Archbishop Curtis reported that he along with the Roman Catholic and Lutheran bishops in his diocese recently met with representatives form the Marie Lebrec Centre, in Edmonton. The centre is a place for people they refer to as "the voiceless" (e.g. elderly people with diseases such as Alzheimer's etc.). Archbishop Curtis and his colleagues were asked if they would declare Thursday, May 20, 1999 a "Day of Compassion". A group from the centre are designing an ecumenical liturgy to be used on that day for those interested. Archbishop Curtis expressed his feeling that since the United Nations had declared 1999 to be the Year of the Older Person it was fitting to assign a day to "the voiceless" and encouraged his colleagues to participate.
Discussion followed. Bishop Stavert inquired about the process for making the "Day of Compassion" official at the national church level. The House heard that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) had agreed at their last meeting to participate. Bishop Baycroft suggested passing on information to the members of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) and also to the leaders of other faiths saying "We don't have a monopoly on older people."
That as part of the 1999 International Year of the Older Person, Canadian Anglicans be encouraged to observe Thursday, May 20 as a Day of Compassion for all voiceless seniors and that the dioceses give support to this observance by raising awareness of the rights of those suffering from Alzheimer's and related diseases to be cared for and loved in accordance with their inherent dignity and that this resolution be forwarded to the Council of General Synod. CARRIED #06-11-98
The bishops of Newfoundland distributed a document regarding marriage outside church buildings. There was discussion in plenary about how bishops dealt with requests for marriage to be solemnized somewhere other than in a church building. The point was made that reasonable needs should be met, but that whims should not (be met).
That this House affirm the principle that the Bishop has discretion to approve marriages taking place in places other than in church building where there are special pastoral needs. CARRIED
Bishop Hannen reported that the Diocese of Caledonia is facing a financial crisis. This situation is due partly to uplanned major renovations of the cathedral which have proven to be costly. He said that it has put the diocese in some serious financial risk.
Bishop Hannen said that the diocese has met to discuss how to deal with its debt. One of the proposed solutions currently under consideration is to hold a one day national fundraising campaign for the diocese. He asked whether his colleagues would consider giving permission for the parishes in their dioceses to participate in a campaign for the Diocese of Caledonia for one Sunday only. He was requested to write to the bishops so that they could take something to their national executive councils for approval. They also asked for some promotional material for their dioceses.
Moved by: Bishop Ingham
Seconded by: Bishop Baycroft
"That this House endorse in principle the request of the Diocese of Caledonia for a one time collection and asks the Diocese to write to the Bishops with adequate supporting materials and a suggested date."
The motion was amended.
"That the House ask the Diocese of Caledonia to write to the bishops with adequate supporting material and a suggested date for a one-time collection." CARRIED
Archbishop Curtis reported on the Encyclical Letter of Pope John Paul II `Ut Unum Sint' (1995) which invites ecumenical partners to make observations and comments on the Papal Primacy. He said members of ARCIC II have accepted that invitation. Archbishop Curtis requested that the House find a way in the next year or two to respond (to the invitation) also.
A member proposed that one of the provincial houses of bishops might do some preliminary work on the matter before it is brought to the national House for consideration. Archbishop Peers said that the matter would need to be sent to the Agenda Committee to give some thought as to how the House might proceed to respond.
That the House ask the Agenda Committee to consider how we might proceed to respond to the invitation to comment on the Papal Primacy. CARRIED
Bishop Asbil reported on the new bishops training event which was held in Toronto in November 1995, and led by Bishop Harold Hopkins (of the ECUSA Pastoral Development Office) and his wife Nancy.
Archdeacon Harry Hilchey reviewed the content of `The Anglican Church of Canada : A Handbook for Bishops' which was distributed to the House of Bishops and then Archdeacon Hilchey went through the handbook chapter by chapter.
It was agreed that the handbook was a document for bishops, but that it was not a "private" document. A member of the House of Bishops suggested that future editions of the handbook should name Archdeacon Hilchey as the author.
That the House gives it[s] thanks to Archdeacon Hilchey for his efforts and for the monumental piece of work he did in producing the bishops' handbook. CARRIED
It was agreed that it is the responsibility of the Metropolitan to ensure that the handbook is not taken (out of the bishop's office) by a retiring bishop. Production of future editions are the responsibility of the Primate's Office.
On behalf of the Metropolitans as well as the House of Bishops, Archbishop Peers thanked Archdeacon Hilchey for his work.