United Nations remains the best Agency for peace presently available to the world and trust that all nations will be admitted into its fellowship and that all will learn to accept its ideals and abide by its decisions. Recognizing that it is a long road to good-will, brotherhood and a durable peace, the Synod feels that the Specialized Agencies of United Nations have a major part to take in such a program and urges our country to continue to contribute to them in all needful ways.
4. The Synod recognizes that the goal of peace requires positive action particularly in two directions - in the extension of human rights and basic freedoms to all classes and races of mankind in all countries and in a just distribution of the world's resources to all,
And therefore urges upon our Canadian people and Government, as upon the people and governments of all more favoured nations, more generous and swift assistance to under-developed countries to enable them to achieve economic and political stability and freedoms and to obtain the well-being and spiritual uplift of their peoples."
"Believing that the moral influence of those nations which refuse to have nuclear weapons can become a determining factor in the course of world affairs, and while conscious of the grave dilemma confronting the governments which endeavour to reach such a decision, yet this General Synod records its conviction that the only sane course open to humanity is never to use nuclear weapons; and urges it members to press continuously as a matter of utmost urgency for the abolition, by international agreement, of nuclear bombs, and of other weapons of similar destructive force, the use of which is repugnant to the Christian conscience."
Resolution 2 - "International Affairs"
"That this General Synod, acknowledging the danger of war inherent in the tensions and technological developments of this nuclear space age, welcomes the new emphasis upon scientific research into the causes of peace and war, CAUTIONS that there are serious limitations in applying the methods of the physical sciences to the social sciences and that it is an illusion to conclude that knowledge can itself bring peace, and recognizing that the basis of peace amongst the nations rests in those moral and social values which are inherent in our Judaeo-Christian heritage and also found in other religious traditions, and also recognizing that true peace is a gift of God granted by His redeeming grace,
Calls upon our people to subject to intense prayer and study their attitudes to the issues involved in modern warfare, and
Urges the importance of churchmen consulting regularly with scientists and political leaders about the many problems of ethics and conscience which arise from advances in nuclear research and,
Further emphasize the necessity of the practice by citizens within the personal range of their social and political life of those moral principles which they believe should be followed in international relations."
RECALLING that our Church has previously stated that war as a method of settling international disputes is incompatible with the teaching and example of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet recognizing also the continued occurrence of disputes in which men resort to force, and DECLARING the immorality of a policy which attempts to balance human existence against the use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction,
THIS GENERAL SYNOD OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA COMMENDS the Prime Minister and the Minister of External Affairs for their persistent efforts to foster negotiation between the warring parties and to bring about a settlement of the war in Vietnam, and
SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA in working to reduce the number of situations of conditions in the world which might lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction by:
1. Seeking to extend the present agreements restricting nuclear testing in the atmosphere so as to include other nuclear powers and other areas of testing,
2. Continuing to press for effective international control and inspection of nuclear and other armaments,
3. Continuing to press for the establishment of an effective world authority representing mankind as a whole to enforce peace where necessary,
4. Seeking international agreement upon the rules of intervention by such a force in both the international and internal disputes of a country,
5. Calls upon the members of the Government of Canada to pray to Almighty God for guidance in solving these problems.
AND FURTHER CALLS upon members of the Church to write to the Prime Minister and their own members of Parliament in support of this resolution."
A request was made that a statement be developed, together with the motion, along the lines of the statement of the Roman Catholic Bishops in the U.S.A.