Skip header and navigation

Refine By

   MORE

4 records – page 1 of 1.

General Synod 1998 : Anglicans move closer to Lutherans, ponder meaning of diversity, as nine-day meeting wraps up

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7132
Date
1998 May 29
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1998 May 29
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
MONTREAL (May 29, 1998) -- In a nine-day meeting here, the Anglican Church of Canada's chief governing body approved legislation bringing the church closer to Lutherans, opposing euthanasia and cloning, and expressing the church's support to partner churches in several oppressed or war-torn countries.
The church also approved motions asking for government action on several social policy issues.
In the first meeting it has held in Montreal in 30 years, the 300-member General Synod also spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on "nation and identity" and on what it means to be a minority voice in a society as diverse as Canada's.
The theme of this General Synod, a body which meets every three years in a different part of the country, was "Lift every voice -- Faisons entendre nos voix" which was meant to help members focus on those who are often ignored or unheard.
In his opening address at the start of the synod, Archbishop Michael Peers, the primate, set the tone when he told delegates that one of the least heard voices in the Canadian Anglican church was that of French Canada. He challenged synod members to pay particular attention to that voice during the gathering.
Synod members spent a whole evening listening to panel members representing different voices or geographical parts of the country speak about what it means to be a part of the Canadian whole.
Synod members also heard a presentation from the church's indigenous members, a group that is working to implement a "Native Covenant" which would give it greater autonomy within the church.
Host bishop Andrew Hutchison of Montreal delivered a major address in which he expressed the difficulties involved in leading a church that represents a very small number of Anglophones in an overwhelmingly Francophone province.
In his speech, Bishop Hutchison also argued that while the church has no mandate to play a role in partisan politics, it is bound by conscience to take strong positions on matters involving principles such as peace, justice and reconciliation.
Synod members took him to heart, passing more than a dozen resolutions affirming the Canadian church's stand against oppression, injustice, violence and war in several parts of the world.
Through some of these resolutions, the Canadian Anglican church offered expressions of solidarity to partner churches and the people of Kenya, Sudan and Columbia [sic i.e. Colombia] who suffer from war or political oppression. Members voted to ask Ottawa to play a greater mediation role between Cuba and the United States.
Meeting the week that Pakistan exploded a number of nuclear devices in response to similar tests carried out by India, synod delegates called on the Canadian government to renounce the use of nuclear weapons and to exert pressure on other governments to do so as well.
They voted to ask the church's ecojustice committee to produce resources to enable Canadian congregations "to study the Just War theory and its implications for Christian response to war and militarism".
Members also called on the federal government to initiate a broad process of public consultation whenever it negotiates multilateral agreements on investment and trade and to consider the implications of such pacts, especially on the most disadvantaged members of society such as the elderly, the very young and indigenous peoples.
Members also voted to ask the Prime Minister to apologize to Inuit people displaced from traditional hunting areas on the east coast of Hudson Bay and Baffin Island to the High Arctic in the 1950s.
In the area of social policy, General Synod approved [a] resolution saying it cannot support euthanasia and assisted suicide. The resolution described such measures as "a failure of human community".
The church also called on Ottawa to prohibit the cloning of human beings.
The resolution with what may have the broadest impact for the Anglican community itself, was one commending for study a report urging "full communion" between Canadian Anglicans and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Full communion would not be an actual merger of the two churches, but means that each would recognize the other's clergy, rites and sacraments. It could lead to extensive sharing of resources and even personnel between the two denominations. Reactions to that report will be gathered by both churches in the next three years and considered again when their respective governing bodies next meet in the year 2001.
One of the most arduous parts of the proceedings, held in a sweltering gymnasium at McGill University, was a debate on "human rights principles" for church members and employees that would have legislated protection from discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, family or marital status, race, colour, ethnic origin, ancestry, disability, creed and socio-economic status.
The often emotional debate on that resolution stretched over three days and the proposal was ultimately narrowly defeated after synod members failed to agree on a way to marry theological concerns to language more commonly associated with civil courts proceedings.
General Synod, which consists of bishops, clergy and lay people elected to the task in each of the church's 30 dioceses, meets every three years.
- 30 -
Contact: Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, General Synod News Room (514) 398-5192; Cell phones: (514) 953-7981 (Carriere) or (514) 953-8091 (Chortyk)
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.)
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.) - Theme
Anglican Church of Canada - Relations - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Full communion
Human rights principles for the Anglican Church of Canada
Human rights - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Nuclear weapons - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Just war doctrine - Anglican Church of Canada
Inuit - Canada - Anglican Church of Canada
Inuit - Canada
Less detail

