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Answer to violence is not more violence

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/article19491
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
1995 November
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
1995 November
Volume
121
Issue
9
Page
10
Notes
Editorial re-affirming the Anglican Church of Canada's 1987 pastoral letter rejecting capital punishment in which Canadian bishops "said an answer to violence is not more violence. 'An answer which destroys human life cannot enhance the respect for, and quality of, life in our society'." Earlier this year, "Bishop Edmund Browning, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, said he was sickened by the ease in which capital punishment had been reinstated in his home state of New York -- the 38th state to adopt the death penalty this year". "Warning against a new vindictiveness in society, the bishop referred to a vehement desire to punish, a draining away of what he called the commitment to hope upon which has rested the philosophy of rehabilitative confinement that has informed the American penal system for more than 30 years".
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Episcopal Church
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Criminal justice, Administration of - Canada
Criminal justice, Administration of - United States
Punishment - Religious aspects - Episcopal Church
Punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official444
Date
1986 June 14-22
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 33
Date
1986 June 14-22
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 33
Mover
Rt. Rev. A.A. Read
Seconder
Ven. G.E. Hendra
Text
That this General Synod endorse the study document developed by the House of Bishops on Capital Punishment and urges dioceses, congregations and individuals to promote its use as a resource for study and reflection on this important issue; and join with others in making the views expressed by the bishops' pastoral letter on capital punishment known to Members of Parliament and others CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 33
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official445
Date
1986 June 14-22
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 34
Date
1986 June 14-22
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 34
Mover
Dr. D.N. Maybee
Seconder
Most Rev. J.C. Bothwell
Prologue
Moved by: Rt. Rev. E.K. Lackey
Seconded by: Mrs. Phyllis Creighton
That this General Synod inform the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice that The Anglican Church of Canada is opposed to the return of the death penalty and that this General Synod requests Anglicans to so inform their Members of Parliament.
Text
That the motion be re-worded to read:
That this General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada informs the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice that it is opposed to the return of the death penalty and that the General Synod requests Anglicans to so inform their Members of Parliament. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS
The motion as amended was put and CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 34
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1332
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 9-2-87
Resolution 10-2-87
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 9-2-87
Resolution 10-2-87
Mover
Archbishop Bothwell
Seconder
Bishop Conlin
Prologue
Copies of the Pastoral Letter of November 1984 were distributed.
There was general discussion of the Pastoral and suggestions for changes were made.
Moved by: Archbishop Bothwell
Seconded by: Bishop Lawrence
That the Pastoral dated November 1984 be referred to a committee appointed by the Primate for revision and that the revised document be placed before the House later on the agenda. CARRIED
The Primate asked Bishops Hollis, Curtis, Baycroft and Berry to be the ad hoc committee.
Text
That this House ask the editorial committee to compose a suggested covering letter to be signed by the Primate to go to all the parishes referring to our Statement [on Capital Punishment] and referring to study resources which will be made available through the National Office.
That the letter signed by the Primate on behalf of the House of Bishops should be read in all the parishes on the fifth Sunday in Lent, or on a date specifically designated by the Diocesan Bishop. CARRIED
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1333
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 11-2-87
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 11-2-87
Mover
Bishop Townshend
Seconder
Bishop Pryce
Text
That the House endorses the request of the Committee on Justice and Corrections to approach the Prime Minister and other party leaders. CARRIED
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Capital punishment - Law and legislation - Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. Committee on Justice and Corrections
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1334
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-2-87
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-2-87
Mover
Bishop Lackey
Seconder
Bishop Peterson
Text
That we commit ourselves as bishops to approach the Members of Parliament of our own areas;
And that this approach be ecumenical where possible;
And that the approach should be made to all members, regardless of their stand on capital punishment. CARRIED
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Capital punishment - Law and legislation - Canada
Christianity and politics - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1335
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 13-2-87
Resolution 14-2-87
Pastoral Letter
Date
1987 February 16-20
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 13-2-87
Resolution 14-2-87
Pastoral Letter
Mover
Bishop Brown
Seconder
Bishop Conlin
Prologue
Moved by: Bishop Brown
Seconded by: Bishop Lawrence
That the Pastoral be considered and edited as necessary. CARRIED
It was agreed that the Reverend Don Brown should be requested to prepare a list of all Members of Parliament and distribute copies of the list to all the Bishops.
