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Draft Common Declaration

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official536
Date
1990 May
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 34-05-90
Date
1990 May
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 34-05-90
Mover
Very Rev. D.D. Wallace
Seconder
Dr. M. Hutton
Text
That the Chairman of the House of Bishops and the Chairman of the Doctrine and Worship Committee be asked to make arrangements for the preparation of a response to the "Draft Common Declaration" for presentation to the NEC in November 1990: and
that the proposed response be made available to the next meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion. CARRIED #34-05-90
Subjects
Draft Common Declaration
Anglican Communion. Primates Meeting (6th : 1991 : Belfast, N. Ireland)
Anglican Communion - Doctrines
Theology - Anglican Church of Canada
Theology - Anglican Communion
Less detail

Draft Common Declaration

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official564
Date
1990 November
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 56-11-90
Date
1990 November
Source
National Executive Council. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 56-11-90
Mover
Very Rev. H. Munn
Seconder
Most Rev. D. Hambidge
Prologue
Archdeacon Pynn reminded NEC members that the response to this declaration, which originated at the Lambeth Conference in 1988 and was circulated by the Anglican Consultative Council, was now required.
Text
That this Statement be accepted by the National Executive Council as our Statement and be forwarded to the Anglican Consultative Council. CARRIED #56-11-90
Notes
[The accepted Statement is attached to these minutes as Appendix H.]
[N.B. Please note that the attached is the NEC Response to the Draft Common Declaration and NOT the text of the Draft Common Declaration itself.]
APPENDIX H
THE DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
A Statement by the National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada
November 1990
This statement is issued by the Anglican Church of Canada, through its National Executive Council, after consultation with the House of Bishops, the Doctrine and Worship Committee, and several Canadian theologians.
We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making: the Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our bishops recall a very low level of interest in this particular proposal at the Lambeth Conference, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored.
Is it necessary ?
We wonder why the Draft Common Declaration is needed and for what purposes it would be used. Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1998 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask, what kinds of events ?
If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it means to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what it means at several points of ecumenical tension, not least amongst these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
Problems with the document
Specifically, the document appears to us to be unsuitable in a number of areas:
1. Its understanding of Anglican cohesiveness is limited (note be contrast, the report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission document "For the Sake of the Kingdom.").
2. It does not take account of the current ecumenical dialogues, third world issues and cultural diversity, and emerging feminist perspectives.
3. It looks back to one particular strand of Anglican traditions which would not be shared by all contemporary Anglicans.
4. It is a rigid document which freezes rather than being open to possible growth.
Comments and questions
We recognize the need for a unifying instrument, but want to avoid premature closure of debate on unsettled issues. We look forward to a time when it would be possible to have a more comprehensive declaration, but meanwhile we reaffirm the Lambeth Quadrilateral in its 1920 form as an adequate instrument of communion and decision-making, because it has tested historical authority, international acceptance, and is both more flexible and ecumenically generous.
The ecumenical context has made us more willing than we were a few years ago to give credit to the ministry and sacraments of other denominations, and recent studies of ministry and sacraments have made us less willing to maintain a dogmatic position on a single, dominically ordained form of either.
Feminist theology is pushing us to take a new look at classical definitions which describe God in male terms excluding half or more of the church. Such thinking is also impelling us to criticize the patriarchal authoritarianism implicit in hierarchical order.
Is the Draft Common Declaration a "Confessional" statement, like the Augsburg and Westminster Confessions ? If so, would acceptance of it run counter to the Anglican claim to be rooted not on a new confession but within the historic tradition of the Catholic faith ? Is the Draft Common Declaration a test of orthodoxy ? If so, is it meant to exclude those who do not agree with it ? Anglicans have traditionally resisted tests of orthodoxy, preferring to set broad limits on either side which allow for latitude of interpretation.
The Draft Common Declaration gives the impression that the Anglican position is a static one. It should be rephrased to make clear that our faith is one which is continually developing and is open to new insights and to enrichment by the Holy Spirit (for instance, the decision to ordain women and the changes in theology and practice entailed in the recognition of the equal rights of women, which is a great insight of our generation).
The emergence of strong, rapidly growing churches in the developing world has made us realize that statements and concepts that we once thought of as universal actually come out of a context limited to the European world. The Draft Common Declaration is overwhelmingly classical and European in its terminology and conceptualization.
The Draft Common Declaration implies that the "commonly called sacraments" are of divine institution. It would be better to say that a province "celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments of baptism and holy communion, as expressing for all the corporate life of the whole fellowship in and with Christ".
Is continuity expressed only by means of historic episcopal order ? What about the continuity of doctrinal teaching, which both Lutherans and Roman Catholics insist upon ? The historic episcopal order is only one of the ways the church expresses continuity with the apostolic church. Why should episcopal order rather than fidelity to scripture or to the apostolic mission be singled out as the key element in continuity ? Does the historic episcopal order included the Roman papacy ?
The Draft Common Declaration seems too narrowly episcopal. Its acceptance would make us a confessional church which confesses, above all, episcopacy. The Draft Common Declaration evinces a bias for a structural ecclesiology rather than a communion of dynamic ecclesiology.
Conclusion
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too problematic to achieve the unifying effect that is desired.
It would not satisfy use as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
Subjects
Draft Common Declaration
Anglican Church of Canada - Relations - Anglican Consultative Council
Anglican Communion - Doctrines
Theology - Anglican Church of Canada
Theology - Anglican Communion
For the Sake of the Kingdom
Lambeth Quadrilateral
Sacraments - Anglican Communion
Ecumenical movement - Anglican Communion
Christian union - Anglican Communion
Episcopacy - Anglican Communion
Episcopacy and Christian union
Lambeth Conference, 1988 - Resolutions
Instruments of Communion (Not as per Virginia Report)
Less detail

