That this General Synod affirm Resolution Nos. 31 and 58 of the 1988 Lambeth Conference, as listed below, and refer them to the Program Committee for appropriate action.
conscious of the work in many dioceses with deprived minorities in developed, affluent countries, such as native Americans and Canadians, Australian aborigines and Islanders, ethnic Koreans in Japan, and black urban communities in Britain, asks the relevant Anglican provinces to support work among such minorities who have difficulty in making their plight known in national and world forums.
supports all efforts being made for the procuring of land and civic rights for native indigenous people of the Americas specially in the light of the forthcoming celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus in the New World in 1992. CARRIED Act 60
Archdeacon Pynn reminded NEC members that the response to this declaration, which originated at the Lambeth Conference in 1988 and was circulated by the Anglican Consultative Council, was now required.
That this Statement be accepted by the National Executive Council as our Statement and be forwarded to the Anglican Consultative Council. CARRIED #56-11-90
[The accepted Statement is attached to these minutes as Appendix H.]
[N.B. Please note that the attached is the NEC Response to the Draft Common Declaration and NOT the text of the Draft Common Declaration itself.]
THE DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
A Statement by the National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada
This statement is issued by the Anglican Church of Canada, through its National Executive Council, after consultation with the House of Bishops, the Doctrine and Worship Committee, and several Canadian theologians.
We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making: the Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our bishops recall a very low level of interest in this particular proposal at the Lambeth Conference, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored.
Is it necessary ?
We wonder why the Draft Common Declaration is needed and for what purposes it would be used. Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1998 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask, what kinds of events ?
If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it means to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what it means at several points of ecumenical tension, not least amongst these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
Problems with the document
Specifically, the document appears to us to be unsuitable in a number of areas:
1. Its understanding of Anglican cohesiveness is limited (note be contrast, the report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission document "For the Sake of the Kingdom.").
2. It does not take account of the current ecumenical dialogues, third world issues and cultural diversity, and emerging feminist perspectives.
3. It looks back to one particular strand of Anglican traditions which would not be shared by all contemporary Anglicans.
4. It is a rigid document which freezes rather than being open to possible growth.
Comments and questions
We recognize the need for a unifying instrument, but want to avoid premature closure of debate on unsettled issues. We look forward to a time when it would be possible to have a more comprehensive declaration, but meanwhile we reaffirm the Lambeth Quadrilateral in its 1920 form as an adequate instrument of communion and decision-making, because it has tested historical authority, international acceptance, and is both more flexible and ecumenically generous.
The ecumenical context has made us more willing than we were a few years ago to give credit to the ministry and sacraments of other denominations, and recent studies of ministry and sacraments have made us less willing to maintain a dogmatic position on a single, dominically ordained form of either.
Feminist theology is pushing us to take a new look at classical definitions which describe God in male terms excluding half or more of the church. Such thinking is also impelling us to criticize the patriarchal authoritarianism implicit in hierarchical order.
Is the Draft Common Declaration a "Confessional" statement, like the Augsburg and Westminster Confessions ? If so, would acceptance of it run counter to the Anglican claim to be rooted not on a new confession but within the historic tradition of the Catholic faith ? Is the Draft Common Declaration a test of orthodoxy ? If so, is it meant to exclude those who do not agree with it ? Anglicans have traditionally resisted tests of orthodoxy, preferring to set broad limits on either side which allow for latitude of interpretation.
The Draft Common Declaration gives the impression that the Anglican position is a static one. It should be rephrased to make clear that our faith is one which is continually developing and is open to new insights and to enrichment by the Holy Spirit (for instance, the decision to ordain women and the changes in theology and practice entailed in the recognition of the equal rights of women, which is a great insight of our generation).
The emergence of strong, rapidly growing churches in the developing world has made us realize that statements and concepts that we once thought of as universal actually come out of a context limited to the European world. The Draft Common Declaration is overwhelmingly classical and European in its terminology and conceptualization.
The Draft Common Declaration implies that the "commonly called sacraments" are of divine institution. It would be better to say that a province "celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments of baptism and holy communion, as expressing for all the corporate life of the whole fellowship in and with Christ".