Text
That we accept this Pastoral on Capital Punishment. CARRIED
Notes
APPENDIX A
PASTORAL : TO THE PEOPLE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA AND THE CITIZENS OF CANADA
The violence that marks our society is a cause of great concern, for violence often begets violence. There is a streak in human nature which out of greed, or in order to attain revenge, or to cover inadequacies, hits out violently. Inequities in society at large also lead to actions arising from frustration and anger. Such violence strikes at the very heart of society. People cannot live together unless this tendency is controlled.
Society has developed mechanisms to keep violence under control. Law and order are necessary if citizens are to live in safety and be free to come and go. Our police forces and justice system are designed to curb destructive forces and to make Canada a safe place to live.
Violence has brought great strains to our police and judicial system. Criminal acts have led to police being more heavily armed. Society is shocked by the murder of police in the course of duty. Prisons are over crowded and prison guards have a thankless and dangerous job.
It does not surprise us that there has been a renewed call for the re-institution of the death penalty for murder. We understand the feelings that have led to this and have sympathy with those who have been deeply hurt by criminal activity. However, we cannot be content with an answer that responds to violence with even more violence. An answer which destroys human life cannot enhance the respect for, and quality of, life in our society. On the contrary, an important Christian conviction is that anything that increases a general recognition within society of the infinite worth of the person will be a powerful agent in the ultimate protection of that society.
We believe in the sacredness of human life. Life is God's gift and the Bible teaches us that men and women are made in the image of God. The distortion of that image that is reflected in a person committing a murder does not make that person any less important in God's eyes. In all of us there is some distortion of the image, but the Lord died for all of us.
We urge our people and members of Parliament that they consider seriously the implications of re-introducing the death penalty and not give in to a hasty response to recent violence. These implications include such things as:
- the impossibility of reversing execution where there has been a miscarriage of justice;
- despite the common assumption that the death penalty functions as a deterrent, Canadian experience has shown that there has been no increase in the murder rate following the abolition of capital punishment, and
- a belief that the murderer is beyond being changed by God's grace to be a creative member of society.
We are convinced that it is in the best interests of Canadian society as a whole that Capital Punishment not be re-introduced, but that as Christians we need to seek alternatives that recognize the infinite worth of the individual person before God.
Reform of our correctional systems needs to become a priority of our Government. The parole system needs continuing review so that no one who continues to be a danger is released into society. Experiments which are taking place for renewal of penal institutions and programmes should be encouraged and extended.
We must give support to police forces and prison guards by providing sufficient personnel and adequate training. If society does not give the necessary support to our police and staff of correctional institutions we put them under almost overwhelming stress and this in turn may contribute to citizens feeling the need to take the law into their own hands. This could only lead to an increase in the spiral of violence.
We encourage members of our parishes to be supportive to the victims of crime and their families. Feelings of fear and anger can become destructive and will only be healed by others reaching out lovingly. The Christian community also needs to be a support to families of guards who often have to cope with the pressures involved in this work.
Prison chaplains have a difficult role and need the support and prayers of the wider church. The chaplain has the task of sharing by word, and by friendship, the news of a God who in love both forgives us and calls us to live the new life.
For all of us that new standard includes a personal struggle against violence. Societal controls on violence are not enough. Each one of us is called to reflect the image of God, a God of love who cares infinitely for every person.
THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA
FEBRUARY, 1987.
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Criminal justice, Administration of - Canada - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Victims of crimes - Canada
Chaplains, Prison - Anglican Church of Canada
Violence - Canada
Violence - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Pastoral letters and charges
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1384
Date
1985 February
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 4-2-85
Date
1985 February
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 4-2-85
Mover
Bishop Short
Seconder
Bishop Stiff
Prologue
Bishop Leonard Hatfield and the Rev. Christopher Carr were welcomed.
