That, having received through the House of Bishops the request of the General Commission on Church Union for a revision of the present ecclesiastical discipline to permit occasions for reciprocal Inter-communion: this General Synod respectfully requests the Diocesan Bishops of The Anglican Church of Canada to permit Anglicans and members of other Christian Churches to share in Eucharistic practice with the full knowledge and consent of the proper authorities.
Voting proceeded by Orders on the amendment. Clergy, seventy for, thirty-five against. Laity, seventy-seven for, twelve against. Upper House, twenty-four for, ten against. The amendment as amended was then put to the House.
Clergy, eight-two for, twenty-one against. Laity, seventy-eight for, eleven against. Upper House, twenty-five for, nine against. The motion as amended was put to the House.
Clergy, eighty-four for, nineteen against. Laity, seventy-nine for, eleven against. Upper House, twenty-six for, nine against. CARRIED in both Houses.
The executives of the Anglican and United churches in Canada have recommended simultaneous meetings of their respective legislative bodies in the same city in late 1970 or early 1971.
Biennial sessions of the general synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and general council of the United Church of Canada have always met in alternate years. The new plan will synchronize the meetings of the two churches so that they may consider, within the same year, concerns that are common to both.
It is expected that a plan of union of the two churches will be prepared by 1972, after which it will come before the churches for consideration.
Proposals for uniting some divisions in the churches' national offices, as well as the national newspapers of both churches were set aside by the churches' executive bodies.
Most Rev. H.H. Clark, primate of the Anglican church, said both churches recognize that step-by-step merging is neither as easy or desirable as was first thought.
"There is frank recognition of the fact that we have reached a stage in our negotiations where certain difficulties, both theological and organizational, loom larger than they did a year ago or five years ago," he said. He said representatives of both churches recognize this and that it is not surprising.
"What is more important is a working together in ever closer involvement without organizational mergers," Archbishop Clark said.
Archbishop Clark also announced the appointment of Rt. Rev. John O. Anderson, co-adjutor bishop of Rupert's Land, as bishop ordinary to the Canadian armed forces. Bishop Anderson, who succeeds Rt. Rev. Ivor A. Norris, bishop of Brandon, who died January 28, will be responsible for all work of the Anglican Church with members of the Canadian armed forces and their families.
The primate, after consultation with the church's National Executive Council, sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau in which he said he sees no serious objection to the appointment of a Canadian envoy to the Vatican, if such an appointment would "advance the cause of Canada."
However, he said, there is some fear that the proposed appointment might impede the growing spirit of ecumenism in Canada.
"Despite this, Anglicans are open to hear the reasons why this proposal is being considered at this time," Archbishop Clark said. He said he hopes the proposal does not involve any changes in the status of the present representative of the Vatican in Ottawa.
The Primate, in welcoming to the meeting Canon Latimer and Dr. Craig, paid tribute to their untiring efforts in carrying out their terms of reference and in trying to respond to the variety of messages that they receive. He felt the success of their "team ministry" was very evident.
Canon Latimer and Dr. Craig shared in the presentation of the report of the General Commission and answered questions. During the debate, the Rev. Dr. G.M. Morrison (Secretary of the General Council, The United Church of Canada) spoke of the concerns and views of that denomination in connection with the issue of Church Union.
That the report of the Executive Commissioners to the General Commission and the Churches be received. CARRIED
The attention of the Council was drawn to the Report on Work and Progress, addressed by the Executive of the General Commission to the General Council of the United Church, the All-Canada Convention of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the National Executive Council. The Recommendations on p.7 had been adopted in August 1972 by the General Council and the All-Canada Convention and were presented to the National Executive Council for follow-up action.
THAT General Synod approve the establishment of the Committee on Union and Joint Mission as of May 31, 1973, that the Anglican members be appointed from time to time by the National Executive Council, and that the records of the General Commission on Church Union, the furnishings, supplies and equipment of the General Commission office together with the unexpended budget of the General Commission on Church Union for 1973, be transferred to the Committee on Union and Joint Mission on that date.
THAT the General Commission on Church Union and the Special Commissions (Constitutional, Legal, Doctrinal, Liturgical, and Church in the World), be released from their commission and thereby cease to exist or function as of May 31, 1973.
That this General Synod expresses its joy at the decision of the Church of the Disciples of Christ taken at its All Canada Convention at Edmonton on August 9th, to accept the Principles of Union as a basis of agreement on which to negotiate union with the Anglican and United Churches, (2) and that this resolution be communicated to the authorities of the Church of the Disciples of Christ. CARRIED in both Houses.
