A bilingual Anglican priest who was raised in the United Church and was for two years a member of the Ecumenical Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Valleyfield in Quebec -- certainly appropriate background for someone given national responsibility for the ecumenical relations of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Rev. Brian Prideaux, currently Rector of St. Martin's Church in Otterburn Park, Quebec, has been appointed Ecumenical Officer of the Anglican Church of Canada, effective January 1, 1982.
The thirty-eight year old priest was born in London, England but grew up in Montreal. He is a graduate of Sir George Williams University and also has a Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Arts from McGill. He studied theology at Montreal Diocesan (Anglican) Theological College. Father Prideaux is married and has four children.
In addition to his responsibility for national Anglican participation in inter-church bodies and activities, the National Executive Council of the church recently requested that the Ecumenical Officer initiate and encourage inter-faith dialogue with non-Christian bodies.
The General Secretary of the Anglican Church, Archdeacon Harry Hilchey, stated that in making this appointment great emphasis was placed on finding a person who is bilingual, as much of the current ecumenical dialogue, particularly between Roman Catholic and other denominations, is conducted in both French and English.
Father Prideaux is particularly excited about the possibilities of extending to the national scene the warm ecumenical relationships he has enjoyed at the local level. He hopes the national work can help the grass roots encounters to happen and to flourish. "There's a new climate now," he says, "Especially in relations with Roman Catholics. They know it is now officially 'OK' to enter wholeheartedly into ecumenical contacts, and great things are happening."
The Ecumenical Officer is based at the church's National Office in Toronto.
That this Synod, representing the Anglican Church of Canada, is deeply appreciative of the contributions made by the French speaking peoples of Canada to the cultural and spiritual heritage of our country, and looks forward to a growth in loving co-operation in which all Canadians will participate to the Glory of God and the well-being of our Nation.
That copies of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and His Eminence Cardinal Roy, of Quebec.
The mover and seconder agreed to change the phrase "the French speaking peoples of Canada," to "Canadians of French origin." CARRIED in both Houses.
THAT this General Synod advise the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land that the Eskimo delegates reported the feelings of the Eskimo people of the Diocese of the Arctic were that when the new Bishop is elected he should be a person able to speak the Eskimo language, and conversant with the culture and customs of the Eskimo people.
"The Executive Council of General Synod in joint session with the Department of Christian Social Service at Banff in October 1963 requested our Department to give priority during the next year to a study of biculturalism in Canada, to prepare a submission to the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism, and `to create an informed opinion and a favourable climate in the Church on this subject so that unity and concord may be promoted among the people of Canada'. Accordingly a Committee chaired by the Bishop of Ottawa, the Right Reverend Ernest S. Reed, was created and commenced its work in January, 1964. Details of Committee membership and method of inquiry and study are set forth in the Committee's report to the Executive Council at Lennoxville in September 1964, found on page one of this Bulletin. `The Origins of Biculturalism in Canada' prepared by the Reverend Dr. H.H. Walsh, professor of Church History at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College and a member of the Faculty of Divinity at McGill University, made an excellent historical background and resource document for our study. We commend this article, which forms the first section of the Bulletin, to all who are concerned to understand some of the causes of our present unhappy divisions and misunderstandings. The full text of the Brief is given, preceded by introductory remarks made by the Most Reverend William L. Wright, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Department of Christian Social Service, who presented the submission of the Anglican Church to the Royal Commission. The perforated sheet attached is provided for the use of readers to record their opinions and their ideas regarding the role of the Anglican Church in furthering inter-cultural understanding, good will and unity in out nation". -- Intro.
Contents: Introduction / Maurice P. Wilkinson -- Bilingualism and Biculturalism : Excerpt from Journal of Proceedings of Executive Council and Departments, Lennoxville, Quebec, August 31 to September 3, 1964 (page 192-3) -- The Origins of Biculturalism in Canada / H.H. Walsh -- A Brief on Bilingualism and Biculturalism : Introduction by Archbishop Wright -- Expose sur le Bilingualisme et le Biculturalisme a soumettre devant La Commission Royale sur Le Bilingualisme et Le Biculturalisme.
In French. An interview with Mme. Helene Gagne, president of the Diocese of Montreal's Comite de la Pastorale Francophone and member of the parish of Holy Redeemer. Discusses the initiatives Bishop Hutchison has undertaken to make ministry in the diocese bilingual. Also comments on the multilingual and multicultural aspects of the Anglican Communion as a whole.
Canon Reg Turpin presented a verbal report in which he remarked that although a few pieces of material have now been published the National office must speed up translation of needed material. He named those groups who are now moving into bilingual type meetings, and stated that now more than ever the French/English project needs to have a greater emphasis.
1. That the project on French/English relations be continued to
a) provide liaison
i) to help the Anglican Church of Canada (L'Eglise Episcopale du Canada) throughout Quebec to adapt to the new "French Look" in the Province;
ii) to continue to promote closer relationships with the Francophone Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches in Quebec and with their National and Provincial organizations;
iii) to interpret to the Church across Canada what is happening in Quebec and in the French Canadian community at large outside Quebec
that a budget and structure be provided as follows:
i) that support for a liaison officer continue for an additional year at a level similar to that in 1978 - $7,500 stipend and expenses;
ii) that the liaison officer continue to be responsible to the Primate who shall consult with the six bishops with jurisdiction in the Province of Quebec.
b) allow for development
i) of a bilingual capacity in the Church to permit it to minister in French;
ii) to permit production of suitable "tools" such as language training, liturgies, educational materials, etc.;
iii) of an innovative program of mission and evangelism looking eventually to the establishment of new Francophone congregations;
and that a budget and structure be provided as follows:
i) that a block grant of $12,500 be provided;
ii) that it be administered by a Committee of the six bishops with the jurisdiction in the Province of Quebec.
2. That a budget of $5,000 be provided to allow certain National documents, press releases and other National Church correspondence to be translated into the French language. CARRIED
A request was made that there be liaison with the Diocese of Fredericton in the area of bilingualism.
1. To accept its proper share of responsibility, in keeping with this country's size and affluence, in providing financial and technical assistance to the developing nations and in the welcoming of immigrants to Canada;
2. To incorporate a Bill of Rights into the Constitution so that these rights will be uniform for all Canadians.
B. We urge our church membership:
1. To take seriously the recommendations of the Anglican Brief presented to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism which urged Anglicans to recognize the "French fact" as an inherent and essential aspect of Canadian life and culture, and to make a deliberate effort to understand and enter into communication with their French-speaking compatriots;
2. Accept responsibility for keeping informed about international affairs through reading, and through radio and television programs; seeing that provision is made in the parish for the display and sale of pertinent paper backs; through membership in such organizations as the local United Nations Association, World Federalists, the Provincial Association for Human Rights, and the International Institute for International Affairs, etc. CARRIED in both Houses.
The author, rector of St. Columba's Church in Montreal considers the words of St. Augustine of Hippo and asserts that the Anglican Church of Canada, and indeed the Anglican Communion, are becoming what they are, and no longer what they were i.e. an English national church. "The proof lies in the statistics, of which my favourite is this: that if you were to distill all the 80 million Anglicans in the world into one person, that person would be black, would live in Africa, and would not speak English". "So for us in Canada or Quebec to `become what you are' as members of the Anglican Communion would be for us to reflect here that unity-in-diversity (or to use a more theological word, catholicity) which is ours worldwide".