Bishop Hatfield reviewed the Report and addendum, noting changes which had been made in the light of suggestions made at the last meeting of the House.
The Primate shared a letter dated November, 1984, from Mr. Clyne Harradence, Vice-Chancellor of General Synod in which Mr. Harradence commended the Bishops for the high quality of the document.
In the discussion of the paper, further comments and suggestions were noted. Bishop Brown reported that there was some anger on the part of police officers regarding the Pastoral Letter because no concern was expressed for police and their families.
It was recognized that the current push for the return of the death penalty is, in part, due to an increasing concern for the victims of crime and their families, and justice for the victims must be seen to be done. It was noted that a National Committee to help the victims of crime and their families had been formed recently in Toronto.
Archbishop Scott reported on his recent meeting with Commissioner Yeomans of the National Correctional Services, and suggested that it might be useful to arrange for some private meetings with representatives from various police departments.
The implications of the reinstatement of the death penalty in relation to the Human Rights Code and the Charter of Rights were discussed. It was felt that, if capital punishment were reinstated, the justice system would uphold the statute if it were very clearly defined when capital punishment was called for.
It was noted that documentation is available through the office of the Rev. Donald Brown, Church House, and could be made available upon request.
Archbishop Scott spoke of the meeting which he had with leaders of other Churches and the Prime Minister where capital punishment was discussed. He reported that he stressed at the meeting that he was not expressing the opinion of the whole Canadian Anglican constituency.
Text
That we authorize the release of this report to the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, as revised in the light of discussion, for use at their discretion, as a study resource. CARRIED #4-2-85
Notes
It was agreed that the Pastoral Letter from the House of Bishops should be printed at the beginning of the paper, and that a preface, carefully prepared by the House, should be included.
Subjects
Capital punishment - Canada
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Victims of crimes - Canada
Criminal justice, Administration of - Canada - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Pastoral letters and charges
Harradence, Clyne (J.H. Clyne), 1923-2012
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1395
Date
1984 October - November
Source
House of Bishops Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 6-10-84
Date
1984 October - November
Source
House of Bishops Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 6-10-84
Mover
Bishop Lackey
Seconder
Bishop Read
Prologue
The Primate welcomed Bishop Hatfield and the Rev. Christopher Carr who presented the Report of the Task Force on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that the Report was completed prior to the recent rash of killings of police officers, which has created a high stress level. Because of the killings, the Task Force felt that this is a most opportune time to conduct an educational session on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that some Churches have not indicated agreement with the abolition of capital punishment, but that those who have done so have not changed their stands. Examples were given in which it was illustrated that the threat of the death penalty would not have been a deterrent to murder.
The Primate shared reflections from two lawyers who have studied the report, and invited open discussion.
Text
That a short statement be issued by the House of Bishops on the subject of Capital Punishment. CARRIED #6-10-84
Notes
It was agreed that a small group prepare a suggested statement for the perusal of the House and that the Task Force be requested to revise the paper in the light of comments by the House. The statement, when approved, is to be addressed to the Anglican constituency and the citizens of Canada. The revised Report is to be presented at the February, 1985 meeting of the House.
The Primate thanked Bishop Hatfield and Mr. Carr for being present and addressing the House, and expressed appreciation to the members of the Task Force for their work.
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Hatfield, Leonard Fraser, 1919-2001
Carr, Christopher (Christopher Patten), 1937-2020
Less detail

Capital Punishment

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official1396
Date
1984 October - November
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 7-10-84
Pastoral Letter
Date
1984 October - November
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 7-10-84
Pastoral Letter
Mover
Bishop Lackey
Seconder
Bishop Hannen
Text
That this Pastoral Letter be issued to the members of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Citizens of Canada. CARRIED. ONE OPPOSITION #7-10-84
Notes
It was agreed that copies of the Pastoral Letter on Capital Punishment should be sent to the leaders of the three Federal political parties. The Primate said that a mailing would go to all the clergy following the meeting of the National Executive Council, but that the Bishops are free to use the letter immediately and to release it to local papers.