That this General Synod welcomes Canon Latimer to this Session and expresses to him our deep appreciation for his years of dedicated and devoted service to General Synod, especially in his capacity as General Secretary; and to assure him of our continued support in his capacity as Executive Commissioner for Union. CARRIED in both Houses.
Canon R.R. Latimer, the Executive Commissioner for Church Union, presented the report of the General Commission. He also reported on the Tenth Consultation on Church Union (C.O.C.U.) which he had recently attended.
After discussion of the Plan of Union, First Draft, a resolution from the Inter-Church Relations Committee was presented:
The Inter-Church Relations Committee having received and studied a variety of reports including:
1. A report of the work of the General Commission
2. A report of the latest C.O.C.U. Conference
3. A response from the House of Bishops following a consideration of the Plan of Union - First Draft
4. A report of the Anglican Council of North America and the Caribbean which gave thought to re-union discussions.
Recommends that the National Executive Council communicates with the General Commission on Church Union.
1. Commending it for the faithful and hard and valuable work that had been done.
2. Asking if changes in general attitude and outlook in Canada and elsewhere in the world since the Commission began its work do not call for a re-assessment of the present situation and the exploration of possible different emphases as we seek to move ahead towards unity.
Such different emphases might include:
1. Placing greater emphasis upon processes which would enable Churches to grow together rather than focussing almost total emphases upon the preparation of a plan. This might be accomplished by such means as:
a) Encouraging more vigorously cooperation between members of the three churches (and other churches) in God's work in the world.
b) "Exploring the possibility of sacramental communion on the basis of a common statement of faith and agreement on the question of the Minister of the Eucharist."
c) "Supporting increased sharing of the members of the three churches in the congregational life of each other, in study and organizational life, and in other worship activities."
2. Exploring further the nature of "unity" that human beings generally and Christians in particular seem to be seeking at this time.
3. Ways of meeting the problems of the mind and heart and spirit of men with a new flowering of Christian faith and life.
Moved by Luxton
Seconded by Brown
That the resolution be approved, deleting the words:
"2. Asking if changes in general attitude and outlook in Canada and elsewhere in the world since the Commission began its work do not call for a re-assessment of the present situation and the exploration of possible different emphases as we seek to move ahead towards unity.
Such different emphases might include:"
and replacing them by:
"2. In considering its work, it consider:"
An amendment was then introduced:
Moved by Huston
Seconded by Jackson
That "In considering its work, it consider" be expanded to read "In considering its work towards organic union, it consider"; and that the words "rather than focussing almost total emphasis upon the preparation of a plan" in #1 be deleted.
An amendment to the amendment was proposed:
Amendment to the Amendment
That the words "rather than focussing almost total emphasis upon the preparation of a plan" be reinstated.
Moved by Goodman
Seconded by Graham
That the motion and amendments be tabled until the February meeting of NEC. DEFEATED
After considerable discussion -
The Amendment to the Amendment was put and CARRIED.
The Amendment as Amended was put and CARRIED.
The Motion as Amended was put and CARRIED.
This amended motion reads:
That, having received
- a report of the work of the General Commission,
- a report of the latest C.O.C.U. Conference,
- a response from the House of Bishops following a consideration of the Plan of Union - First Draft, and
- a report of the Anglican Council of North America and the Caribbean which gave thought to re-union discussions,
the National Executive Council communicate with the General Commission on Church Union:
1. commending it for the faithful and hard and valuable work that has been done; and
2. recommending that, in continuing its work towards organic union, it
a. place greater emphasis upon processes which would enable Churches to grow together rather than focussing almost total emphasis upon the preparation of a plan. This might be accomplished by such means as:
i) encouraging more vigorously cooperation between members of the three churches (and other churches) in God's work in the world;
ii) "exploring the possibility of sacramental communion on the basis of a common statement of faith and agreement on the question of the Minister of the Eucharist";
iii) "Supporting increased sharing of the members of the three churches in the congregational life of each other, in study and education, in programme planning and organizational life, and in other worship activities."
b) explore further the nature of "unity" that human beings generally and Christians in particular seem to be seeking at this time.
c) consider ways of meeting the problems of the mind and heart and spirit of men with a new flowering of Christian faith and life.
The style of the General Commission's reports in the "Canadian Churchman" and the "United Church Observer" was criticized.
That the General Commission on Church Union be requested to consider publishing "popular reports" in the Canadian Churchman and the United Church Observer instead of the lengthy and detailed reports that have been printed. CARRIED
Notice of Motion
It was agreed to hold over until February the following notice of motion, given at the April meeting:
"That we ask the Primate to set apart a day of prayer for Christian Unity and that in connection with that day a poll be conducted in all parishes throughout the Canadian Church to determine the attitudes of our constituency towards organic union with the United Church".