In response to the request of the Anglican Consultative Council that each Province in the Anglican Communion examine authority in the Anglican Communion, a task force was established in Canada. The members are: Bishop John Baycroft representing the House of Bishops; The Reverend Michael Ingham representing the National Executive Council; and Mrs. Patricia Bays who is a member of the Anglican Consultative Council. The report of the Canadian Church is to go to the Anglican Consultative Council before the end of March.
Mrs. Bays, Bishop Baycroft and Mr. Ingham each addressed the House.
Appendix A [Appendix A consisting of 7 pages of text is NOT included in the electronic database.]
Mrs. Bays distributed a summary of the Bishops' discussions of the previous day. Questions and discussion followed on what should be done with the document.
These centred on the following issues:
1. Economic considerations - if the structures are increased, then increased costs will ensue. What then, can be subtracted from the structures and still maintain the work that has to be done ?
2. Some discomfort was felt about the possibility of "drifting into Primacy".
3. Should we increase the complexity of our structures ? Could areas use their own moderator ?
4. Where does this document go ?
It was pointed out that National Executive Council asked the House of Bishops to look at this issue, and the Anglican Consultative Council asked the same of Synods and Standing Committees.
That we receive the document "Authority in the Anglican Communion" developed through discussion and consideration, and offered as an expression of the opinion of the House of Bishops on this subject;
That it be forwarded to the National Executive Council and, if appropriate, to Lambeth as a contribution to the continuing dialogue on the whole subject of authority. CARRIED
AUTHORITY IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH
A. The issue of authority in the Church impinges on us as bishops in several ways. We are called upon to exercise authority in the ordering of ministry, in ordaining and licensing clergy, in the sacraments of Christian Initiation, in shaping the liturgical life of our dioceses, and in preaching and teaching the Gospel. The Church's authority has its source in God who calls us into unity with each other under the lordship of Christ. Episcopal authority is grounded in, and expressed through, the Koinonia of the Church.
B. If the true purpose of authority is to unify, in practice the exercise of it becomes the occasion for diverse reaction. The recent activity of some bishops within the Communion acting outside their diocesan jurisdiction has raised questions about episcopal collegiality. Liturgical renewal has generated hostility and fear of change in some quarters, resulting in a challenge to episcopal authority itself. Theological development which has evolved new images of the nature of God has produced new models of authority which challenge our present structures. Political and economic changes in society have generated individualistic concepts of authority which seem to be in conflict with the Church's understanding of Koinonia.
C. Within this context, we are compelled to ask about our identity as members of the Anglican Communion. The issue of authority raises the question of identity. Our tradition has been that of a family of autonomous Churches united by our common desire to belong to one another. We affirm that tradition precisely because it is conciliar rather than legislative. We would like to see the instruments of unity strengthened in the Communion, but in such a way that their authority remains consultative and persuasive. We have no desire to see an Anglican "Curia". The following are ways in which the centre of authority in the Communion might be developed.
D. We affirm the special role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a personal symbol of unity with the Communion. Some of us wish to affirm the role as it presently is. But the office is developing into a more international role, with the Archbishop visiting other provinces and asked for comments on their situations. Some therefore would prefer to see the role enhanced in order to allow the effective functioning of the office. There is value in the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as diocesan bishop, in rooting this office in the particulars of a place. A primacy of honour might be exercised by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, but another person might serve as moderator of a conference or president of the Anglican Consultative Council.
E. The Lambeth Conference brings to the whole Communion a sense of unity and common purpose. We recognize that the Lambeth Conference is becoming unwieldy in size and cost, and we suggest that other structures, processes, and alternative venues be explored. We cannot describe at this time what these structures might be. Regional meetings, to include both affluent and less affluent provinces, would build better communication and mutual understanding.
F. We believe the meetings of Primates should be held in conjunction with those of another group -- either the Lambeth conference or the Anglican Consultative Council -- again in order to foster communication and interdependence.
G. The Anglican Consultative Council is an important vehicle of unity since it expresses the synodical model of the Church by its inclusion of priests and lay people as well as bishops. We are agreed that it is important to develop the representation of the laity on the Council, particularly in the area of women and youth. Regional meetings and the more frequent convening of an Anglican Congress could promote this greater involvement. It is important to provide adequate staff and financial support to the work of the Council. We are undecided, however, as to what authority the statements of the Council should have. There is an optimum size for Council and staff and it ought not to grow too large. There is a danger in building up structures. The demands on time and money are great, and the purpose of the structures needs to be remembered.
H. We recognize that our history and geography in Canada have helped us to understand the concept of unity in diversity. We affirm the necessity for interdependence in this large country. All dioceses have gifts to share, and needs which can be met by the gifts of others. In our Canadian experience a number of models have developed which illustrate this unity in diversity. The Council of the North is a good example of the concept of partnership expressed through transparency and mutual accountability. The ecumenical coalitions provide a model of effective planning for social concerns. Decision making by consensus in the House of Bishops requires a high level of trust. We have learned a great deal about regional consultation through our experience in ACNAC [Anglican Council of North America and the Caribbean].
