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Date
1978 February 3
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1978 February 3
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
Toronto - Friday, Feb. 3, 1978 -- For immediate release
Open discussion and debate, often highly emotional, on the life and rights of homosexual persons in society, have become common-place and devisive [sic for divisive] in recent years.
The members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, as chief pastors of the Church are obligated to exercise faithfully witness to that office, and at the same time, to wrestle with the human and pastoral problems which homosexuality presents to the Church at all levels as it attempts to minister to all people.
Realizing the complexity of this area of human relationships and the wide divergence of both popular and informed opinion, the Bishops, in the summer of 1976, asked for help and advice in facing the problems raised by homosexuality in contemporary society. They commissioned a Task Force of eleven persons, from a variety of backgrounds to assist in their deliberations.
The Task Force presented the first draft of its report in 1977 and was asked to do further work in some areas and report back to the meeting of the Bishops early in 1978. The House of Bishops has been meeting this past week in Mississauga and has received the second draft of the report.
The lengthy draft is still considered confidential as it was prepared as an advisory paper to the Bishops, not a position paper for the whole Church. The Bishops have committed themselves to continuing the study of this vital issue and specifically of the report's 15 recommendations. They will continue their deliberations at future meetings of the House. They have asked that a study paper be prepared in the near future for study and discussion at all levels of the Church, and by other interested groups. In the meantime, the Bishops have issued the following specific statement:
"Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
We believe as Christians that homosexual persons as children of God, have a full and equal claim, with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to guard against all forms of human injustice and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. We affirm that homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenent [sic for covenant] of Holy Matrimony. In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
-30-
For further information, please contact: R.J. Berryman, Media Consultant, The Anglican Church of Canada, Telephone: Toronto 924-9192 Hamilton: 527-1117
Notes
Change in date from 1979 to 1978 based on handwritten annotation (in Al Hedderick's writing) on copy in Library VF "Homosexuality - Religious aspects".
Subjects
Homosexuality - Law and legislation - Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sex (Theology) - Biblical teaching
Marriage - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Same sex unions - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Less detail

Human sexuality : A statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada - 1997

