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 Mason presented his draft guidelines on episcopal courtesies which the House of Bishops had requested. The draft was discussed and it was agreed that one change should be made to it.
Under section II, "Short Term or Guest Ministry" point #1. The concern was around the word "been notified" which the majority thought should say "given consent" instead. "Before bishops accept invitations into other dioceses, they should ascertain that the local bishop has already been notified." was changed to "...local bishop has already given consent."
That the House of Bishops adopt the amended document. CARRIED
Episcopal Courtesy Guidelines with Respect to the Deployment of Clergy and Lay Professionals
The following guidelines are intended to clarify the expectations and processes whereby a priest or lay professional transfers from one jurisdiction to another for both long term and short term ministry. The underlying premise is that both sending and receiving bishops should be fully involved in initiating the process and managing it through to completion. They should be fully informed of all decisions, and never taken by surprise or embarrassment.
It is recognized that clergy and lay professionals are ordained or otherwise affirmed for ministry in the whole church. They should not be made to feel guilty for considering moving to another diocese. No bishop should keep individual clergy on a protected or "untouchable" list permanently. Nevertheless bishops have the responsibility to share with one another whether the welfare of the church really is being promoted by the move of an individual priest at any particular time. The timing should feel reasonably right for all parties.
The following guidelines are recommended:
I. Inter-diocesan Transfers
1. Any bishop desiring to interview a priest or lay professional, or in responding to an applicant for a position from another diocese, should first consult with the bishop of that diocese.
2. In dioceses where it is permitted, parishes should be informed that before they can approach a person in another diocese, consultation must take place with their own bishop who, in turn, would request permission of the bishop of that diocese.
3. Clergy who desire to leave their present diocese and who want to make inquiries before submitting their resignation or notice, should first inform their own bishop and then with his/her (written) consent or permission, proceed by approaching bishops of other dioceses, not individual parishes.
4. It is increasingly common for dioceses to advertise vacant positions in the Journal, local diocesan papers, or other publications. Such advertisements should always include a clause directing all potential applicants first to obtain the permission and blessing of their present bishop before making application.
5. In the transfer to another diocese, matters to be negotiated by both dioceses include...any outstanding debts or other obligations, accrued vacation time, date and method of announcement of the appointment, exchange of letters of transfer and bene decessit.
II. Short Term or Guest Ministry
Since bishops bear responsibility for ministry within the diocese, they deserve to be consulted before invitations are issued to others from outside the diocese to minister within the diocese.
1. Before bishops accept invitations into other dioceses, they should ascertain that the local bishop has already given consent.
2. Before a priest or lay leader is invited into a diocese for parish, diocesan, or other recognized ministry events, the local leaders and organizers must seek and obtain permission from the bishop.
3. Bishops with theological colleges, seminaries, or faculties of religious studies within their dioceses, will seek to affirm and respect the principle of academic freedom in these institutions, and encourage a wide spectrum of theological, spiritual, and liturgical inquiry in these institutions. At the same time colleges should seek to develop a trusting relationship with the local diocese and bishop, and seek to avoid unnecessary embarrassment or confrontation.
The Primate indicated that he will write to Roy Bonisteel of the "Man Alive" program, expressing concern regarding some of the emphases of the program "The Gay Christian."
"That we receive the report." CARRIED
"A Statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada" was circulated by Bishop Garnsworthy, and the Rev. Richard Berryman presented a proposed press release. The House agreed to function as a Committee of the whole for purposes of discussion.
A suggestion was made by Bishop Clarke and Archbishop Somerville that the statement conclude with the words "heterosexual marriages" at the end of the last paragraph.
Bishop Hollis and Bishop Snowden proposed this addition to the final paragraph: "and we cannot authorize our clergy to bless homosexual unions". This met with the approval of the House.
Bishop Hollis and Bishop Snowden suggested a further addition to the final paragraph as follows: "nor can we permit our church buildings to be used for that purpose". The House did not concur. The amended document is as follows:
"Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
We believe as Christians that homosexual persons as children of God, have a full and equal claim, with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to guard against all forms of human injustice and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. We affirm that homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony. In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our Clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
An announcement was made that the Rev. Richard Berryman, in revising a statement which he had prepared, will indicate that there will be on-going study of this subject by the Bishops.
Discussion then centred around two matters:
1. The preparation of a Study Document for general use throughout the Church;
2. Provision for continuing study of this matter on the part of the House of Bishops.
It was agreed that the Agenda Committee be instructed to provide for further consideration of the subject at a future meeting.
Archbishop Somerville and Archbishop Watton proposed that we recommend to the National Executive Council that a Study Guide be prepared. The House concurred.
A proposal was made that Bishops Hatfield, Parke-Taylor and Hill be a Committee of the House to provide both background material and co-operative assistance to the National Executive Council in this matter.
It was agreed to have included in the press release the fact that plans are being made for the preparation of study material.
Press Release - The Primate's Commission on Human Sexuality (Incorporating "A Statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada") [pp. 44-48]
The Press Release was placed before the House. The release was carefully scrutinized and some minor changes in wording were made. The following addition was proposed by Bishops Valentine and Goodings:
"We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort about which the church must show and appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
In its original form it contained the words "need and" between "homosexuals" and "develop" in the first line. With this change, the addition received the approval of the House, and the statement as amended was approved. It is as follows:
"Open discussion and debate, often highly emotional, on the life and rights of homosexual persons in society, have become commonplace and divisive in recent years.
The members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, as chief pastors of the Church are obligated to exercise faithful witness to that office, and at the same time, to wrestle with the human and pastoral problems which homosexuality presents to the Church at all levels as it attempts to minister to all people. Realizing the complexity of this area of human relationships and the wide divergence of both popular and informed opinion, the Bishops, in the summer of 1976, asked for help and advice in facing the problems raised by homosexuality in contemporary society. They commissioned a Task Force of eleven persons, from a variety of backgrounds, to present an advisory report to them to assist in their deliberations.
The Task Force presented the first draft of its report in 1977 and was asked to do further work in some areas and report back to the meeting of the Bishops early in 1978. The House of Bishops has been meeting this past week in Mississauga and has received the second draft of the report. The lengthy draft is still considered confidential as it was prepared as an advisory paper to the Bishops, not a position paper for the whole Church. The Bishops have committed themselves to continuing study of this vital issue and specifically of the report's 15 recommendations. They will continue their deliberations at future meetings of the House. They have asked that a study paper be prepared in the near future for study and discussion at all levels of the Church, and by other interested groups. In the meantime, the Bishops have issued the following specific statement:
Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony.
In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our Clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
On the suggestion of Archbishop Davis and Bishop Short, it was agreed that the Rev. Richard Berryman should be the contact person for press purposes.
The Primate reported that he had received a request from the producers of "Man Alive" that they be permitted to tape the presentation of Bishop Ting.
"That CBC "Man Alive" staff be allowed to be present during Bishop Ting's presentation, and that they be permitted to record his speech." [Resolution does not include the notation CARRIED. Status unclear.]