That the dioceses be strongly urged to promote "People-Visits and Exchanges" between parishes outside and within the Province of Quebec; that the Program Committee be directed to give assistance to this end; and
that they communicate to the appropriate authorities of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec our desire to encourage such exchanges. CARRIED ACT 68
That this General Synod call on Anglican Church members in all parts of Canada to become more aware of all that is involved in French/English relationships, and to initiate, and give increasing support to, programs which foster dialogue and understanding among all Canadians. CARRIED ACT 88
[Text of report found on pages 142-143 of the 1980 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH-ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Most Reverend, the Primate and Members of General Synod:
This Project began in 1977 with three main objectives, (1) to help the Anglican Church throughout Quebec to adapt to the new "French Look" in the Province and so to become better equipped to develop its own Christian witness among all the people of Quebec: (2) to foster closer relationships with the Francophone Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches in Quebec and with their National and Provincial organizations" and (3) to interpret to the Church across Canada what is happening in Quebec and in the French Canadian Community at large outside Quebec. Canon R.M. Turpin of Montreal was appointed to serve as Project Officer on a part time basis.
Initially, a Support Group was set up to cooperate with the Project Officer, being representatives of the Dioceses of Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Moosonee, the Arctic, and of the Parish of Temiscamingue attached to Algoma. In November 1978 the structure was changed, disbanding the Support Group and putting responsibility for production of materials, the promotion of language training, and the encouragement of ministry in French directly in the hands of the Quebec Bishops. Since General Synod 1977, although just a beginning, much has been done in the putting together of pamphlets and liturgies, and in the training of clergy to speak French. Ministry in the Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec, and occasional bilingual Services are becoming more common generally. A long term goal is the addition of an indigenous francophone Anglican Church in Quebec led by Quebec francophones. Steps are now being taken to provide some theological education in French for ordinands. Gradually core groups of clergy and laity, all bilingual, are taking the lead in responding constructively to the "francization" process visible throughout Quebec.
In 1978 history was made when the Primate and the Quebec Anglican Bishops met for the first time with Cardinal Roy and a number of French Roman Catholic Bishops. A second meeting was held in 1979 for a discussion of mutual concerns related to Quebec and the mission of the Church generally. The Project Officer also keeps in touch with various individuals and groups associated with French work and ministry in the United and Presbyterian Churches. All the Dioceses report increasing contacts between parish clergy, program officers, and bishops with counterparts in the Quebec Roman Catholic Church. These efforts are supported through the Project Officer's role with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Quebec Assembly of Roman Catholic Bishops, and with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism. Related liaison work takes place with and through the Canadian Council of Churches.
Outside Quebec, apart from regular consultation with the National Office, the pressure of time has limited visits to other parts of Canada. Most prominent are those to areas where there are large French minorities, such as the Dioceses of Rupert's Land and Fredericton. Other liaison work has been done by letter and telephone. An important element of the Project Officer's activity relates to research, the obtaining of up to date information, the preparation of data reflecting some of the current developments in the French Church and Community.
Another aspect of the Project is the growing contact with the Francophone parts of the Anglican Communion, such as Haiti, the Dioceses in Zaire, in the Indian Ocean, etc. This was made plainer at the National Partners in Mission Consultation held in Ottawa in 1979. Some of their students now come to Canada for theological training: at the same time, responding to their requests, some of the French materials produced through the Quebec Anglican Church have been sent to them.
At its meeting in November 1979 the National Executive Council expressed an interest in expanding the Project to allow for more work outside Quebec. In March 1980 it approved a proposal to make possible such an expansion by providing for the employment of a full time Officer, to begin either in September 1980 or January 1981. This proposal, adopted by the Council, while affirming the objectives of the original mandate concerning work in Quebec and relations with the French Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, includes as specific goals for 1980-83 --
- (1) To help Church members in all parts of Canada become more aware of the moral and theological implications of all that is involved in the Quebec-Canada debate.
- (2) To initiate and support programs which will foster dialogue and understanding among French and English people.
Respectfully submitted, Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.
Courtesies of the House were extended to Canon R.M. Turpin, who presented the report.