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7013
Date
1997 October 30
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1997 October 30
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (Oct. 30, 1997) -- Canada's Anglican bishops, meeting here this week, approved the following statement which updates their 1979 guidelines dealing with the ordination of homosexual persons and pastoral relationship with the homosexual community.
The statement was drafted by a task force and adopted with near unanimity, without change.
- 30 -
Contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Information Resources 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Editor, Print Resources 416-924-9199 ext. 256
Human sexuality : A statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada - 1997
The Background
In 1976 the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada sought advice as it faced the issue of homosexuality in contemporary society and how the church ought to relate pastorally, and in terms of ordination. A task force presented a lengthy report to the bishops.
By 1979 the bishops had committed themselves to further study and they requested the preparation of study materials to help further discussion at all levels of the church. These materials were published in 1985.
In 1979, as an interim measure, the bishops issued a statement based on the following belief:
We believe as Christians, that homosexual persons, as children of God, have a full and equal claim with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church.
As well, the Bishops issued a four point pastoral guideline for themselves as they considered the admission of individual persons to the church's ordained ministry.
1. Our present and future considerations about homosexuality should be pursued within the larger study of human sexuality in its totality.
2. We accept all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, as equal before God; our acceptance of persons with homosexual orientation is not an acceptance of homosexual activity;
3. We do not accept the blessing of homosexual unions;
4. We will not call into question the ordination of a person who has shared with the bishop his/her homosexual orientation if there has been a commitment to the Bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex as part of the requirement for ordination.
In referring to this guideline in the press, Archbishop Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada at that time said,
Our statement is not meant to be, in any way, legislation or a final doctrinal statement. It is a pastoral statement and we intend it to assist us in the exercise of our pastoral ministry within the Church.
The house held a number of study sessions on the topic of human sexuality through the 1980's. In 1991 a new task force was constituted by the Primate.
At the General Synod of 1992 a major block of time was devoted to an open forum on the topic. More materials were made available for study and by 1994/95 approximately 170 groups and 2500 people had used the study guide "Hearing Diverse Voices, Seeking Common Ground".
At the 1995 General Synod, an important report was presented, following a hearing, which lead to a motion being presented and strongly supported which:
Affirmed the presence and contributions of gay men and lesbians in the life of the church and condemned bigotry, violence and hatred directed toward any due to their sexual orientation.
This report recommended among other things, that the process of dialogue continue; that all of us should, "learn and reflect more about our sexuality as a whole," and that the dialogue should be extended so that the, "whole church family has an opportunity to be involved". The Faith Worship and Ministry Committee of the ACC was given a mandate to provide leadership to the church to ensure a continuation of the dialogue.
All of this effort has fostered a greater understanding of what it is to be a gay man or lesbian in the church and a heightened sense of pastoral concern on the part of the church. Also, as gay men and lesbians have found greater acceptance in the church, they have been enabled to share their experiences in a more public way to the benefit of the whole church which has become increasingly aware of the breadth and depth of their contribution.
At its April 1997 meeting, discussing this topic for the first time in open session, the House of Bishops continued its deliberations and requested the task force to redraft the 1979 guideline in the light of new pastoral awareness while at the same time retaining the original intent of the guideline. In undertaking this task we seek to articulate how far we have come, as well as to acknowledge those areas where continued study and dialogue is necessary. Theological reflection and pastoral action in the Church since 1979 have focused on four key areas, and it is these that shape our considerations in this statement. The church has reflected on the place of gay and lesbian persons in society; the place of gay and lesbian persons in the church; the significance of committed sexually active relationships between people of the same sex and the significance of such relationships for ordination of gay and lesbian persons.
Gay and Lesbian Persons in Society
As Christians we believe that homosexual persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, concern and care of the church. As an expression of this love and care, the gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to oppose all forms of human injustice and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.
It is on the basis of these theological insights, which remain pertinent irrespective of any considerations of the appropriateness or otherwise of homosexual acts, that the Anglican Church of Canada has affirmed that gay and lesbian persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens. Thus, this House supported the passage of bill C-33 that made sexual orientation a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. We call upon the church and all its members to continue to work to safeguard the freedom, dignity and responsibility of every person and to seek an end to discrimination.
Gay and Lesbian Persons in the Church
We are thankful to see a new sensitivity emerging towards gay and lesbian persons in the Church. No longer can we talk in the abstract. We are experiencing a growing awareness that the persons of whom we speak are among us. They are our sons and daughters. They are our friends and relatives. This recognition has not always been present. The story of the Church's attitude to gay and lesbian people has too often been one of standing at a distance, even of prejudice, ignorance and oppression. All of us need to acknowledge this, and to repent for any part we may have had in creating it.
In our baptism we covenant to seek and to serve Christ in all persons. We now call the church to reaffirm the mutuality of that covenant, a covenant that encourages and enables us to love others as Christ loves us. This covenant will no longer allow us to regard those among us whose orientation is homosexual simply as "needy objects" for pastoral care. Instead we are partners, celebrating together the dignity of every human being, and reaching out together for the wholeness offered to us in the Gospel.
The church affirms its traditional teaching that only the sexual union of male and female can find appropriate expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony. However, we recognize that some homosexuals live in committed sexual relationships for mutual support, help and comfort. We wish to continue open and respectful dialogue with those who sincerely believe that sexuality expressed within a committed homosexual relationship is God's call to them, and we affirm our common desire to seek together the fullness of life revealed in Christ.
Blessing of Covenanted Relationships
We continue to believe that committed same sex relationships should not be confused with Holy Matrimony. The house will not authorize any act that appears to promote this confusion. There is, and needs to be, ongoing discussion about how to respond appropriately to faithful and committed same sex relationships. In the context of the ongoing debate this would necessitate respectful listening and learning about the nature of such relationships and their meaning for the persons involved in them. We recognize that relationships of mutual support, help and comfort between homosexual persons exist and are to be preferred to relationships that are anonymous and transient. We disagree among ourselves about whether such relationships can be expressions of God's will and purpose.
While consensus may be unlikely in the near future, we believe that study and dialogue continue to be fruitful. As we continue to listen together to scripture, tradition, and reasoned argument based on the experience of the Church, including and especially the experience of its gay and lesbian members, we grow in our recognition that our disagreements reflect our attempts to be faithful to the Gospel in our different personal and pastoral contexts.
As long as such dialogue continues to be fruitful we believe it should continue. We are not ready to authorize the blessing of relationships between persons of the same sex. However, in interpreting the Gospel, we must always reflect on the context to which it is addressed. We are, therefore, committed to ongoing study of human sexuality and of the nature and characteristics of human intimacy and family life as it exists in our society.
Ordination of Gay and Lesbian Persons
Among our clergy there are some who are gay or lesbian. Their ministries are often highly dedicated and greatly blessed. God has endowed them with many intellectual and spiritual gifts and we give thanks for their ministries. We reaffirm that sexual orientation in and of itself is not a barrier to ordination or the practice of ministry within the church. Within the wider parameters of suitability, it is the manner in which sexuality is expressed that must be considered. Our intimate relationships are an expression of the most profound possibilities for human relationships, including our relationship with God (Eph.5:32). At ordination, candidates promise to live their lives and shape their relationships so as to provide a "wholesome example" to the people of God (BCP, 642). Exemplary behaviour for persons who are not married includes a commitment to remain chaste.
Conclusion
Our discussions over the past few years have taught us much. We do not have a common mind on all things. We see in part and we know in part. Where we disagree we need to continue to read the scriptures together and to engage in dialogue, that we might listen for what the Spirit is saying to the Church today.
Subjects
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Ordination of gays - Anglican Church of Canada
Same sex unions - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Law and legislation - Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
House of Bishops' Statement on Human Sexuality (1997)
House of Bishops' Guidelines on the Ordination of Homosexual Persons (1979)
Less detail