(Draft) Common Declaration

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official7865
Date
1990 February 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Date
1990 February 5-9
Source
House of Bishops. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution
Mover
Archbishop Hambidge
Seconder
Bishop Baycroft
Prologue
Lambeth Conference 1988 Resolution #19
"This Conference resolves that the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission consider paragraph 20 of the paper 'Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making; (Draft Common Declaration) and report to the Primates' Meeting."
The Primate introduced this document which was included in Archbishop Eames' paper on 'Instruments of the Anglican Communion and Decision-Making'. He outlined the background of the discussion among the Primates at their meeting in 1989, and said that the response is due in October, 1990. It has gone to the Provinces of the Anglican Communion for comment. The Doctrine and Worship Committee, the House of Bishops and the National Executive Council are each to study the document.
It was agreed that great care must be taken in making statements of this kind. It was asked: "Do we have any idea how it might be used as an instrument of unity ? At what kind of major event is it going to be used ? Will it be used at the beginning of General Synods ?"
One of the weaknesses identified was that there is no mention of the laity in the document, nor of Jesus Christ.
If a final document comes from the Anglican Consultative Council, General Synod would make the final decision.
It was suggested that, if there is agreement that the document is unnecessary, revisions should be sent to the Primates' Meeting
Text
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. The Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. These concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. These concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
Notes
APPENDIX B
DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
(For circulation to the Provinces for comment)
i. The Church (of the Province) of . . . declares itself to be united under one divine head in the fellowship of the one, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
ii. It professes the Faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, to which faith the formularies of this Church bear witness and which the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.
iii. It celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments, particularly those of Baptism and Holy Communion, as ordinances of the universal church.
iv. It expresses its continuity with the apostolic tradition of faith and witness, worship, fellowship and ministry by means of the historic episcopal order. It is in communion with each of those Churches which preserve the historic threefold order of the ordained ministry and are in communion with the See of Canterbury.
v. It looks forward to the unity of all Christians based on a common recognition of the place of the Holy Scriptures, the Catholic Creeds, the dominical sacraments and historic episcopal order in the Church of God.
APPENDIX B.1
1. The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada received the Draft Common Declaration but we believe that the Anglican Consultative Council should EITHER:
a) appoint an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission which could respond to Resolution #19 of Lambeth 1988, OR
b) appoint an international task force, operating on a very small budget, to deal with this single issue.
2. We believe that this matter should come to us from the Primates' Meeting only after it has been either to the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, as Lambeth 1988 directed, or to the Anglican Consultative Council.
3. We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making : The Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our recollection of the Lambeth discussions is of a very low level of interest in this particular proposal, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored. We urge that the intended use of such a declaration be clarified.
Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1988 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask whether the Draft Declaration truly reflects the faith and practice of the Churches of the Anglican Communion ?
It would not satisfy us as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
4. If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help to resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it meant to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what is meant at several points of ecumenical tension, not least among these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
5. This House does not believe that it is appropriate at this time to respond to the Draft Declaration in its present unrefined form, before it has been studied and, we trust, revised by an appropriate group of theologians -- preferably a new Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission. Nor are we yet persuaded that such a declaration is needed at all, although we remain open to persuasion. However, it is only fair to report, even at this early stage, that we would have several difficulties with the declaration if it were not significantly revised. Without attempting a full critique, a brief discussion in the House revealed that, of the five paragraphs in the declaration, members had serious difficulties with paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5.
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too general to achieve the unifying effect that is desired. For example, although the Anglican Church of Canada remains loyal to our Solemn Declaration of 1893 -- a far more robust and ample statement than the new proposal, the firmness of our commitment does not prevent our church from ordaining women.
7. We believe that there are many other examples of the need for an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and urge ACC to appoint this Commission. We suggest that 12 persons, including bishops and theologians, male and female, representing as much as possible of the diversity of Anglicanism, could work very effectively, even with a small budget. Perhaps a plenary meeting could be held every two years and the continuing work could be done by a combination of oldfashioned postal correspondence, electronic networking and contracts with additional volunteer theologians from around the Communion.
RESOLUTION
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. the Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. these concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. these concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
Subjects
Draft Common Declaration
Anglican Communion. Primates Meeting (6th : 1991 : Belfast, N. Ireland)
Anglican Communion - Doctrines
Theology - Anglican Church of Canada
Theology - Anglican Communion
Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission
Lambeth Conference, 1988 - Resolutions
Instruments of Communion (Not as per Virginia Report)
Less detail