I. We recognize the importance of giving assent to structures of authority. We choose to remain in communion with each other. As issues arise in the Communion on which we have differing views, it will be important for provinces to commit themselves to work together to seek ways of expressing our unity in diversity. We need to listen to each other prayerfully and with sensitivity, recognizing that there must be in the Anglican Communion a tolerance for diversity and a reluctance to define every issue too closely. Our involvement in international structures needs to be communicated clearly to the local congregations, so that they can be aware of the importance of maintaining these links within the Communion.
The author is Convener of Anglican Mainstream UK and a member of the Church of England General Synod. Writing of the Statement from the October 2003 Primates' Meeting he makes two key points. "So the Primates have firmly repudiated two key planks inn the campaign to force acceptance of active homosexual people into the Church's leadership. The first is that the received tradition rests on `a few disputed texts', which ignores the fact that all the scripture texts about homosexual practice are negative, and that scripture is abundantly clear that the only acceptable context for sexual intercourse is within heterosexual marriage. The second revisionist plank repudiated by the Primates is the assertion that each province is juridically autonomous and can do what it likes according to its own canons. Such legalism reveals an impoverished understanding of `communion'. As the Primates point out, such unilateralism compromises and undermines the mission of other parts of the Church, and thus contradicts the mutual accountability that lies at the heart of true communion."
"I read Archbishop Fred Hiltz's comments about the recent meeting of the primates ('Hiltz expects sanctions on Canadian church if it approves same-sex marriage', anglicanjournal.com, Oct. 13, 2017). He's right, sanctions are not what Primates' Meetings are about. Nothing changes. In 1977, at the Lambeth Conference, they wanted to be called 'The House of Primates'. Ten years later, they wanted to be the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). In 1993, they held their meeting in the same venue as the ACC and sat in on most sessions of the council -- not silently, either. There always seems to be pressure to have some kind of central governance, while our polity insists that we are a loose-knit communion of provinces bound together by 'bonds of affection', to use Archbishop Desmond Tutu's apt phrase". [Text of complete article.]
"Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said that 'an emerging focus around mission' characterized a spring gathering of the third Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) in Chennai, India. Meeting from April 28 to May 5 , the group discussed 'how Anglicans and Lutherans approach mission, how they understand it, how they carry it out', said Archbishop Hiltz, co-chair of ALIC, which oversees Anglican-Lutheran relationships worldwide. 'Within that focus there was yet another focus around 'diakonia', which is the servant ministry of the church', he said". "The commission received reports from various regions where Anglicans and Lutherans are present and exercise ministry together". "In a communique released after its meeting, ALIC welcomed re-activation of the All Africa Anglican-Lutheran Commission". "The commission also discussed the proposed Anglican Covenant. 'One of the big concerns at the joint commission (meeting) last year , as we heard from the other provinces, and certainly, from the Lutherans, was the concern around a growing authority for the primates' meetings' said Archbishop Hiltz. (At last year's meeting , the commission said it had 'extensive discussions' on the first draft of the covenant, and 'offered a response from the perspective of the document's potential impact on ecumenical relations between the two communions'.)"
The Joint Standing Committees of the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Consultative Council met in Canterbury in March 1998 to look at the Communion operations and programs for the coming year. "In a dramatic move the committee voted some financial support for the Anglican Observer at the United Nations, for the first time from the Inter Anglican Budget. The budget is a deficit budget." The ACC members will be on hand at the Lambeth Conference, although the non-episcopal members are not allowed to vote. The next ACC meeting will be in 1999 hosted by the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Primates will meet surrounding the Lambeth Conference."
"[E]dited by Drexel W. Gomez, (Archbishop of the Anglican Province of the West Indies) [and] Maurice W. Sinclair (Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of America)".
Includes bibliographical referemces.
"This book is an attempt on the part of a team of bishops and scholars to address the problem of a tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion" (p. 9). "Central to the purpose of this book is the presentation of a proposal for the exercise of the enhanced responsibility that successive Lambeth Conferences have asked the Primates Meeting to fulfil" (p. 9). "The gap that exist between the search for relevance in the North and physical survival in the South has a bearing upon two of the controversies that have threatened and are threatening to divide the Communion. The ordination of women may be seen as implicit in the Gospel of Christ or alien to it: something which in itself represents a serious dilemma. This ordination, though, becomes an intolerable problem for the Communion if it is imposed against conscience. Adoption of a new sexual ethic that places great emphasis on pleasure and individual fulfillment creates a crisis of conscience in the Communion whether this novelty is universally imposed or not (p. 11)". "The current situation in the Communion makes it necessary to know ho better to identify the limits of Anglican diversity and relate them to our classical formularies (p. 12".
Contents divided into two main parts: A. The Proposal -- B. In Support of the Proposal.
Contents: In appreciation / Drexel W. Gomez and Maurice W. Sinclair -- A. The Proposal -- (a) Preface -- (b) Enhanced Responsibility for the Primates' Meeting -- B. In Support of the Proposal -- 1. The Virginia Report : a Critical Assessment -- 2. The Eames Commission and the Doctrine of Reception -- 3, Authority in the Anglican Communion -- 4, The Formularies and the Limits of Diversity -- 5. Scripture and the Holy Trinity in 'The Virginia Report' -- Conclusion.