On behalf of the Metropolitans, Archbishop O'Driscoll requested input from the House of Bishops about those who would be permitted to attend the in camera study sessions on the church and sexuality.
That the House of Bishops' study sessions on sexuality, include its members, plus the Reverend Gordon Light, Principal Secretary to the Primate; Ms. Jo Mutch, Executive Assistant to the Primate; Mr. Douglas Tindal, Director of Communications, and Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary." CARRIED
That the House of Bishops move in camera with the inclusion of Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary; the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry; the Rev. Dr. Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, and Ms. Jo Mutch, Executive Assistant to the Primate. CARRIED #HB-02-10-09
The national House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has placed the issue of homosexuality on the agenda of its meeting in Mississauga, Ontario from November 4-10.
The purpose of the discussion will be:
"To identify issues that need to be examined about the 1979 Statements on Human Sexuality and to set out a process for doing this, with appropriate timelines."
The statements of the bishops in 1979 act as guidelines affecting the ordination of homosexuals to the diaconate and priesthood of the Anglican Church of Canada. The guidelines require persons of homosexual orientation, as a condition for ordination, to make a commitment to the bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex.
The discussion will take place in the context of a wider debate within the church on issues of human rights and human sexuality. In recent years, the bishops have been asked to review their policy by members of the gay and lesbian community within the Anglican church. Also, questions have been raised by bishops themselves about the status of the guidelines if a proposed document on "Human Rights Principles for the Anglican Church of Canada" drafted by the church's own Human Rights Unit should be adopted by the General Synod next year. The document seeks to prohibit discrimination in the church on several grounds, including sexual orientation.
Ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada is solely within the jurisdiction of the bishops. This is different from the United Church of Canada which has another process of selection and approval of candidates.
The discussion at the meeting in November will be held "in camera". The resource person will be the Reverend Professor James Read, Director of the Toronto School of Theology and editor of a series of theological, biblical and ethical reflections on human sexuality published by the Anglican Church in 1986 ["A Study Resource on Human Sexuality: Approaches to Sexuality and Christian Theology."]
It is expected that a news release will be issued following the November meeting.
For more information contact: The Reverend Michael Ingham, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 2J6, (416) 924-9192; Mr. Doug Tindal, Director of Communications, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 2J6, (416) 924-9192.
See 1979 House of Bishops Statements on Human Sexuality Draft Human Rights Principles.
"What's a nice Bishop like you doing in a place like the Penitentiary?", may well be asked next month.
The members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada have a difficult task as chief Pastors in the face of the complexities of the moral issues of today's society. To assist them in this, the House meets periodically with experts in various fields, in what are known as Continuing Education events, to receive insight into the realities of many of the issues which confront the Church and society.
Two such areas of concern which have been the subjects of Continuing Education sessions of the House in the past were Bio-Medical Ethics and Human Sexuality.
In the first week of November the House will meet in Kingston, Ontario to consider the effects of the Canadian Corrections Service on its inmates, those who work in it and the society it is created to protect. A most impressive schedule of events and presentations has been planned to give the Bishops a personal in-depth experience of various aspects of the criminal justice and corrections system. A schedule of the three day session is enclosed.
The House reserves the right to declare any of its sessions in-camera. However, the Agenda and Continuing Education Committees of the House have suggested that all of these sessions should be open to the Media, subject to the concurrence of the House when it meets.
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For further information, please contact:
The Rev. Canon Richard J. Berryman, Media Officer
HOUSE OF BISHOPS CONTINUING EDUCATION EVENT ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONS
To be held at the Howard Johnson Motor Hotel, Kingston, Ont.
Tuesday, Nov. 04, 1986:
- 7:30 p.m. Reception to give the Bishops an opportunity to meet about 100 people from the John Howard Society, parole officers, prison guards, legal and judicial professions.
Wednesday, Nov. 05, 1986:
- 10:00 a.m. Presentation by Alex Himmelfard, Director of Research, Federal Justice Department, Ottawa -- An overview of the Justice System with special reference to Native People.
- 1:30 p.m. Simulated Court Case -- Trial on a Domestic Violence Case. Actual Proscuting Attorney, Defense Lawyers, etc.
-- Bishops will act as Judge -- decide guilt or innocence and sentence.
-- At conclusion a Judge will declare what his verdict would have been in the trial.
- 4:00 p.m. Theological Reflection on the day to that point.
- Evening The Bishops, in twos and threes, will visit the homes of families of prison guards, inmates, low income family housing, etc.
Thursday, Nov. o6, 1986:
- Morning -- The Bishops will visit six institutions in the Kingston area -- eg. Minimum, Medium and Maximum security facilities, Women's and Juvenile Detention Centres, etc.
- 1:30 p.m. Consideration (with panel of professionals) of Parole, Mandatory Release, etc. "How do inmates get out and what happens when they do ?"
- 7:30 p.m. Eucharist of Reconciliation in St. George's Cathedral.
-- Preacher: The Most Rev. Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Council considered the Open Meeting Policy presented by the Anglican Journal Board in its report #014-01-07-11 Revised. Council came to consensus on a number of changes to the policy as presented and proposed:
That the Council of General Synod adopt the Open Meeting Policy for use in the Anglican Church of Canada.
APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #18-11-07
It was noted that this policy applies only to meetings of national organizations, not to diocesan or parish organizations. The Chancellor suggested and Council agreed that the Open Meeting Policy be included in the Handbook of General Synod as a new appendix.
The policy as approved by Council is attached as Appendix C.
1. Open Meetings and the Anglican Church of Canada
Concern is sometimes expressed by members of the Anglican Church of Canada and media about decisions being made by church committees behind closed doors. They feel that the church should be more public in its discussions of important issues and open in its decision-making processes. Other members argue that they feel constrained by the presence of the public and media from being able to express themselves fully.
At present, there is no written policy in the Anglican Church of Canada governing when meetings should be open or closed. The intent of the draft policy that follows is to fill this gap. It is based on the following assumptions:
- That the Anglican Church of Canada seeks to be as open as possible in discussing issues and making decisions;
- That all meetings should be open by default unless they are closed for a specific reason;
- That there are limitations on what can be discussed and decided on in public; and
- That creating a policy that helps members of church committees decide when it is appropriate to close an open meeting and how to do it will provide clarity to the church, the public and the media.
2. Policy on open meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada
The purpose of the policy on open meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada is to enshrine the concept that the exercise of the ministry of the church in meetings is conducted openly and inclusively except under clearly defined circumstances as explained in section three.
2.2 Open meeting definition
An open meeting is any regularly scheduled or special meeting of a group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada that may be attended by people who are not members of the group holding the meeting.
2.3 Groups affected by this policy
Any group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
2.4 Conduct of business
The proceedings of open meetings are recorded and become part of the public record of the church, available for news reporting and historical reference.
Agendas and background material are distributed in advance to all members of the group present for the meeting. In addition, agendas and background materials may be distributed to staff, people who are invited to speak at the meeting, and members of the media.
Only members of the group and those invited by the group to speak, may participate in the meeting.
Only members of the group may vote.
3. Policy on closed meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada
The purpose of the policy on closed meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada is to define the circumstances under which the ministry of the church is exercised in a closed session and to provide a mechanism for moving from an open to a closed meeting and back again.
3.2 Closed meeting definition
A closed meeting is any regularly scheduled or special meeting, or a part of that meeting, of a group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which may be attended only by people who are members of the group holding the meeting and by those invited to attend by the members of that group.
3.3 Reasons for closing a meeting
A closed meeting may be held to discuss personnel issues, contract proposals, financial matters, litigation, and/or at the request of a member (subject to section 3.3)
3.4 Moving from open to closed session
A majority of voting members is required on a motion to close an open meeting. The motion must include the reason for closing the meeting and is part of the public record.
3.5 Conduct of business
The proceedings of closed meetings are recorded. Where appropriate, decisions made and reasons for them become part of the public record of the church, available for news reporting and historical reference.
3.6 Moving from closed to open session
When all issues to be dealt with in a closed session are completed, a motion to come out of a closed session shall be called for by the Chair.
3.7 Reporting after a closed session
If the closed session is part of an open session, the chair shall where appropriate, relate the messages agreed to by the members, to those excluded from the meeting.
Archbishop Buckle gave an explanation about why the election of a Suffragan Bishop to the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Provicne of British Columbia and Yukon had been postponed. He said that the postponement asked for by the Provincial House of Bishops had been "to enable Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) in conjunction with the Metropolitan:
- a. To establish a time line for reactivation of the Diocese of Cariboo
- b. To bring clarity to the issue of length of term of service of the Suffragan Bishop, and
- c. To review the process by which APCI recommends a nominee to assist with Episcopal oversight of APCI.
Archbishop Buckle said that it was thought that the Electoral College would meet in September 2009 to consider electing a Suffragan Bioshop. He acknowledged that the decision to defer the election had caused hurt amongst the people of APCI. Archbishop Buckle told the bishops that he had met with the people of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior before coming to the House of Bishops' meeting. He said that he had left with a sense of direction and hope.
That this House move into in camera. CARRIED HB Res. 09-04-02
The Primate referred to the Constitution which states that the General Secretary shall be appointed by the National Executive Committee.
One of the issues involved has to do with the question of a body of this size making an appointment, and because of that a Search Committee was appointed. In other places (House of Bishops) if a situation involves specific names of persons that part of the meeting has been held "In Camera". The Council was asked for its opinion as to how it wished to proceed.
That this be an In Camera session. CARRIED #21-05-87
Moved by: Rt. Rev. J.F.S. Conlin
Seconded by: Rt. Rev. W.H. Jones
That the staff people to remain be Pamela Bird as a resource person and Lorraine Perch as Secretary to the National Executive Council. CARRIED #22-05-87
Moved by: Ven. A.R. Reed
Seconded by: Rt. Rev. H.J.P. Allan
That the person designated as functioning with the press be requested to remain. CARRIED #23-05-87