General Synod 1998 : Guest bishop urges Anglicans to address question of cultural identity

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7123
Date
1998 May 22
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1998 May 22
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
MONTREAL -- (May 22, 1998)
Canadians must address the urgent question of cultural identity, Bishop French Chang-Him told about 800 Anglican General Synod members and visitors at Montreal's Christ Church Cathedral Thursday evening. The service marked the opening of the Anglican Church of Canada's 35th General Synod, which meets every three years to discuss issues relating to church and society.
Bishop Chang-Him of Seychelles, who is attending the Synod as an overseas partner, told the congregation that Canada's future depends on its ability to hear and understand the diverse voices of its population.
"Canada has become very cosmopolitan since I first visited in 1986," he said. "On a 1991 visit I preached a sermon that had to be translated into Cantonese so I could be understood. This was not in Hong Kong or Singapore, but in downtown Toronto."
Bishop Chang-Him told the congregation that Canada must work hard to promote increased cooperation and appreciation between people of different backgrounds. Drawing on the Anglican General Synod theme "Lift Every Voice/Faisons Entendre Nos Voix" he asked: "When you lift the many voices of this country, will it be a rich harmony or a disturbing, competing cacophony ?"
Bishop Chang-Him shared his personal struggle to find peace with his cultural identity. "Coming from a background that included African, French and Asian roots I felt a pain inside of not knowing who I was," he said. He urged all Canadians to affirm the rich diversity of their citizens and to listen carefully to those who are not in the mainstream of society.
Among the discussions scheduled during the nine-day Anglican synod is a forum on nation and identity. The synod includes bishops, clergy and lay representatives from 30 dioceses across Canada.
- 30 -
Contact: Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, General Synod News Room (514) 398-5192; Cell phones: (514) 953-7981 (Carriere) or (514) 953-8091 (Chortyk)
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.)
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.) - Theme
Multiculturalism - Canada
Multiculturalism - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Chang-Him, French (French Kitchener), 1938-
Less detail

General Synod 1998 : Heed minority voices, Anglican primate tells governing body

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7122
Date
1998 May 22
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1998 May 22
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
MONTREAL (May 22) -- Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of Canada, has urged more than 300 members of the church's chief governing body to give greater heed to minority voices in society, including Canada's francophone population, members of indigenous communities and those marginalized because of gender, sexuality or age.
In an opening address to the church's General Synod meeting here for nine days, Archbishop Peers, spiritual head of Canada's 750,000 Anglicans, also called on church members to address issues such as the impact of globalization and multinational trade agreements, international and third-world debt, and the widening gulf between the world's rich and poor.
Drawing on the Biblical vision of the "Jubilee" year, in which debts were to be forgiven and wealth redistributed, Archbishop Peers said he hoped the idea of debt cancellation for some of the world's poorest nations could be explored to mark the millennium.
General Synod meets every three years, drawing members from across each of the country's 30 Anglican dioceses, to discuss issues relating to church and society.
In his address, Archbishop Peers also spoke of the on-going conversations with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and expressed the hope that deliberations here would lead to acceptance of full-communion between the two churches by the next time synod meets in the year 2001.
("Full communion" is not a merger of the two churches, but means that they recognize each other's rites, services and clerical orders.)
"Lutherans and Anglicans have come to a point in which there is a friendship that holds the promise of genuine partnership," Archbishop Peers told synod members.
Archbishop Peers linked the theme of General Synod -- "Lift every voice -- Faisons entendre nos voix" -- to a theme of "connectedness". He noted that it has been 39 years since General Synod last met in Montreal. "The voice least heard in our midst is that of Quebec and francophone Canada," he said. "I suggest that for many in this assembly, the discipline of listening with care to that voice will be among our most serious challenges."
He also referred to matters such as social and justice issues and the cancellation of third-world debt, issues that are also likely to occupy more than 800 Anglican bishops from around the world when they meet in England at the Lambeth Conference later this summer.
In all their deliberations and debates in the next nine days, Archbishop Peers told members to avoid becoming "as those whose world is so far removed from the realities of most citizens of this planet that they cannot see or do not care about what happens to those whose lives they affect".
Among other tasks facing General Synod members, Archbishop Peers noted, is evaluating progress made since the last gathering in Ottawa in 1995, where the church decided to shift priorities at the national level away from domestic work in favor of developing and nurturing overseas partnerships.
Members are also expected to address:
- Issues relating to euthanasia and assisted suicide;
- Issues related to cloning and reproductive technologies;
- The place of indigenous peoples in the Anglican Church of Canada;
- Issues relating to human rights and
- Church legislation dealing with the authority of bishops over priests.
Members will also meet in a number of forums addressing topics such as the church's relationship with overseas partners, relations with other faiths and denominations, social justice issues and relations between the 30 dioceses and the national church.
The Anglican Church of Canada is the country's third largest Christian denomination.
- 30 -
Contact: Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, General Synod News Room (514) 398-5192; Cell phones: (514) 953-7981 (Carriere) or (514) 953-8091 (Chortyk)
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.)
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.) - Theme
Minorities - Canada
Minorities - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Quebec (Province) - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Relations - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Full employment policies - Great Britain
Less detail