Is continuity expressed only by means of historic episcopal order ? What about the continuity of doctrinal teaching, which both Lutherans and Roman Catholics insist upon ? The historic episcopal order is only one of the ways the church expresses continuity with the apostolic church. Why should episcopal order rather than fidelity to scripture or to the apostolic mission be singled out as the key element in continuity ? Does the historic episcopal order included the Roman papacy ?
The Draft Common Declaration seems too narrowly episcopal. Its acceptance would make us a confessional church which confesses, above all, episcopacy. The Draft Common Declaration evinces a bias for a structural ecclesiology rather than a communion of dynamic ecclesiology.
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too problematic to achieve the unifying effect that is desired.
It would not satisfy use as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
"This Conference resolves that the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission consider paragraph 20 of the paper 'Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making; (Draft Common Declaration) and report to the Primates' Meeting."
The Primate introduced this document which was included in Archbishop Eames' paper on 'Instruments of the Anglican Communion and Decision-Making'. He outlined the background of the discussion among the Primates at their meeting in 1989, and said that the response is due in October, 1990. It has gone to the Provinces of the Anglican Communion for comment. The Doctrine and Worship Committee, the House of Bishops and the National Executive Council are each to study the document.
It was agreed that great care must be taken in making statements of this kind. It was asked: "Do we have any idea how it might be used as an instrument of unity ? At what kind of major event is it going to be used ? Will it be used at the beginning of General Synods ?"
One of the weaknesses identified was that there is no mention of the laity in the document, nor of Jesus Christ.
If a final document comes from the Anglican Consultative Council, General Synod would make the final decision.
It was suggested that, if there is agreement that the document is unnecessary, revisions should be sent to the Primates' Meeting
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. The Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. These concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. These concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
(For circulation to the Provinces for comment)
i. The Church (of the Province) of . . . declares itself to be united under one divine head in the fellowship of the one, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
ii. It professes the Faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, to which faith the formularies of this Church bear witness and which the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.
iii. It celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments, particularly those of Baptism and Holy Communion, as ordinances of the universal church.
iv. It expresses its continuity with the apostolic tradition of faith and witness, worship, fellowship and ministry by means of the historic episcopal order. It is in communion with each of those Churches which preserve the historic threefold order of the ordained ministry and are in communion with the See of Canterbury.
v. It looks forward to the unity of all Christians based on a common recognition of the place of the Holy Scriptures, the Catholic Creeds, the dominical sacraments and historic episcopal order in the Church of God.
1. The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada received the Draft Common Declaration but we believe that the Anglican Consultative Council should EITHER:
a) appoint an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission which could respond to Resolution #19 of Lambeth 1988, OR
b) appoint an international task force, operating on a very small budget, to deal with this single issue.
2. We believe that this matter should come to us from the Primates' Meeting only after it has been either to the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, as Lambeth 1988 directed, or to the Anglican Consultative Council.
3. We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making : The Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our recollection of the Lambeth discussions is of a very low level of interest in this particular proposal, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored. We urge that the intended use of such a declaration be clarified.
Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1988 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask whether the Draft Declaration truly reflects the faith and practice of the Churches of the Anglican Communion ?
It would not satisfy us as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
4. If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help to resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it meant to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what is meant at several points of ecumenical tension, not least among these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
5. This House does not believe that it is appropriate at this time to respond to the Draft Declaration in its present unrefined form, before it has been studied and, we trust, revised by an appropriate group of theologians -- preferably a new Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission. Nor are we yet persuaded that such a declaration is needed at all, although we remain open to persuasion. However, it is only fair to report, even at this early stage, that we would have several difficulties with the declaration if it were not significantly revised. Without attempting a full critique, a brief discussion in the House revealed that, of the five paragraphs in the declaration, members had serious difficulties with paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5.
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too general to achieve the unifying effect that is desired. For example, although the Anglican Church of Canada remains loyal to our Solemn Declaration of 1893 -- a far more robust and ample statement than the new proposal, the firmness of our commitment does not prevent our church from ordaining women.