Minutes of the Last Meeting

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7446
Date
1977 August 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1977 August 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Bishop Crabb
Seconder
Bishop Hollis
Prologue
Bishop Hollis, in referring to Section XVI, Report of the Task Force on Homosexuality, expressed concern with the statement, "that the report is fair, balanced and well written", suggesting that Biblical references were not adequate. With this notation, it was
Text
"That the Minutes be adopted." CARRIED
Notes
The Primate reported that the name of the Task Force had been changed to The Task Force on Sexuality.
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops - Minutes
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Homosexuality - Name
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality - Name
Less detail

Report from the House of Bishops - Task Force on Human Sexuality

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official2773
Date
1978 May 10-12
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1978 May 10-12
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Rt. Rev. R.E.F. Berry
Seconder
Ven. P.S. Lucas
Prologue
The Rev. Jim Reed was present at the meeting to assist in answering enquiries about the Task Force and its work.
Bishops Hill, Hatfield and Parke-Taylor have been appointed to a task force to prepare a study guide using the report from the Task Force on Human Sexuality as a basis.
Text
That the National Executive Council authorize the preparation of a study guide (with special reference to homosexuality) to be prepared and referred to the House of Bishops and the National Executive Council for use within the Church, and that the Primate be asked to appoint qualified persons to work with the three bishops appointed by the House of Bishops. CARRIED
Subjects
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Study Resource on Human Sexuality
Anglican Church of Canada. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Less detail

Report of the Agenda Committee

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7394
Date
1978 January 30 - February 3
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1978 January 30 - February 3
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Bishop Goodman
Seconder
Bishop Ragg
Text
"That the Thursday evening Session at which the Report of the Task Force on Sexuality is to be presented 'in camera'." CARRIED
Subjects
In camera meetings
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Less detail

Report of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Churchman

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official2941
Date
1976 November 10-12
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1976 November 10-12
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Broadwell
Seconder
Balcom
Prologue
Dr. Broadwell presented the report on behalf of the Board of Trustees. He reviewed and commented upon the report and invited comments from the floor.
Text
That the Report of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Churchman be received. CARRIED
Notes
There was a discussion of the Canadian Churchman editorial policy during which concern and support were expressed. Dr. Broadwell responded to remarks from the floor and invited Mr. Hames, editor of the Canadian Churchman, to speak. Mr. Hames described research and article preparation processes and said that length of special feature articles will be given consideration. The impossibility of addressing all issues confronting contemporary society was recognized, and it was agreed that a process of selectivity should be developed.
It was noted that a Commission to study homosexuality has been established by the Primate, and the hope was expressed that there would be a full and sensitive reporting of this session of the National Executive Council in the Churchman.
Subjects
Canadian Churchman
Religious newspapers and periodicals - Anglican Church of Canada
Editorial independence
Church and the press - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Hames, Jerry (Jerrold F.), 1940-
Less detail