General Synod 1998 : Seek greater political role, church leaders told

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7128
Date
1998 May 26
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1998 May 26
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
MONTREAL (May 26) -- Church leaders ought to play a greater role in speaking out on issues of the day, especially when matters of principle and social justice are concerned, a panel of public figures has told members of the Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod.
The strongest plea for a more pro-active social role by the church and its leaders came from Quebec elder statesman Claude Ryan, a former Liberal leader in the Assemblee Nationale and the spokesman for the No side during Quebec's first referendum on independence in 1980.
"I would like to see religious leaders intervene in debates more clearly and more forcibly where matters of principle are involved", Mr. Ryan told the 300 General Synod members meeting here this week. "I would like to see them participate more in the formation of young people. ... The church must play a more active role in helping us solve our problems."
His comments were echoed by Senator Ann [i.e. Anne] Cools, moderator of the five-person panel, who agreed that the church "must intervene more forcibly in the problems of our country", and by former attorney general of British Columbia Brian Smith, who described churches as "important vehicles of national understanding and reconciliation".
Another panelist, Joan Fraser, Director General of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada and a former editor of the Montreal Gazette, asked: "If you, the church, don't go to the heart of things, then who will ?"
The panel was convened to address General Synod members on the theme of "nation and identity" but comments covered the gamut of social and political issue[s] with the place of Quebec in the Canadian Confederation at the forefront.
The General Synod theme -- "Lift every voice / Faisons entendre nos voix" -- is meant to invite members to reflect on diversity, inclusiveness and minority voices in Canadian society.
Earlier in the day, Anglican Bishop of Montreal Andrew Hutchison, speaking to General Synod on the same theme, drew a sharp distinction between partisan politics, where he said the church had no mandate to intervene, and issues of principle, such as peace, justice and reconciliation, where, he argued, it is bound to speak out.
Another evening panelist, Grand Chief Matthew Coon-Come of the Grand Council of the Cree, said that churches today are to be commended for the role they seek to play in fostering social wrongs, but that in the past, they have been complicit in fostering social conditions that have lead to the plight of aboriginal peoples in Canada today. "I challenge members of all faith communities to be witness to these injustices," he said, referring to the social problems his people struggle against.
Speaking to the evening's theme, Chief Coon-Come said that "national and identity" are more than political concepts. In the case of Canada's aboriginal peoples, he argued, "it is self evident that we are a people and a nation".
Chief Coon-Come said there has, in fact, been little evolution in the way that Canadian society treats aboriginal peoples from the days of imposed or fraudulent treaties to today. A new policy to deal with aboriginal peoples formulated by the Quebec government is a perpetuation of the same "fraud and hoax", he said.
- 30 -
Contact: Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, General Synod News Room (514) 398-5192; Cell phones: (514) 953-7981 (Carriere) or (514) 953-8091 (Chortyk)
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.)
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod (35th : 1998 : Montreal, Que.) - Theme
Canada - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Quebec (Province) - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Quebec (Province) - Politics and government - 1994-
Christianity and politics - Anglican Church of Canada
Social justice - Anglican Church of Canada
Native peoples - Canada
Native peoples - Canada - Anglican Church of Canada
Indians of North America - Canada
Indians of North America - Quebec (Province)
Ryan, Claude, 1925-2004
Cools, Anne
Smith, Brian
Fraser, Joan
Coon-Come, Matthew
Less detail