That the following statement from the National Executive Council be forwarded by the Primate to the Officers of the General Synod of the Church of England:
This National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada expresses its sadness and regret at the recent decision by the General Synod of the Church of England not to permit women ordained as priests in this Province to exercise their sacramental ministry within the Church of England.
We acknowledge and respect the right and responsibility of churches within the Anglican Communion to make decisions concerning the ordering of ministry within their own structures. However, we express the hope that the same respect could be extended to the Anglican Church of Canada which has enjoyed the ministry of women in the priesthood since 1976.
We believe the process by which the ordering of ministry is decided by an autonomous Province need not be linked to the recognition of those persons already ordained by another Province. The mutual recognition of ministry within the Anglican Communion is a separate issue from the ordination of women in the Church of England, and calls for independent consideration.
In our view, the decision by the Church of England to deny the exercise of sacramental ministry, with the consent of the diocesan bishop, to some priests ordained in our church raises questions about the validity of the orders of all priests in our church. It also constitutes a challenge to episcopal ministry in our country.
Such a decision threatens the unity of the Anglican Communion by extending the privilege of ecclesiastical hospitality to some of our clergy and not to others. Sadly for us both, a result of this may well be the unwillingness of many Canadian bishops and priests to accept invitations to celebrate the eucharist in England until such hospitality is restored.
We draw attention to Act 65 of the 1986 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which:
a) affirms our positive experience in Canada with women in priesthood;
b) urges our bishops to carry to the Lambeth Conference our conviction that the priesthood of women has indeed blessed and enriched our common life; and
c) asks the Lambeth Conference to search for a way of upholding the unity of the church while allowing Provinces to move, as appropriate for them to the election and ordination of women to the episcopate in response to the call of God and the church.
This statement is made out of deep concern for the integrity of the body of Christ, in which we rejoice, and for the mutual recognition of ministries within our Communion, which we wish both to extend to others and to claim for ourselves. CARRIED #79-11-86
Since the termination of Project North in 1987, further evaluation and consultation between the churches in Canada has led to a new coalition on aboriginal justice concerns. This is the result of discussion between the churches, network groups, and native organizations. It shifts the focus of the former Project North to include justice issues for native people all over Canada and is based upon the church leaders' recent statement: "A New Covenant".
That this National Executive Council support and participate fully in the new coalition: Project North - Ecumenical Coalition for Aboriginal Justice; and request the Program Committee to appoint two representatives from the Anglican Church of Canada to its Steering Committee. CARRIED #54-11-88