That this General Synod, in light of the appeal made by the Primate and other church leaders in February 1998 to the government to bring new commitment to "the challenge to rid the world of the plans and the means to nuclear annihilation", support their leaders' call to the Canadian government to:
-affirm abolition as the central goal of Canadian nuclear weapons policy;
-urge all states to begin immediately and conclude by the year 2000, a Convention for eliminating nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework;
-urge all nuclear weapons states to take their nuclear forces off alert status and commit themselves to no-first-use of nuclear weapons;
-renounce any role for nuclear weapons in Canadian defense policy, and call on other countries, including Russia and Canada's NATO allies, to do likewise;
-review the legality of Canada's nuclear weapons-related activities in light of the 1996 International Court of Justice ruling, and then move quickly to end all activities determined to be of questionable legality; and
-embrace publicly, the conclusions of the 1996 Canberra Commission report, including its recommendations that the nuclear weapons states commit themselves unequivocally to the elimination of nuclear weapons and agree to work immediately on the practical steps and negotiations for its achievement, and that the non-nuclear states join in cooperative international action to implement this commitment;
-and that this General Synod commend the church leaders' statement to dioceses and parishes, and urge Anglicans to engage themselves in the mounting public efforts to achieve these steps toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and, in particular, the initiatives of Project Ploughshares. CARRIED Act 82
Abstentions were noted from Chancellor David Wright, Captain Baxter Park, Captain Todd Meaker, Mr. Bryan Campbell and Canon Andrew Gates.
The Anglican Church of Canada is strongly opposed to all further nuclear explosions, Archbishop Ted Scott, the Primate, said today in a pre-Christmas statement.
Even though the Chinese explosion last month was described as "a pipsqueak" by U.S. nuclear experts, he said, the Chinese are believed to be developing great sophistication in their nuclear armament systems. There is danger that competition among the world's superpowers may lead to more and more test explosions.
"I very much opposed the U.S. blast early in November at Amchitka Island," Archbishop Scott said. "I was equally disturbed to learn of the Chinese explosion. The Church opposes all further nuclear explosions, but it is difficult to mount much public opposition to 'a pipsqueak'."
The Chinese test was equivalent to about 20,000 tons of TNT, roughly the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. It was one-fivehundreth the size of the latest U.S. test at Amchitka, which was five megatons, or equivalent to five million tons of TNT.
"The disarmament/peace issue has been moving rather quickly from the periphery of our attention to the centre." This declaration was made by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop E.W. Scott in a recent letter to the Prime Minister.
The letter expressed the Primate's "deep sense of urgency" and his "dismay at the news about the Cruise Missile coming to Canada."
The Primate is certainly not alone in his dismay. There is mounting evidence that he is correct in his feeling that disarmament is moving to the top of the Church's agenda. The National Executive Council (NEC) the most authoritative national body in the Anglican Church between General Synods, recently passed a similar motion expressing to the Federal Government its "strong opposition to the proposed testing of the Cruise Missile."
The Council also moved to include the Anglican Church of Canada as one of the sponsors of "Project Ploughshares." This is an ecumenical coalition which has gained major prominence and respect for its research and publications on disarmament and peace issues. The Anglican Church joins several other major denominations and the Canadian Council of Churches in sponsorship of Project Ploughshares. The coalition is based in Conrad Grebel College of the University of Waterloo, is associated with the United Nations' Department of Public Information, and is represented on the Bureau of the Non-Government Committee on Disarmament at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.
Members of the NEC of the Anglican Church also heard of plans now underway for a major national conference on disarmament to be held next November in Vancouver. It will bring together representatives from the Anglican Church, industry, unions, universities, the Department of Defence and from overseas in the Third World. Its purpose is "to assist the Anglican Church of Canada to develop a policy on the subject of disarmament."
Disarmament has been, or planned to be, a subject on the agenda of several of the Synods of the Anglican Church's thirty Dioceses this spring and fall. Already a request has come from the Diocese of Ottawa that it be a topic of major discussion and policy making at the Church's General Synod to be held in Fredericton in June of 1983.
"[W]e are debating two documents, the paper-backed report `The Church and the Bomb', produced by the Bishop of Salisbury's [John Austin Baker] Working Party, and the report GS 542, with the same title, produced by the Board for Social Responsibility, in which the Board comments on the paper-back. As members of the Synod know, it is strictly the Board's report which is before us, with the paper-back as an appendix to it, but it is, of course, open to members to refer to both documents in our debate". -- p. 3.