7. We believe that there are many other examples of the need for an Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and urge ACC to appoint this Commission. We suggest that 12 persons, including bishops and theologians, male and female, representing as much as possible of the diversity of Anglicanism, could work very effectively, even with a small budget. Perhaps a plenary meeting could be held every two years and the continuing work could be done by a combination of oldfashioned postal correspondence, electronic networking and contracts with additional volunteer theologians from around the Communion.
That this House endorses the overall message of this summary of our discussions and requests that:
1. the Primate convey the House's concerns to the next meeting of Primates;
2. Archbishop Hambidge convey these concerns to the Anglican Consultative Council;
3. these concerns be shared with the National Executive Council; and that
4. these concerns be shared with the Doctrine and Worship Committee. CARRIED
1. That this House of Bishops inform NEC of its intention to send the resolutions from Group I(A), as attached, to the Standing Committees listed for consideration, recommendation and possible presentation to General Synod 1989.
2. That the General Secretary inform units #1-27 of this action as soon as possible.
3. That members of this House who relate to one or more of these units expedite the referral process. CARRIED
That the items identified by Group III, as attached, addressed to the government, the public, our church, and those outside our immediate Anglican family, be referred to the Executive Director of Program for appropriate action. CARRIED
That this House request the Primate to give consideration to our discussion of resolution #59, with a view to strengthening the relationship of Bermuda with this Province. CARRIED
Text of 1988 Lambeth Resolution 59: "Extra-provincial dioceses". This Conference requests the Primates Meeting and ACC to give urgent consideration to the situation of the extra-provincial dioceses, that they may be fully part of the structures of the Anglican Communion.
"Be it resolved that this House of Bishops in response to the irregular episcopal ordinations in Singapore endorse resolution 72 of the 1988 Lambeth Conference." CARRIED Res. #HB-04-05-00
For text of resolution 72 of the 1988 Lambeth Conference see appendix i.)
Source: Lambeth Conference / 1988 / Resolution
Resolution 72: Episcopal Responsibilities and Diocesan Boundaries
Text: This Conference:
1. reaffirms its unity in the historical position of respect for diocesan boundaries and the authority of bishops within these boundaries; and in light of the above
2. affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop or priest of this Communion to exercise episcopal or pastoral ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the ecclesial authority thereof.
3. urges all political and community leaders to seize every opportunity to work together to bring about a just and peaceful solution.
Notes: With the number of issues that could threaten our unity it seems fair that we should speak of our mutual respect for one another, and the positions we hold, that serves as a sign of or unity.
1. Reaffirms its unity in the historical position of respect for diocesan boundaries and the authority of bishops within these boundaries; and in the light of the above
2. Affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop of this Communion to exercise episcopal ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the episcopal authority thereof.
That this House reaffirm paragraphs 1. and 2. with the word "Ecclesial" being changed to "Episcopal." CARRIED
1. That this National Executive Council concur in the action of the House of Bishops to send the Lambeth Conference resolutions, identified by group I(A) as attached [not included in electronic record], to the appropriate bodies listed for consideration, recommendation and possible presentation to General Synod 1989.
2. That the General Secretary inform the bodies listed of this action as soon as possible. CARRIED #50-11-88
Contents of Introductory Section: A Conference Prayer -- Introduction: The Fellowship of the Spirit dated Advent 1998 / The Co-Editors -- The Archbishop of Canterbury's Opening Address: 'The Nature of the Unity We Seek' / Robert A.K. Runcie.
Contents of Section Reports: 1. Mission and Ministry -- 2. Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns -- 3. Ecumenical Relations -- 4. Christianity and the Social Order.
Contents of Resolutions section: List of Resolutions -- The Resolutions Adopted by the Conference.
Contents of Participants section: The Conference Steering Committee -- The Primates of the Anglican Communion -- Bishops of Anglican Provinces and Dioceses -- Bishops of the United Churches -- Participants from Churches in Communion -- Participants from the Anglican Consultative Council -- Consultants -- Observers from Other Churches -- Conference Staff.
Contents of Appendices: 1-4. From Ecumenical Responses to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Opening Address / Emilio Castro, Pierre Duprey, John D. Zizioulas, Elizabeth Templeton -- 5. Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making -- 6. Jews, Christians and Muslims: The Way of Dialogue.
Contents of Index section: General Index -- Index of Biblical References -- Inter-Anglican Publishing Network.