Report of the Task Force on Human Sexuality

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7410
Date
1978 January 30 - February 3
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1978 January 30 - February 3
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Archbishop Crabb
Seconder
Bishop Frame
Prologue
The Primate indicated that he will write to Roy Bonisteel of the "Man Alive" program, expressing concern regarding some of the emphases of the program "The Gay Christian."
Text
"That we receive the report." CARRIED
Notes
"A Statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada" was circulated by Bishop Garnsworthy, and the Rev. Richard Berryman presented a proposed press release. The House agreed to function as a Committee of the whole for purposes of discussion.
A suggestion was made by Bishop Clarke and Archbishop Somerville that the statement conclude with the words "heterosexual marriages" at the end of the last paragraph.
Bishop Hollis and Bishop Snowden proposed this addition to the final paragraph: "and we cannot authorize our clergy to bless homosexual unions". This met with the approval of the House.
Bishop Hollis and Bishop Snowden suggested a further addition to the final paragraph as follows: "nor can we permit our church buildings to be used for that purpose". The House did not concur. The amended document is as follows:
"Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
We believe as Christians that homosexual persons as children of God, have a full and equal claim, with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to guard against all forms of human injustice and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. We affirm that homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony. In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our Clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
An announcement was made that the Rev. Richard Berryman, in revising a statement which he had prepared, will indicate that there will be on-going study of this subject by the Bishops.
Discussion then centred around two matters:
1. The preparation of a Study Document for general use throughout the Church;
2. Provision for continuing study of this matter on the part of the House of Bishops.
It was agreed that the Agenda Committee be instructed to provide for further consideration of the subject at a future meeting.
Archbishop Somerville and Archbishop Watton proposed that we recommend to the National Executive Council that a Study Guide be prepared. The House concurred.
A proposal was made that Bishops Hatfield, Parke-Taylor and Hill be a Committee of the House to provide both background material and co-operative assistance to the National Executive Council in this matter.
It was agreed to have included in the press release the fact that plans are being made for the preparation of study material.
Press Release - The Primate's Commission on Human Sexuality (Incorporating "A Statement by the Anglican Bishops of Canada") [pp. 44-48]
The Press Release was placed before the House. The release was carefully scrutinized and some minor changes in wording were made. The following addition was proposed by Bishops Valentine and Goodings:
"We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort about which the church must show and appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
In its original form it contained the words "need and" between "homosexuals" and "develop" in the first line. With this change, the addition received the approval of the House, and the statement as amended was approved. It is as follows:
"Open discussion and debate, often highly emotional, on the life and rights of homosexual persons in society, have become commonplace and divisive in recent years.
The members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, as chief pastors of the Church are obligated to exercise faithful witness to that office, and at the same time, to wrestle with the human and pastoral problems which homosexuality presents to the Church at all levels as it attempts to minister to all people. Realizing the complexity of this area of human relationships and the wide divergence of both popular and informed opinion, the Bishops, in the summer of 1976, asked for help and advice in facing the problems raised by homosexuality in contemporary society. They commissioned a Task Force of eleven persons, from a variety of backgrounds, to present an advisory report to them to assist in their deliberations.
The Task Force presented the first draft of its report in 1977 and was asked to do further work in some areas and report back to the meeting of the Bishops early in 1978. The House of Bishops has been meeting this past week in Mississauga and has received the second draft of the report. The lengthy draft is still considered confidential as it was prepared as an advisory paper to the Bishops, not a position paper for the whole Church. The Bishops have committed themselves to continuing study of this vital issue and specifically of the report's 15 recommendations. They will continue their deliberations at future meetings of the House. They have asked that a study paper be prepared in the near future for study and discussion at all levels of the Church, and by other interested groups. In the meantime, the Bishops have issued the following specific statement:
Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony.
In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our Clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
On the suggestion of Archbishop Davis and Bishop Short, it was agreed that the Rev. Richard Berryman should be the contact person for press purposes.
Subjects
Television broadcasting - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Man Alive (Television program)
Bonisteel, Roy, 1930-2013
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Christianity
Same sex unions - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Marriage - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Berryman, Richard (Richard James), 1932-2014
Less detail

