Updated again Saturday evening
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s PANEL OF REFERENCE (POR) for the Anglican Communion report on the Diocese of New Westminster is now available at the following link on the Anglican Communion Website:
The entire report is here presented in 32 paragraphs with 4 recommendations.
The Panel of Reference is chaired by the Most Revd Peter Carnley and staffed through the Anglican Communion Office, London, by the Revd Canon Gregory Cameron. The panel first met in July 2005.
The functions of the Panel include :
[at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury] “to enquire into, consider and report on situations drawn to my attention where there is serious dispute concerning the adequacy of schemes of delegated or extended episcopal oversight or other extraordinary arrangements which may be needed to provide for parishes which find it impossible in all conscience to accept the direct ministry of their own diocesan bishop or for dioceses in dispute with their provincial authorities;
With [his] consent to make recommendations to the Primates, dioceses and provincial and diocesan authorities concerned, and to report to [him] on their response;
At the request of any Primate to provide a facility for mediation and to assist in the implementation of any such scheme in his own province.”
That PDF document does not allow extraction of the text, either in part or in whole, so we cannot at present easily quote it for you here.
Update we have now received a plain text version: here are the recommendations in full:
1. The Panel of Reference cannot recommend the proposals of the applicants for transfer of jurisdiction either to the ANiC or to CAPAC. The Diocese of New Westminster is part of the Anglican Communion within the Anglican Church of Canada, which is due to debate both Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and the St Michael Report at its General Synod in June 2007. The most desirable outcome, as stated in TWR (see s.6 above) is for the theological dispute to be resolved and for reconciliation to be effected within the Anglican Church of Canada.
2. In the present temporary situation, the Panel recognises that an agreed scheme of extended episcopal ministry needs to be offered to a number of clergy and parishes within the Diocese of New Westminster, which will both provide for their spiritual needs and offer assurance of continuity for their distinctive theological tradition.
3. Such a scheme should be achieved within the Anglican Church in Canada itself, at national or provincial level. The bishop of a diocese is subject to the general ecclesiastical law of the church or province concerned, and one would look to the Anglican Church of Canada for action to be taken in the first instance. The provision of a scheme of Shared Episcopal Ministry [SEM] by the Canadian House of Bishops in 2004 offers a model which we believe to be appropriate, with some additional safeguards designed to take account of the special circumstances prevailing in this case, given the protracted and deep divisions which exist.
4. In order to command the confidence of the parishes and Diocese concerned, we consider it reasonable that any arrangements made for extended episcopal ministry should address certain key issues:
a. The two congregations which are not recognised as parishes of the Diocese of New Westminster (Holy Cross, Abbotsford and the Church of the Resurrection, Hope) should be offered a context by which they may formalise their relationship with the Diocese, within the provisions of local canon law.
b. A bishop should be appointed to provide extended episcopal ministry, whose name should be agreed jointly by the diocese and the applicants, for an initial (but renewable) period of three years, in the manner described by SEM, from the list maintained by the local province; or if that can not be agreed, at a national level as described by SEM. The visiting bishop should receive delegated authority to conduct Visitations and Confirmations on behalf of the Diocese of New Westminster within the parishes which have opted to receive SEM.
c. The bishop who provides extended episcopal ministry should be involved at all stages of the process in appointing new clergy and in the ordination process in respect of candidates from and for the parishes which seek this extended episcopal ministry, in consultation with representatives of the congregations. The licence of newly appointed or ordained clergy should be signed by the visiting bishop in addition to the diocesan bishop.
d. The Diocese of New Westminster should indicate formally that any previous disciplinary action against any clergy concerned is now at an end and that any record of this has been deleted from personal records.
e. A written assurance should be provided to the four parishes concerned that the Diocese has no intention of pursuing civil legal action against them or their officers or trustees on the basis of the dispute which began in June 2002, and does not intend to use Canon 15 in respect of church properties during the agreed period of temporary episcopal ministry provided by SEM.
f. Equally the congregations concerned should be willing to regularise their connections with the diocese, in matters such as diocesan synod attendance and the payment of diocesan assessments, in the course of the period of shared episcopal ministry.
The Living Church has two reports: Panel Rejects Jurisdiction for Parishes Seeking Alternative Oversight and Panel of Reference Report Called Inadequate.
The Anglican Network in Canada has issued this open letter in response.