It was agreed that clergy should be encouraged to read the letter in the Churches on a Sunday that is appropriate. The Diocesan Bishop may indicate what date he wishes to designate for the reading of the letter.
APPENDIX A
PASTORAL LETTER
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA AND THE CITIZENS OF CANADA
The violence that marks our society is a cause of great concern, for violence often begets violence. There is a streak in human nature which out of greed, or in order to attain revenge, or to cover inadequacies, hits out violently. Inequities in society at large also lead to actions arising from frustration and anger. Such violence strikes at the very heart of society. People cannot live together unless this tendency is controlled.
Society has developed mechanisms to keep violence under control. Law and order are necessary if citizens are to live in safety and be free to come and go. Our police forces and justice system are designed to curb destructive forces and to make Canada a safe place to live.
An increase in violence has brought great strains to our police and judicial system. Recent criminal acts have led to police being more heavily armed. Society has been shocked by the rash of murders of policemen in the course of duty. Prisons are over crowded and prison guards have a thankless and dangerous job.
It does not surprise us that there has been a renewed call for the re-institution of the death penalty for murder. We understand the feelings that have led to this and have sympathy with those who have been deeply hurt by criminal activity. However, we cannot be content with an answer that responds to violence with even more violence. An answer which destroys human life cannot enhance the respect for, and quality of, life in our society. On the contrary, an important Christian conviction is that anything that increases a general recognition within society of the infinite worth of the individual will be a powerful agent in the ultimate protection of that society.
We believe in the sacredness of human life. Life is God's gift and the Bible teaches us that men and women are made in the image of God. The distortion of that image that is reflected in a person committing a murder does not make that person any less important in God's eyes. In all of use there is some distortion of the image, but the Lord died for all of us.
We urge our people and members of Parliament that they consider seriously the implications of re-introducing the death penalty and not give in to a hasty response to recent violence. These implications include such things as:
- the impossibility of reversing the hanging where there has been a miscarriage of justice;
- the ignoring of evidence concerning the ineffectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent, and
- a belief that the murderer is beyond being changed by God's grace to be a creative member of society.
We are convinced that it is in the best interests of Canadian society as a whole that Capital Punishment not be reintroduced, but that as Christians we need to seek alternatives that recognize the infinite worth of the individual before God.
Mere incarceration without rehabilitation will not change the murderer. Reform of our correctional systems needs to become a priority of our Government. The parole system needs continuing review so that no one who continues to be a danger is released into society. Experiments which are taking place for renewal of penal institutions and programmes should be encouraged and extended.
We must give support to police forces and prison guards by providing sufficient personnel and adequate training. If society does not give the necessary support to our law reform officers we put them under almost overwhelming pressure to take the law into their own hands.
We encourage members of our parishes to be supportive to the victims of crime and their families. Feelings of fear and anger can become destructive and will only be healed by others reaching out lovingly. The Christian community also needs to be a support to families of guards who often have to cope with the pressures involved in this work.
Prison chaplains have a difficult role and need the support and prayers of the wider Church. The chaplain has the task of sharing by word, and by friendship, the news of a God who in his love both forgives us and calls us to live the new life.
For all of us that new standard includes a personal struggle against violence. Societal controls on violence are not enough. Each one of us is called to reflect the image of God. He is a God of love who cares infinitely for every individual.
THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA, NOVEMBER 1984
Subjects
Capital punishment - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Chaplains, Prison - Anglican Church of Canada
Criminal justice, Administration of - Canada - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Violence - Canada
Violence - Religious aspects - Anglican Church of Canada
Victims of crimes - Canada
Anglican Church of Canada - Pastoral letters and charges
Less detail

18 records – page 1 of 2.