The Minutes of the meeting of the House held in Montebello, P.Q. on August 28th to 30th 1959, as printed and circulated, were adopted.
(iii) Report on Deceased Members.
The Bishop of Nova Scotia reported, with deep regret, the passing on January 25th, 1960, of the Right Reverend William Charles White, retired Bishop of Honan, China, and the first Bishop of that Diocese. Consecrated in November 30th, 1909 in St. James' Cathedral, Toronto, Bishop White gave his life to the work of the Church overseas. Due to his zeal and perseverance, the way was opened for the consecration of a Chinese priest to succeed him and thereby an indigenous episcopate for the Chung Hwa Sheng Kung Hui was established.
After further discussion it was moved by the Bishop of Moosonee, seconded by the Bishop of Nova Scotia and carried:
"That we defer consideration of the two alternative motions before the House and that the Report of the Committee on the Programs of the Upper House and the House of Bishops be presented as a whole now."
The report, which is printed as Appendix A to these Minutes, was then presented in its entirety. Moved by the Archbishop of Algoma, seconded by the Bishop of Georgian Bay and carried:
That the report as a whole be accepted.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PROGRAMS OF THE UPPER HOUSE AND HOUSE OF BISHOPS
At a meeting of the House of Bishops in Cornwall 1967 the following motion was passed:
"That a Committee be appointed to study the program of the Upper House and the House of Bishops".
"In studying the programs" of the Upper House and the House of Bishops, the following questions appear to be pertinent:
- I. What is the relationship of the House of Bishops to the Upper House ?
- II. Should the meetings of the House of Bishops be open to church reporters, etc. -- if not, why not ?
- III. Should the House of Bishops be amalgamated with the Upper House ?
- IV. Should there be separate meetings on the Upper House or should Bishops at all times meet jointly with the Lower House ?
I. The relationship between the House of Bishops and the Upper House is set out officially in the Handbook of General Synod, Page 31. The House of Bishops possesses and exercises the inherent authority of the Episcopate acting collectively. The Upper House possesses legislative powers given it as one of the two Houses comprising the General Synod.
The House of Bishops existed before the General Synod and meets independently of it; the Upper House meets only as a part of the Synod. Bishops who have resigned their jurisdiction do not have the right to vote in the Upper House.
II. Should the meetings of the House of Bishops be open to church reporters, observers, etc.-if not, why not ?
Your committee feel that when the House of Bishops meets as a "House of Bishops" apart from General Synod Session it should meet in private. This is a time when matters of clergy discipline, episcopal discipline and other personal matters are discussed which should be private and confidential. This meeting provides an opportunity for bishops to think out together matters of policy which can then be presented to the church with the undivided support of the whole episcopal body. This meeting of the bishops is underwritten by the Appleford Bequest money and is not a charge on church funds so that there can be no thought that the church is underwriting a private gathering for which any public accounting ought to be given.
Reporters, observers, etc., are therefore discouraged from being in attendance at meetings of the House of Bishops except in cases where unanimous approval is given for their admission.
III. Should the House of Bishops be amalgamated with the Upper House ?
There is a difference of opinion.
(a) "No -- The Upper House should be abolished".
(b) "Upper House and House of Bishops could well be amalgamated under the title "House of Bishops" provided that the possibility is preserved of holding two types of meeting, on "in Synod Session" and the other at a separate time.
IV. Should there be separate meetings of the Upper House or should Bishops at all times meet jointly with the Lower House ?
One motive which prompts such a question arises from suspicion and resentment when a small group withdraws from the main body to hold an executive meeting. The Committee fees that the Bishops would gain much and lose little if they met jointly for all but exceptional sessions. These exceptions coincide with the findings of the sub-committee of the Committee of Organization, Page 4 (7) A and B -- Agenda House of Bishops 1968. (Appendix 5 to these Minutes.)
For the efficient functioning of General Synod the Organization, Procedure and Practice of the Synod must be under constant review. Your committee feel that the amalgamation of the Upper House and the Lower House will serve a useful purpose, not least the time-saving of General Synod which is important if clerical and competent lay members are to attend and remain for all sessions.
Committee: Archbishop of Algoma, Bishop of Georgian Bay, Bishop of Moosonee.
The Bishop of Ontario presented the revision of "Guidelines" which had been presented to the House at Augusta, 1968, but which had not been dealt with at that time. This revision of the Guidelines was printed as Appendix D to the Minutes of the 1968 Augusta meeting.
The Archbishop of Algoma also presented a report on behalf of a Committee appointed by the Primate to bring Lambeth Resolutions 40 and 41 before the House. This report was brought in while the House considered "Guidelines on Bishops" because its content was pertinent.
The report was as follows:
In concurring with Resolution 40 (Lambeth Conference, 1968) the Committee appointed by the Primate, consisting of the Bishop of Moosonee, the Bishop of James' Bay and the Archbishop of Algoma, recommend that the Canadian House of Bishops adopt Resolution 40 (Lambeth Conference, 1968) and that the same be incorporated in the Minutes of this meeting.
For the implementation of this motion, the Committee would refer to Appendix D, Section VIII, Cl. (2) on page 31, 1968 Minutes -- (Guidelines for the use of Bishops) and further that Cl. (5) Section (e) be changed to make obligatory the appointment of an Assistant Bishop as ex officio member of the Executive.
Resolution 40: "The Conference affirms its opinion that all co-adjutor, suffragan, and full-time assistant bishops should exercise every kind of episcopal function and have their place as Bishops in the councils of the Church."
The Committee recommend to the House of Bishops, the adoption of Resolution 41.
Resolution 41: "The Conference recommends that the bishops as leaders and representatives of a servant Church, should radically examine the honours paid to them in the course of divine worship, in titles and customary address, and in style of living, while having the necessary facilities for the efficient carry on of their work."
In its implementation, the Committee would suggest the dropping of diocesan signatures and meaningless titles, such as "My Lord".
"That the Committee Report relative to Resolution 40 of Lambeth be adopted."