General Synod members voted to send a message to the Anglican Consultative Council that adding the primates to the Council would be an unwelcome change. Bishop Moxley pointed out that this change would replace the bishops with primates.
Canadian Anglican bishops have nominated four from among their number to be candidates in the election of a successor to Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Archbishop Hutchison, who was elected 12th Primate in 2004, has announced that he will retire after the Anglican General Synod in June . The synod, the Anglican church's chief governing body, will choose the next primate on June 22  in Winnipeg.
The procedure to elect a Primate, or national leader, is that bishops nominate no more than five candidates at their last meeting before a General Synod. The bishops, however, do not vote in the actual election. Primates are elected by clergy and lay members of the synod.
Bishops nominated for the election of the 13th Primate are:
- Bishop George Bruce of the diocese of Ontario
- Bishop Fred Hiltz of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
- Bishop Bruce Howe of the diocese of Huron
- Bishop Victoria Matthews of the diocese of Edmonton
Earlier, the bishops considered two motions on the future of the primacy from a task force they previously established. The bishops defeated a motion that would have suspended part of the Canon on the primacy requiring a newly elected bishop to resign his or her diocese. They approved a second motion asking June's General Synod to establish a task force to undertake a "detailed and comprehensive study of the nature, role, duties and authority of the Primate."
The Anglican General Synod, which convenes at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg on June 19, is the church's chief legislative and governing body. It is made up of more than 300 delegates, including lay people, deacons, priests and bishops elected from each of the church's 30 dioceses. General Synod meets every three years.
The primatial election will he held at a nearby church on June 22. The new Primate will be officially installed in office the evening of June 25 .
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org OR Josie De Lucia, Assistant to the Director, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; email@example.com
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has announced that he will retire next year following General Synod and the election of a successor.
Archbishop Hutchison, who was elected Primate at the last General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004 made the announcement at a meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops in Niagara Falls, Ont., after privately notifying the four Canadian Metropolitan Archbishops of his decision.
He reminded the bishops that he had said right after his election in June, 2004, that his would be a one-triennium primacy. (General Synod meets every three three years.) Since then, he said, there have been discussions about whether or not that term of office should be extended. But "despite a good deal of urging for me to do so, I believe the best answer is for me to stick to my original statement," he said.
Archbishop Hutchison, former Archbishop of Montreal and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, had been ready to retire at the time he was elected Primate.
He told the Niagara Falls gathering of bishops that his decision was based primarily on personal and family reasons.
The announcement means that the next General Synod, which convenes in Winnipeg next summer [19-25 June 2007], will elect a successor. The process for that election is that the House of Bishops submits a list of no more than five nominees to General Synod, where clergy and lay members elect a Primate.
Archbishop Hutchison noted that this timing will allow a new Primate time to prepare for the next meeting of the Lambeth Conference of all Anglican bishops in the world, which will be held in 2008.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org
About 400 Anglican delegates, staff and national and international partners will gather in Winnipeg in June  with an agenda that includes the election and installation of a new national leader and resolutions on the same-sex blessings controversy that could affect the Anglican Church of Canada's future status in the worldwide Communion.
The gathering of the Anglican General Synod, the church's highest governing body, occurs every three years and brings together bishops, priests and lay people chosen from every Anglican community in the country. Hosting the event this time is the diocese of Rupert's Land, based in Winnipeg. Anglicans are taking over two downtown hotels and parts of a third for the synod, which runs from June 19 to 25 .
The General Synod meets to deal with specific issues of the day as well as to care for the housekeeping affairs of the church.
On the agenda of the Winnipeg meeting -- the 38th General Synod -- are the following key matters:
- The election of a new Primate or national leader to succeed Archbishop Andrew Hutchison who was elected at the last General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004 and is retiring;
- Votes on resolutions dealing with the issue of same-sex blessings. Among other things, the Synod will have to decide whether or not same-sex blessings are a matter of doctrine;
- Responding to the Windsor Report on the state of the worldwide Anglican Communion;
- Acting on a report on governance which examines the structure of the national church and makes recommendations in the context of declining numbers;
- The introduction of a National Indigenous Bishop appointed by the Primate earlier this year;
- Status reports on church finances and the Indian Residential Schools agreeement with the federal government.