[Special Meeting of House of Bishops]

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official3152
Date
1979 February 14
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press Release
Date
1979 February 14
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press Release
Text
Toronto, Feb. 14, 1979
For immediate release
The "House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada" is an imposing title which conjures up images of authoritarian pronouncements. Last week, however, the Bishops from the 30 Anglican Dioceses in Canada came to Ottawa, not to pronounce, but to listen, learn, discuss and to seek help in facing some major pastoral concerns.
This rather unusual session of the House of Bishops began on February 5th in the Beacon Arms Hotel. February 6th was spent examining the process of Federal Government. M.K. Hicks, of Transport Canada, discussed "How Decisions are Made" in the Canadian Government. Blair Seaborn, of Fisheries and Environment Canada, described "As a Deputy Minister Sees It," while Peter Dobell, director of the Parliamentary Centre for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, looked at "What Issues Does Parliament Influence?"
G.E. Steele, President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, spoke on "Influencing the Government - A Process Sinister or Benign?" The final presentation on the afternoon of February 6th was "The Politician's View" by Michel Rochon of l'Universite de Montreal, formerly assistant secretary in the Prime Minister's Office.
After dinner on Tuesday, February 6th, the Honourable Mitchell Sharp led a wide-ranging and informal discussion with the Bishops, concerning the workings of governments.
February 7th and February 9th the Bishops spent time in plenary and group sessions discussing agenda arising from, and since, previous meetings of the House of Bishops. Primarily, these concerns were in the area of pastoral and personal matters.
For example, in the Anglican Church, all clergy must be licensed to a particular Bishop in order to carry out any sacramental or preaching function. There is no such thing as an Anglican "Priest-at-large." The Bishops spent some time examining particular problems this can raise in relation to the significant number of clergy presently working in a variety of non-parochial ministries, often not supported wholly or even in part by the Anglican Church, and those who, although retaining their ordained status, are employed full-time in a "secular" occupation.
The Bishops also spent considerable time discussing the deliberations which have taken place since the presentation last year of the Report of the Task Force on Human Sexuality (see previous media release coverage - Feb. 3, 1978). The report, which had been commissioned to examine the question of homosexuality within the total context of human sexuality and the Christian faith, contains recommendations to assist the Bishops in exercising the pastoral concern of the Church for persons with homosexual orientation. It is not meant to formulate "official" Church policy. A study guide on human sexuality for use by the general membership of the Church is also being prepared and the discussions by the Bishops will assist in its preparation.
Patrick Watson, well-known Canadian writer and broadcaster, led off the discussion on February 8th with a look at "What Broadcasting, Magazines and Newspapers are Saying to Us, About Us." Later in the day, the Bishops were joined by Eli Mandel, Professor of English at York University, for discussion of "What Poetry and Fiction are Saying About Canadian Culture." Dr. Mandel is currently Writer-in-Residence for the city of Regina.
On February 8th the Bishops were received at Rideau Hall by Governor-General Edward and Mrs. Schreyer.
This unique session of the House of Bishops was designed and organized by a committee responsible for continuing and widening the education and knowledge of the Bishops in areas of contemporary concern.
- 30 -
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops - Rules and practice
Anglican Church of Canada - Bishops - Education (Continuing education)
Episcopacy - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Government
Church discipline - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Clergy - Licensing
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Decision-making - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Statement regarding the Reporting on the Action of the Anglican Bishops relating to the Ordination of Persons with a Homosexual Orientation

