"That this General Synod direct the Doctrine and Worship Committee, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to prepare an Ordinal for alternate use, study and comment in the Anglican Church of Canada, and to bring it to General Synod for discussion and appropriate action in 1980."
"That the Nominating Committee be asked to make nominations to comply with this Act of Synod." CARRIED
"That the service entitled 'Commitment and Commissioning' be referred back to the Doctrine and Worship Committee for further study and work and after consultation with the House of Bishops be published for experimental use where authorized by the Bishop."
"That the tree members of this House who are members of the Committee on Doctrine and Worship provide liaison between the Doctrine and Worship Committee and this House concerning Act. No. 72." CARRIED
A revised copy of a "Message to the Church" (which the bishops had worked on and discussed while in camera) was distributed to the members for discussion. The document was a statement from the House of Bishops to the Church in response to the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster's decision to bless the union of same sex couples.
That the House of Bishops approve its "Message to the Church" for distribution. CARRIED #HB-02-10-08
(Vote: 28 in support, 9 opposed, and 1 abstention.)
Archbishop Peers commended the bishops for the quality of their discussion. He said that as the President of the House of Bishops, he would support what it had decided.
Bishops Anderson, Atagotaaluk, Burton and Ferris asked that their motions about the blessing same sex unions be withdrawn. (The two motions had been distributed to the members of the House when it was not in session, and had not been put on the floor formally.)
Archbishop Morgan reminded the bishops of the need to move in camera in order to decide whether or not to release any of the information discussed while they were in camera.
A Message to the Church
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in Mississauga on October 28, 2002, issues the following statement in response to the decision of the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster to bless same-sex unions.
We are called to be one in the Body of Christ (John 17:21). We know that on the issue of same-sex unions differing convictions are deeply held in the House of Bishops, throughout our church and beyond. The decision of New Westminster has caused pain for some and joy in others. Over the past four years this Diocese undertook an extensive process of study that has led them to their decision. We recognize that members of the diocese on every side of the issue have suffered pain.
Eight parishes of the Diocese of New Westminster have requested alternative Episcopal oversight for themselves. Before the fracture widens we urge all involved to engage in a process of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18) on the basis of the general principles passed by the Diocesan Synod in June 2002. Although the precise terms of the conversation will be established within the Diocese we propose that the following elements should be part of it.
1. The conversation should be enabled by a mutually agreed to facilitator.
2. The process should provide `safety' for all participants by setting at least these standards:
a. Being respectful of each other's faith journey.
b. Listening respectfully.
c. Asking `inviting' questions.
d. Attempting to understand from the view points of others.
We request that those outside the diocese respect the integrity of this process and allow it to proceed without intervention.
In recent years some dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada have made individual decisions to recognize or forbid, and in this one instance, to bless same-sex unions. We have spent much of our time at these meetings discussing our response to these situations. We are unable to speak with a unanimous voice on this issue of national concern especially with regard to the subject of homosexuality in the light of scripture. We are referring the matter of the blessing of same-sex unions to our national governing body, the General Synod (2004) for discussion and if possible, resolution.
We agree that we will not make individual decisions in any additional dioceses during the interim. Until the time of resolution all bishops are asked to uphold the 1997 Guidelines of the House of Bishops on Human Sexuality.
We call the church to prayer in this difficult and demanding time in our life in Christ.
In response to the letter from the General Secretary, this House approves the proposal that would make provision for the transfer of clergy employed at the National Office to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Primate. CARRIED 10-2-82
It was agreed that the Committee on Organization be asked to study the many factors involved, recognizing that there must be a clear line of accountability. It was agreed, also, that the Organization Committee be asked to study the matter of transference of Diocesan titles.
Concern was raised regarding the House of Bishops' List. The Primate reported that the Rev. R. Johns is working on this and that he is to report to the Organization Committee and the House of Bishops.
The General Secretary noted that retired Bishops are, by Canon, now accountable to the Bishop in whose Diocese they reside.
Bishop Hollis reported that the subject of Bishops Continuing Education Seminars at the next meeting will deal with biological issues, rational suicide, etc. It was his opinion that four or five sessions would be necessary.
That Wednesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons be set aside for Continuing Education. CARRIED
Moved by Bishop Short, seconded by Archbishop Crabb,
That Wednesday evening be scheduled at the next meeting as a free evening. CARRIED
That the House ask Bishop Lawrence and Bishop Hatfield to bring the concerns of the House of Bishops on the deployment of ordained women to the Committee on Ministry, assemble facts and data available, and report back to the House at the May, 1981 meeting. CARRIED
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."
The motion moved by Archbishop Hutchison and seconded by Archbishop Finlay about enabling the Task Force on Episcopal Oversight for Dissenting Minorities was put on the floor. There was some discussion about making an amendment to part four of it.
"That the House of Bishops refer the motion (by Archbishops Hutchison and Finlay) and the subject under discussion to a writing group to be named by the chair, which will report back at 7 p.m." CARRIED Res. #HB-03-10-07