Toronto hospitals are performing abortions "without restriction," according to a prominent official of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Rev. Arthur Brown, rector of a large Toronto parish and a member of the National Executive Council of General Synod made the charge in connection with deliberations on a forthcoming report by a Task Force on Human Life.
The report is not expected to be completed until the end of 1973 and Father Brown said he and other pastors are impatiently awaiting it for guidance on new and complex moral situations.
He told bishops and other delegates from across Canada to the executive council that "all kinds of girls are going through our hospitals in metropolitan Toronto being aborted of pregnancies." His information, he said, comes from nurses and other hospital staff.
Father Brown claimed that staffs in some Toronto hospitals are aborting without restriction "under the guise of it being good for the total health of the mother."
Five years ago, he said, one Toronto hospital listed 28 abortions. Last year, the number was over 300, "ten times as many, or more."
He said "doctors are compromised by the destruction of human life" in this abortion situation. On becoming doctors, he said, they swear an oath to preserve life but due to the present situation "they are placed in a major compromised situation."
Father Brown said nursing staffs are upset over having to clean up after induced miscarriages and they come to him for guidance.
Archbishop E.W. Scott, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada expressed deep sympathy towards the position described by Father Brown but said the task force's report will take another year due to the complexities of the issues involved.
"It's becoming obvious that people are feeling a need for help in making decisions in these areas," Archbishop Scott said.
"Each case has to be evaluated in terms of the health of the mother and the possible health of the child, and not only on the question of the sanctity of life but also in the area of the quality of life."
Archbishop Scott emphasized that hospital boards deciding abortion cases should include persons representing moral issues as well as medical issues.
Besides abortion, the task force is studying the whole concept of when life begins and ends in relation to euthanasia, transplants, biological engineering and the vast implications of discoveries in biochemistry. Archbishop Scott said the study has become increasingly complex as it delves into the legal, medical, moral and social aspects of life. The task force is composed of lawyers, doctors, research scientists, housewives, social workers, theologians and others. It is also consulting with similarly concerned groups in the United States, Britain and other parts of the world.
A progress report will be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at its biennial meeting next May in Regina.
Toronto, April 29, 1994 -- An Anglican bishop will help to consecrate a bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia Abroad, signalling a step toward full communion of the Lutheran and Anglican churches.
On Sunday, May 1, Dean Elmars Rozitis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia will be consecrated bishop of that church, to serve in Canada. At the invitation of the Latvian Church, the Rt. Rev'd Arthur Brown, retired Suffragan Bishop of Toronto of the Anglican Church of Canada, will participate in the laying on of hands at the ceremony. Bishop Brown will be representing both Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Bishop of Stockholm, of the Church of Sweden, Dr. Henrik Svenungsson, will be the chief celebrant at the service, which will be held at St. Andrew's Lutheran church at 383 Jarvis St. in Toronto.
The participation of an Anglican bishop in the consecration of a Latvian Lutheran bishop marks the recognition of the close relationship which exists between our two churches, since we hold "the most fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith" in common.
In 1939, the Church of England reached an agreement with the Latvian and Estonian churches, which called for, among other things, the mutual participation in episcopal consecrations. Because of the circumstances of World War II and its political aftermath, it was not possible for the agreement to be acted on. In 1989, the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar took part in the consecration of the Archbishop of Latvia. The Anglican Church of Canada is happy to share in the recognition given by the Church of England.
Anglican and Lutheran churches in many parts of the world have been engaged in a process of dialogue and co-operation which is hoped will result in the two churches affirming that they are in full communion with each other.
Although the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have not yet reached the level of agreement which the Church of England and the Church of Latvia have achieved, a process is underway which calls for full mutual recognition by 2001. The two Canadian churches reached an agreement in 1989 on eucharistic sharing, whereby members of one church may receive the sacrament in the other church. They are currently studying ways of mutually recognizing the ministries of clergy and bishops in each other's church.
Contact: Rev. Alyson Barnett-Cowan Ecumenical Assistant to the General Secretary 416-924-9199 ext. 281 416-924-0211 FAX
That National Executive Council, meeting on May 13th, 1981, expresses to the Right Reverend Arthur D. Brown its congratulations and best wishes on his election as Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto. It further wishes to place on record its deep appreciation of the valuable services of Bishop Brown as a member of the National Executive Council from 1966 to 1980. In this period of time Bishop Brown contributed generously of his time, talents and friendship in furthering the work of the National Executive Council and of its Committees. CARRIED