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official2045
Date
1979 February 27
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Date
1979 February 27
Source
Anglican News Service
Record Type
Press release
Text
Background
For some years now the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has been studying issues relating to sexuality in its totality, including those relating to homosexuality. In this study it is in contact with other parts of the Anglican Communion and other Churches which are engaged in similar activity. The primary concern of the Bishops has been to develop far greater understanding of this area of life which is so important for all of us so that they can minister pastorally more adequately to persons grappling with problems that arise from concerns about sexuality. The Lambeth Conference urged such study.
"The Conference gladly affirms the Christian ideals of faithfulness and chastity both within and outside marriage, and calls Christians everywhere to seek the grace of Christ to live lives of holiness, discipline, and service in the world, and commends to the Church:
1. the need for theological study of sexuality in such a way as to relate sexual relationships to that wholeness of human life which itself derives from God, who is the source of masculinity and femininity;
2. the need for programmes at diocesan level, involving both men and women,
a. to promote the study and foster the ideals of Christian marriage and family life, and to examine the ways in which those who are unmarried may discover the fullness which God intends for all his children;
b. to provide ministries of compassionate support to those suffering from brokenness within marriage and family relationships;
c. to emphasize the sacredness of all human life, the moral issues inherent in clinical abortions, and the possible implications of genetic engineering.
3. While we re-affirm heterosexuality as the Scriptural norm, we recognise the need for deep and dispassionate study of the question of homosexuality, which would take seriously both the teaching of Scripture and the results of scientific and medical research. The Church, recognizing the need for pastoral concern for those who are homosexual, encourages dialogue with them,
(We note with satisfaction that such studies are now proceeding in some member Churches of the Anglican Communion".)
Resolutions
As steps in this continuing study the Bishops have passed two resolutions:
February 1978
"Open discussion and debate, often highly emotional, on the life and rights of homosexual persons in society, have become commonplace and divisive in recent years.
The members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, as chief pastors of the Church are obligated to exercise faithful witness to that office, and at the same time, to wrestle with the human and pastoral problems which homosexuality presents to the Church at all levels as it attempts to minister to all people. Realizing the complexity of this area of human relationships and the wide divergence of both popular and informed opinion, the Bishops, in the summer of 1976, asked for help and advice in facing the problems raised by homosexuality in contemporary society. They commissioned a Task Force of eleven persons, from a variety of backgrounds, to present an advisory report to them to assist in their deliberations. The Task Force presented the first draft of its report in 1977 and was asked to do further work in some areas and report back to the meeting of the Bishops early in 1978. The House of Bishops has been meeting this past week in Mississauga and has received the second draft of the report. The lengthy draft is still considered confidential as it was prepared as an advisory paper to the Bishops, not a position paper for the whole Church. The Bishops have committed themselves to continuing study of this vital issue and specifically of the report's 15 recommendations. They will continue their deliberations at future meetings of the House. They have asked that a study paper be prepared in the near future for study and discussion at all levels of the Church, and by other interested groups. In the meantime, the Bishops have issued the following specific statement:
Questions of human sexuality are a matter of great concern to the Church of our day. Prominent amongst these concerns is the attitude of the Church towards homosexual persons. While homosexuality is a very complex and involved issue, nevertheless, in response to specific questions directed to the Anglican Church of Canada, we have decided that a statement is needed at this time.
We believe as Christians that homosexual persons as children of God, have a full and equal claim, with all other persons, upon the love, acceptance, concern and pastoral care of the Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ compels Christians to guard against all forms of human injustice and to affirm that all persons are brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. We affirm that homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law with all other Canadian citizens.
It is clear from Holy Scripture that only the sexual union of male and female can find expression within the covenant of Holy Matrimony.
In the heart of biblical teaching about creation we discover insights into the nature and purpose of sexuality. Rooted in God's creative purpose is the fulfillment and completion of male and female in each other, together with the procreative function of sexuality. Thus the Church confines its nuptial blessing to heterosexual marriages, and we cannot authorize our Clergy to bless homosexual unions. We are aware that some homosexuals develop for themselves relationships of mutual support, help and comfort, about which the Church must show an appropriate concern. Such relationships, though, must not be confused with Holy Matrimony, and the Church must do nothing which appears to support any such suggestion."
February 1979
"1. Our present and future considerations about homosexuality should be pursued within the larger study of human sexuality in its totality;