In addition to the regular agenda, a day of General Synod will be spent with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada which is having its convention in Winnipeg at the same time. The Anglican and Lutheran churches have a close partnership which was formalized in 2001 when they signed an agreement to enter full communion.
The theme of the 38th General Synod is 'Draw the circle wide - draw it wider still' -- from an Anglican hymn. The reference is to promoting a church that is inclusive.
General Synod is open to news media.
In advance of the June meeting, a number of news releases will be issued, of which this the first. A newsroom for accredited journalists will be maintained and staffed and news releases issued at regular intervals throughout the synod. However, space if limited, both on the General Synod floor of the plenary gathering, and in the newsroom. Journalists planning to cover all or most of the proceedings are therefore urged to register in advance. This will allow us to reserve space in the newsroom for you and to ensure that we have an adequate number of documents. A media information kit will be available at the start of synod for registered journalists.
The plenary hall is generally open to photographers, but they are limited in where on the floor of General Synod they can go. All photographers will be expected to comply with these limitations which are aimed at minimizing the disruptions for General Synod members.
Journalists may apply for registration at: http://www.anglican.ca/gs2007/media/registration.htm
The newsroom will be staffed by the following people, for whom telephone numbers will be made available closer to Synod:
Josie De Lucia, Newsroom Manager, Media Relations
Keith Nethery, Media Relations
Brian Sarjeant, Writer, Media Relations
Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director, Communications and Information Resources
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; email@example.com OR Josie De Lucia, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 400 people including delegates, partners and staff will gather in Winnipeg next week for the Anglican Church of Canada's 38th General Synod -- a crucial assembly that will elect a new national leader or Primate and once again tackle the difficult and divisive issue of the blessing of same-gender relationships.
The General Synod meets every three years and consists of bishops, clergy and lay people elected as delegates locally in each of the church's 30 dioceses. It is the Anglican church's chief governing body, dealing with everything from changes to church laws and practices to finances and the membership of committees that oversee church programs in years when General Synod does not meet.
The synod is being held at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, with the diocese of Rupert's Land acting as host.
The seven-day synod will be chaired by Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, the current Primate, who has announced his retirement, effective June 22 . On that day, clergy and lay delegates will elect a new primate. Church practice is that Canadian Anglican Bishops nominate candidates for the primacy but do not participate in the actual election.
At their spring meeting, the bishops nominated bishops George Bruce of Huron, Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, George Bruce of Ontario and Victoria Matthews of Edmonton as candidates for the primacy. It is possible for electors to ask the bishops for more nominees after the electoral process has begun.
The new Primate will be formally installed in office at a special service the evening of Monday, June 25 .
General Synod delegates will also be dealing with the issue of the blessing of same-gender relationships, which has deeply divided the Canadian Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. When the synod last met in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004, a decision on same-gender blessings was deferredd until 2007.
One full day of the General Synod -- Thursday, 21 June -- will be spent in a joint gathering with the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. In 2001, Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans signed a declaration in which they proclaimed themselves to be in full communion with each other. The Winnipeg event is a celebration of this close partnership.
In other business, the General Synod will deal with a host of resolutions on a wide range of church and social issues and with reports from the committees and councils which normally oversee church programs and activities. Among these reports is one from a special task force that has been reviewing how the church is governed.
Also scheduled are a number of "conversations" during which General Synod members will get detailed presentations on different aspects of church life and activities.
Synod members will also receive detailed information on church finances. The Anglican Church has been in a precarious financial position for several years, as a result of declining church membership and the church's involvement in litigation concerning Indian Residential Schools.
- 30 -
Note to Media Representation
Media representatives wishing to cover some or all of General Synod are advised that there will be a Newsroom at the Marlborough Hotel reserved for accredited journalists. All journalists wishing access to General Synod facilities will have tor register and obtain identification at the Newsroom. Key media contacts on site are Ms. Josie De Lucia and Rev. Keith Nethery.
All documents available to General Synod delegates, including the General Synod Agenda (called the Convening Circular) are available online at http://www.anglican.ca/gs2007/rr/index.htm
For more information, contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; email@example.com OR Josie De Lucia, Assistant to the Director, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306