That Second Reading be given to the resolution that section 11 of the Declaration of Principles be amended by the addition after section d) of the following section:
e) Amendments on Second Reading at Synod
i) Where a proposed change to the Declaration of Principles (other than to s.6,7 or 7A thereof) or to a Canon dealing with doctrine, worship or discipline has been
a) passed at one session of the General Synod,
b) referred for consideration to all diocesan and provincial synods, and
c) brought before a second session of the General Synod for consideration,
it shall be in order for the General Synod to adopt any amendment to the proposed change which would have been in order when the proposed change was considered at the first session of the General Synod and the proposed change shall take effect if passed by the required majority at the second session with or without such amendment.
ii) Where a proposed change to sections 6,7 or 7A of the Declaration of Principles has been:
a) passed by the required majority at one session of the General Synod,
b) referred for the consideration of all diocesan synods,
c) referred for consent to all provincial synods, and
d) brought before a second session of the General Synod for consideration,
it shall be in order for the General Synod to adopt any amendment which does not alter the proposed change in any substantive way but which merely improves the clarity or form of the proposed change and the proposed change shall take effect if passed by the required majority at the second session with or without such amendment. CARRIED in all Orders on Second Reading Act 31
The writer appeals to reader to send their proposals for the clarification of the words "Sanctity" and "Doctrine" to the editors. "We will publish everything we think can make a contribution to this debate". These words occur in the text of the motion passed at the 2004 General Synod, affirming "the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships" which was passed at least partially in reaction to the disappointment of many members with the decision to defer the original motion asking for the authorization of same sex blessings to the Primate's Theological Commission. "What did General Synod intend when it used these terms ? Was there an established meaning for either word to which Synod could appeal ? .... Is it possible for the church to hold some doctrine without being aware of holding it ?"
An open letter from Canon Paul Jennings, one of the authors of the St. Michael's Report, addressed to editor Chris Ambidge, in which he corrects the "widely-held misapprehension that the Report implies that same-sex blessings must be treated as a matter of canon (and thus would require a two-thirds vote by orders at two consecutive General Synods). This is an interpretation that I consider disastrous for the Church, and I am disappointed to see it further disseminated in `Integrator'." "As your article mentions, General Synod has in the past dealt with significant doctrinal matters by resolution rather than by canon: the approval of the Book of Alternative Services, the ordination of women, and, one might add, the admission of children to Holy Communion. In the event, it will be General Synod (should it accept the St. Michael Report's finding) that must determine, by a simple majority vote, whether to require a canonical change on this issue."
"This book is based on two sets of addresses: the Martin Memorial lectures entitled `The Compass Rose : Flowering of Fading ?', given at the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatoon in May 1999, and three addresses on the theme 'Composing the Lord's Song', given at the diocese of Calgary's `Theology Alive' weekend in October 1999". -- Acknowledgements, p. 7.
"I believe that Anglicanism is characterized by a distinctive way of doing theology. And I believe that a tolerance for diversity is an integral part of being Anglican. So I believe that our current struggles and debates are essential to being who we are, and I am hopeful that our diversity will strengthen us as we respond to God's call to be part of the church, the body of Christ. In `Anglican Diversity', I will articulate a foundation for this belief, then explore how such an Anglican identity can help us to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century". -- Intro., p. 10.
Includes bibliographical references and bibliography, pp. 126-128.
Contents: Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- The Strange Land -- The Anglican Church: Yesterday and Today -- The Lord's Song -- Looking to the Future in Worship -- Looking to the Future in Ministry -- Social and Ethical Issues -- Living with People of Other Denominations and Faiths -- Authority in the Anglican Communion -- Conclusion: What is the Future of the Anglican Communion ? -- Appendix A: A Response to the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops / Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars -- Bibliography..
That, while it is evident that the variety of teaching and practice with the Church of England is rooted deeply in its history and contributes to the fullness and richness of its life, which we all share and treasure, nevertheless we appeal to all to refrain from unduly straining the limits of the wide tolerance which is given to us in the Book of Common Prayer, and to help forward the movements towards agreement between various schools of thought and practice in the Church by every means in their power. CARRIED in both Houses.
The Primate's Theological Commission, a group appointed by the Anglican Primate to consult on theological matters, has released a clarification concerning resolutions on the blessing of same-sex unions approved earlier this month by the church's governing council.
The resolutions, approved by the Council of General Synod for the consideration of the church's General Synod this summer, have been described as dealing with The St. Michael Report. But in fact only one of them does, the commission says in its statement.
The St. Michael Report was produced by the theological commission as a result of the Anglican Primate. on direction from the General Synod, seeking its opinion on whether or not the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine. The commission, chaired by Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton, concluded in its report released in 2005, "that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine but is not core doctrine in the sense of being credal".
(One of the reasons why the question of whether or not same-sex blessings is a matter of doctrine is important is that matters of doctrine require a more complex and lengthy process to change.)
The St. Michael Report has been widely studied across the church in advance of the General Synod next June .
The text of the Theological Commission's statement follows:
A Statement to the Anglican Church of Canada
From the Primate's Theological Commission
The Council of General Synod, meeting in Mississauga, Ontario March 7-11, 2007, decided to forward to General Synod in June a number of resolutions relating to the blessing of same sex unions. These resolutions have been publicly identified with the St. Michael Report. The Commission would like to clarify that with the exception of the first resolution ('That this General Synod accept the conclusion of the Primate's Theological Commission's St. Michael Report that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine, but is not core doctrine in the sense of being credal.'), these resolutions are not directly related to the St. Michael Report. In the interests of clarity, we respectfully request that in the future only resolution #1 quoted above be named as relating to the St. Michael Report.
The St. Michael Report highlights two crucial matters for the Anglican Church of Canada. The Commissioners continue to judge that these matters are of sufficient importance to bear re-emphasis. The first is cited in the last sentence of the Report and succinctly states the doctrinal issue before the Anglican Church of Canada:
- "It is now for the Church to decided whether or not the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine".
In its report the Commission has drawn attention to a range of theological and biblical matters relating to how the Church determines whether such a matter is "a faithful Spirit led development of Christian doctrine".
The second is a pair of questions from paragraph 16 of the Report. These questions are of similar theological significance to the life of the Anglican Church of Canada as the doctrinal issue itself:
- "Is it theologically and doctrinally responsible for one member church of the Communion to approve a course of action which it has reason to believe may be destructive of the unity of the Communion ?
- Is it theologically and doctrinally responsible to accept unity as the value which transcends all others, and therefore for a member church of the Communion to refrain from making a decision when it believes it has an urgent gospel mandate to proceed ?"
The commissioners believe these questions should be considered by the church, most certainly by delegates to General Synod prior to General Synod's discernment and determination on these matters.
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306
Letter to Bishop Peters "about your decision last May to reject the ACPO [Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination] recommendations for Edward Rix and Jeffrey Reed and to refuse them postulancy in the Diocese of Nova Scotia on the basis of their position, or lack of a position, on the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood".