Bishop Morgan drew attention to the document "The New Covenant" stating that appeals have been received from native people that the Sunday before the First Minister's Conference be designated a Day of Prayer.
That this House of Bishops respond to the request of Native leaders for the Churches to name a Day of Prayer to precede the final First Ministers' Conference to be held on March 26-27, by designating Sunday, March 22, as a Day of Prayer for Aboriginal Peoples:
And that we commend the document entitled "A New Covenant" prepared as a Pastoral Statement by leaders of the Christian Churches to be used as a focus for this Day of Prayer. CARRIED
That in view of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision with regard to abortion law, we ask the Primate to appoint a small Task Force to review the Church's position on the abortion issue and to report its recommendations to the May meeting of the National Executive Council, and to the October meeting of the House of Bishops.
That the words "to appoint a small task force to review the church's position on the abortion issue" be deleted and the following inserted in their place, "to appoint a small task force to study what action needs to be taken to uphold our Church's stand on abortion in relation to changes in the abortion law".
The motion, as amended, was put and CARRIED.
The motion, as amended, is as follows:
That, in view of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision with regard to the abortion law, we ask the Primate to appoint a small task force to study what action needs to be taken to uphold our Church's stand on abortion in relation to changes in the abortion law, and to report its recommendations to the May meeting of the National Executive Council, and to the October meeting of the House of Bishops.
That the House appoint a Committee of three persons to prepare a statement to be issued by the House in relation to the abortion question; such a statement to indicate that the House cannot accept the position of abortion on demand, but affirms that a position concerning abortion must be developed respecting the sanctity of human life and concern for the quality of human life. CARRIED
(The Chairman appointed Bishops Scott, Valentine and Hunt to prepare this statement. Week-end preaching engagements and General Synod matters made it impossible for them to arrange a meeting).
The Primate introduced Phyllis Creighton and Diane Marshall. He advised that Dr. Jim Reed was unable to attend and had forwarded regrets. The committee regarded abortion as the taking of a human life - a tragedy - while realizing that, under some circumstances, it is necessary and should be legally provided.
That the House recommend to NEC that the Primate take the necessary steps as soon as possible to have the Report on Abortion, following minor revisions, printed in an appropriate form and made available to the church and the Canadian public. CARRIED #1-11-88
The committee members were highly commended for their work on this report. The Primate agreed to liaise with those bishops who have suggested revisions, prior to printing.
The General Secretary advised the House that he will refer this matter to the Agenda Committee of General Synod.
"That this House requests the sub-group on Human Life concerned with abortion to be responsible for the presentation of this subject to General Synod, 1980 with up-dated information about the Canadian situation." CARRIED
Various moral issues were presented and there was evident need for a permanent Committee to deal with such matters as they arise if the Church is to give adequate and wise leadership.
Abortion - cannot be glibly accepted by demand. Concern must be shown for the quality of life as well as the sanctity of life. Mention was made of the Brief presented by the Church to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and Welfare in 1967, but this matter needs continual study since not only the ordinary man, but professional people in the medical world are looking for guidance from the Church.
Draftees - As men move from the United States to Canada to escape the draft, they present problems which, if they are to be solved, require us to be sure of the situation. There is a responsibility to minister to the needs of the draftees, but the area of help must be left free. It was mentioned that, contrary to the opinion of many, none of the Church's money has been used to help these men. Individual Church members have, however contributed to a special fund of the Canadian Council of Churches for this purpose. It was felt this should be made known in General Synod and the Bishop of Kootenay agreed to take this under advisement.
Hendry Report Implementation. This was discussed in the Group but no action was taken by the House.
Commit on Native Canadians. Further study was given to the Report of this Committee which had been presented earlier to the House by the Bishop of Moosonee. (see x-a and the resolutions there)
The House adjourned for lunch at 12:30 p.m.
The Fifth Session Began at 2:00 p.m.
The Bishop of Kootenay completed his report on Group D, and the following motions were put.
That the House of Bishops recommends to the Upper House that it requests the Program Committee to re-establish a means for continuing study and report on moral issues as they arise. CARRIED