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(Draft) Common Declaration

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7865
Date
1990 February 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1990 February 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Archbishop Hambidge
Seconder
Bishop Baycroft
Prologue
Lambeth Conference 1988 Resolution #19
"This Conference resolves that the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission consider paragraph 20 of the paper 'Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making; (Draft Common Declaration) and report to the Primates' Meeting."
The Primate introduced this document which was included in Archbishop Eames' paper on 'Instruments of the Anglican Communion and Decision-Making'. He outlined the background of the discussion among the Primates at their meeting in 1989, and said that the response is due in October, 1990. It has gone to the Provinces of the Anglican Communion for comment. The Doctrine and Worship Committee, the House of Bishops and the National Executive Council are each to study the document.
It was agreed that great care must be taken in making statements of this kind. It was asked: "Do we have any idea how it might be used as an instrument of unity ? At what kind of major event is it going to be used ? Will it be used at the beginning of General Synods ?"
One of the weaknesses identified was that there is no mention of the laity in the document, nor of Jesus Christ.
If a final document comes from the Anglican Consultative Council, General Synod would make the final decision.
It was suggested that, if there is agreement that the document is unnecessary, revisions should be sent to the Primates' Meeting
Text
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. The Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. These concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. These concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
Notes
APPENDIX B
DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
(For circulation to the Provinces for comment)
i. The Church (of the Province) of . . . declares itself to be united under one divine head in the fellowship of the one, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
ii. It professes the Faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, to which faith the formularies of this Church bear witness and which the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.
iii. It celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments, particularly those of Baptism and Holy Communion, as ordinances of the universal church.
iv. It expresses its continuity with the apostolic tradition of faith and witness, worship, fellowship and ministry by means of the historic episcopal order. It is in communion with each of those Churches which preserve the historic threefold order of the ordained ministry and are in communion with the See of Canterbury.
v. It looks forward to the unity of all Christians based on a common recognition of the place of the Holy Scriptures, the Catholic Creeds, the dominical sacraments and historic episcopal order in the Church of God.
APPENDIX B.1
1. The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada received the Draft Common Declaration but we believe that the Anglican Consultative Council should EITHER:
a) appoint an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission which could respond to Resolution #19 of Lambeth 1988, OR
b) appoint an international task force, operating on a very small budget, to deal with this single issue.
2. We believe that this matter should come to us from the Primates' Meeting only after it has been either to the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, as Lambeth 1988 directed, or to the Anglican Consultative Council.
3. We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making : The Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our recollection of the Lambeth discussions is of a very low level of interest in this particular proposal, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored. We urge that the intended use of such a declaration be clarified.
Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1988 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask whether the Draft Declaration truly reflects the faith and practice of the Churches of the Anglican Communion ?
It would not satisfy us as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
4. If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help to resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it meant to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what is meant at several points of ecumenical tension, not least among these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
5. This House does not believe that it is appropriate at this time to respond to the Draft Declaration in its present unrefined form, before it has been studied and, we trust, revised by an appropriate group of theologians -- preferably a new Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission. Nor are we yet persuaded that such a declaration is needed at all, although we remain open to persuasion. However, it is only fair to report, even at this early stage, that we would have several difficulties with the declaration if it were not significantly revised. Without attempting a full critique, a brief discussion in the House revealed that, of the five paragraphs in the declaration, members had serious difficulties with paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5.
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too general to achieve the unifying effect that is desired. For example, although the Anglican Church of Canada remains loyal to our Solemn Declaration of 1893 -- a far more robust and ample statement than the new proposal, the firmness of our commitment does not prevent our church from ordaining women.
7. We believe that there are many other examples of the need for an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and urge ACC to appoint this Commission. We suggest that 12 persons, including bishops and theologians, male and female, representing as much as possible of the diversity of Anglicanism, could work very effectively, even with a small budget. Perhaps a plenary meeting could be held every two years and the continuing work could be done by a combination of oldfashioned postal correspondence, electronic networking and contracts with additional volunteer theologians from around the Communion.
RESOLUTION
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. the Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. these concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. these concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
Subjects
Draft Common Declaration
Anglican Communion. Primates Meeting (6th : 1991 : Belfast, N. Ireland)
Anglican Communion - Doctrines
Theology - Anglican Church of Canada
Theology - Anglican Communion
Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission
Lambeth Conference, 1988 - Resolutions
Instruments of Communion (Not as per Virginia Report)
Less detail