"That this General Synod reaffirm the obligation of Anglicans to do everything possible to further French-English relationships and request the National Executive Council to monitor the continuing work of the French-English project and to report to the 1986 General Synod." CARRIED Act 80
[Text of report, in English and French, as published in 1983 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH/ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Members of General Synod
From its beginning in 1977, the French/English Relations Project always assumed that the nature of the Canadian nation and of the total Canadian Church required Anglicans to see the "French Fact" as something much bigger and more complex than being solely a Quebec phenomenon. However, the initial small part time measure of the Project and the dynamics of events in Quebec dictated that most of the Project's early efforts should be centred there. In brief, the first objective was to support the Quebec dioceses in becoming better equipped to function effectively in the changing Quebec milieu.
In these past years, like many other groups, usually identified with the overall English minority in Quebec, the Anglican Church has accepted and supported the need of the majority to take initiatives to ensure a French future in North America. Such initiatives are often referred to as the "francization process" in Quebec society. It is a continuing process and it has not proved any easier for Anglicans than for others. While some extreme policies and regulations are opposed, the main thrust of the minority generally has been to adjust, to find common goals, and to work out a viable relationship between French and English.
The Anglican Church has made steady progress in coping with these changes, yet much remains to be done. There are now many more bilingual clergy. There is much more frequent and closer co-operation with French neighbours in Church and society. Signs of the Anglican Church's involvement in issues or in activities which cut across old English-French divisions are the Brief submitted by the Quebec Anglican Bishops concerning the Government's drastic proposal to restructure the Quebec school system; the participation of Anglican representatives in a new province-wide bilingual ecumenical association; co-operation with French Protestant groups; the annual meetings of Anglican/Roman Catholic bishops; some radio and T.V. broadcasts, such as the service in French at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Quebec City during the 1983 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. One disappointment has been the slow pace in developing a fully French ministry across the province, a goal to which all the dioceses are committed but for which, as yet, there is no common agreement in how best this should be led and organized. A number of the dioceses have included in their Anglicans in Mission objectives resources for expanded "French work".
Since the 1980 General Synod at Peterborough, with the approval of the National Executive Council, the Project has been enlarged to allow for more activity outside Quebec, emphasizing the national nature of the English/French relationship. On the political front, this period coincided with the whole Canadian constitutional debate and the repatriation process that aroused a mixed reception in Quebec and among French minorities. This has been a time, also, when bilingualism has grown in Canada, and when some provinces, such as Ontario, have increased the rights and services provided for their French minorities, even though falling far short of French aspirations. Moreover, the increased focus of the Project was developing at a time of mounting interest in bilateral and multilateral discussions among different Churches, such as that between the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics. These various Project initiatives have been mainly of an educational kind, in providing information, and in developing sensitivity. Activity was largely concentrated with the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, particularly in the Dioceses of Moosonee, Algoma, and Ottawa, where English and French live side by side, through visits, dialogue, and research. Arising from this background and experience, a small manual has been produced as a possible resource item for general use. It is entitled "A Primer to Encourage and Equip Anglicans Outside Quebec for Encounters of the French-English Kind". These efforts were supported indirectly through contacts made with representatives of such diverse groups as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, la Federation Des Francophones Hors Quebec, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and The United Church of Canada. More routine features of the Project include preparing data for the Primate and other Anglican leaders; the promotion of bilingualism at various conferences, the obtaining of French resources for Anglican inquirers; and serving as a "resource person" at seminars.
While the achievements have been relatively modest, the Project has helped to sharpen awareness within the Anglican Church concerning both the English-French partnership of the country and the bilingual character of the Christian family of churches. It visibly conveys to the latter a sense that the Anglican Church, so strongly English, has some appreciation of the French dimension and is actively engaged in the ongoing struggle to bring about greater understanding and community between English and French people everywhere.
Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.
[French language report]
PROJET de RELATIONS FRANCOPHONES-ANGLOPHONES
Au très réverènd le Primat et aux membres du Synode général:
Dès le début en 1977, le Projet de relations francophones-anglophones a toujours admis que la nature de la national canadienne et de l'église épiscopale en son entier exigent des épiscopaliens qu'ils voient dans le "fait francais" quelque chose de bien plus grande portee et complexité qu'un simple phénomène quebécois. Par ailleurs, le peu de temps qu'on pouvait consacrer à ce Projet au départ, et la poussée des événements au Québec commandaient que les premiers effort soient centrés en cet endroit. Bref, l'objectif primordial fut d'aider les diocèses du Quebec à se mieux pourvoir afin de fonctionner efficacement dans le milieu francophone en évolution.