2. We accept all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, as equal before God; our acceptance of persons with homosexual orientation is not an acceptance of homosexual activity;
3. We do not accept the blessing of homosexual unions (see previous press release);
4. We will not call in question the ordination of a person who has shared with the bishop his/her homosexual orientation if there has been a commitment to the bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex as a part of the requirement for ordination."
The purpose of the last resolution was to try to make possible more open relationships between bishops and candidates for ordination who are seeking to come to terms with their sexual orientation or who recognize that they are homosexually orientated [sic for oriented].
This required greater openness and letting persons know what the view of the Bishops is at the present time as their study of the teaching of scripture, the tradition of the Church and the results of scientific and medical research continues. Any action or statement in a sensitive area of this kind must also take into account of the existing attitudes within both society and the Church because the Bishops have a responsibility for the welfare of the Church corporately as well as the welfare of individuals. The Bishops are aware of this responsibility.
Against this background I would have to take serious disagreement with some of the content of and expectations which lie behind the Churchman Editorial "A Double Standard".
I do not believe it is a NECESSARY [underlined in original] contradiction to accept a person's orientation and yet ask them to abstain from giving expression to the orientation in certain types of activity. We, in fact, do this to persons in a wide variety of situations in life.
If it were completely clear that homosexuality is totally genetically determined then a charge of double standard could be logically defended. Since the Bishops do not believe that this assumption is completely clear or dependable and since Scripture, church tradition and culture generally has accepted heterosexuality as the norm, the Bishops do not feel that heterosexuality and homosexuality can be viewed as completely equal conditions. Only if this were the case could a double standard fairly be charged.
Neither are the Bishops setting up one standard relating to Ordination and another relating to society, (in some senses this could well be justified. People who accept leadership roles in Church and society have historically been expected to accept standards beyond the average as they are expected to model conduct which it is hoped will be emulated). The Bishops have called for equal acceptance in society of persons regardless of their sexual orientation and also recognized the right of all to the love, acceptance, and pastoral care of the Church. They have not authorized clergy to bless homosexual unions. They have not, in my view, as implied in the editorial, set up a double standard.
I believe the Bishops' statement has and can encourage greater openness and franker discussion between ordinands and themselves. I know it already has in some cases. The actions taken have not solved all the problems. They cannot be solved this easily. They have brought an important concern into the open in what I believe is a responsible way. They will have to be tested in the light of two of the searching questions which Lambeth asked the Anglican Provinces to keep before them:
"Are we discovering in our common loyalty to Jesus Christ the grounds of a community deep enough and strong enough to enable us to relate to each other honestly and frankly and without claiming moral superiority, no matter how complex or controversial the issue we face may be, without breaking the commitment to Jesus Christ and to each other ?
Are we discovering the ability to uphold what we believe to be basic Christian values, and at the same time to minister with love and concern to those who have not been able to live up to the standards ? And to do so in a way that does not create a sense of condemnation or rejection and seems primarily legalistic ?"
Subjects
Scott, Edward W. (Edward Walter), 1919-2004
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
House of Bishops' Guidelines on the Ordination of Homosexual Persons (1979)
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Sex (Theology) - Biblical teaching
Ordination - Anglican Church of Canada
Ordination of gays - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Bishops
Anglican Church of Canada - Clergy - Appointment, call and election
Anglican Church of Canada - Clergy - Sexual behavior
Same sex unions - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Marriage - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Sexual ethics - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Lambeth Conference, 1978
Canadian Churchman
Editorial independence
Less detail

Task Force on Sexuality

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7382
Date
1978 November 5 - 8
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1978 November 5 - 8
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Bishop F. Berry
Seconder
Bishop J. Bothwell
Prologue
Moved by: Bishop F. Berry
Seconded by: Bishop J. Bothwell
Text
"That this House release the Confidential Report on Sexuality to the members of the National Executive Council's Task Force working on a study guide for the Canadian Church and permits members of the House who wish to do so, to share it with selected persons in their dioceses, on a confidential basis, as part of their preparation for a day's study of the first eighteen pages of the report at the February meeting." CARRIED
Notes
The Primate requested Bishops Hill, Hatfield and Parke-Taylor to take initiative in dealing with this Motion for our February meeting.
Subjects
Sex - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Study Resource on Human Sexuality
Anglican Church of Canada. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Anglican Church of Canada. House of Bishops. Task Force on Human Sexuality
Less detail

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