A record of the debate on the report "The Church and the Bomb" which took place 10 February 1983.
That NEC endorse Resolution #28 of the Primates/Anglican Consultative Council joint meeting (January 1993), as follows:
That this Joint Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Consultative Council calls upon the Churches of the Anglican Communion to support any initiatives to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to whether the development and deployment of nuclear weapons and the threat to use them are legal under existing international law, and further,
that the text of this resolution be conveyed to the Secretary General of the United Nations and that the Provinces be requested to convey their responses to the Anglican Communion Office and to the Anglican Observer at the United Nations. CARRIED #16-11-93
Bishop Lackey read the following Memorial from the Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa to General Synod:
"Whereas the peace of the world and the welfare of future generations are threatened by the growing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and whereas the means of widespread and non-selective destruction of human life and our natural environment are becoming available to nations who are not party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty or other existing or proposed agreements on disarmament; this Synod requests the General Synod to place the subject of disarmament and arms control on the agenda of its 1983 meeting, with the purpose, after thorough and prayerful consideration, of making a public declaration of the Anglican Church's deep concern on this subject; and that the Canadian House of Bishops be asked to make an early public pronouncement supporting the intention to seek a General Synod resolution on this subject."
It was recognized that this will be a major issue at General Synod, 1983, and the Primate requested that it be discussed at Diocesan Synods.
That the House of Bishops supports the intention of this Memorial of the Diocese of Ottawa that the issue of disarmament be a major issue at General Synod, 1983. CARRIED 3-10-82
It was decided to consult the House with reference to a request for support of an ecumenical Pastoral asking that Christian people in Canada, and others, join in a day of prayer and fasting "in order that we might more clearly discern what the Lord would have us do to fashion peace in this troubled world."
That copies of the revised Ecumenical Pastoral be sent to all clergy with full explanation and suggestions for its use. CARRIED #14-2-84
AN ECUMENICAL PASTORAL LETTER
March 1, 1984
Amid the fear and anxiety created in the hearts of many people by the threat of nuclear war, Christians are called to bear witness to a hope that is firmly rooted in their Faith. This hope is not founded in some naive optimism, but in God revealed in Jesus Christ.
God in Christ encountered the tragic and sinful forces present in our world. These same forces continue to be sources of violence and oppression, immorality and injustice, but we do not despair. The eyes of faith which saw the Resurrection of our Lord discern the Spirit of God at work as a life-giver and as peace-maker among us. We believe the madness of the arms race can be stopped; the hearts of men and women can be changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh; we can beat our swords into ploughshares; we can choose life over death. But for this to happen we must not only speak about the "peace of God"; we must also work for peace.
If we dare to speak and act for God, we must be attentive to the word and wisdom which God is addressing to us. In this regard the Scriptures say that in prayer and fasting we grow in our knowledge of what God wills for us. Today we have great need to listen with care to our God.
At this time, therefore, when people everywhere are seeking the way to peace, we invite Christian people in Canada, people of other faith communities, and all men and women of goodwill to participate in a special day of prayer and of fasting. We suggest that this day be Friday, 13 April .
For Christians, the Risen Christ has made peace available in a special way in the community that is the Church. To all humanity, the Creator God gives the precious gift of life. We invite all to celebrate this gift and to share in our hope for peace. We especially invite Christians to reflect on the hope that the Gospel makes possible as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord during Easter.
May men and women everywhere be touched by the Peace of Christ and offer it one to another as a sign of hope in our troubled times.
That the General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada petition the Government of Canada to declare as an objective in the conduct of its foreign policy the elimination of nuclear weapons from the world by the year 2000; and that members of the General Synod through contacts with other churches encourage similar petitions to their respective governments. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 88
"This kit, prepared by the peacemaking working group of the National Unit on Public Social Responsibility (Anglican Church of Canada), is designed to assist parishes in their work towards the making of peace in an increasingly insecure world. In spite of the growing militarization of our world and the widespread violence in it, most people all over the world long for peace, but find themselves almost powerless to promote it. The role of the peacemaker is to encourage people's desire for peace, help them find ways of effectively promoting it within themselves, in their interpersonal attitudes and activities, and enable them to work for socio-political and economic change which will lead to a world at peace". -- Intro., p. 2.
Contents: [Table of Contents] -- A. Introduction -- B. Background Information -- C. Reflections -- D. Study Helps -- E. Children's Resources -- F. Worship Resources -- G. Ideas for Action -- H. Audio Visual Resources -- I. Bibliography -- J. Quotable Quotes.