Updated Thursday evening and Friday morning
Official Reports: General Synod – Summary of Business Conducted on Thursday 14th February 2008 AM
General Synod – Summary of Business Conducted on Thursday 14th February 2008 PM
These include links to audio recordings of all the items.
Alastair Cutting (a member blogging from the floor of synod)
Day four: Thursday
Episcopal Life Online
Synod calls for Guantanamo Bay’s closure, debates detention without charge by Matthew Davies
Synod warns of terror fears eroding liberty
Synod Report Thursday 14th
In the morning Synod debated Crown appointments and agreed to the proposals in paragraph 58 of GS1680 by 290 votes to 16 with 16 recorded abstentions. Synod then debated a following motion calling for the chair of the Crown Nominations Commission, when it is considering the choice of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be chosen by the Church’s appointments committee instead of by the Prime Minister as at present. This was defeated by 142 votes to 107 with 20 recorded abstentions.
Synod debated GS1673 Growing Together in Unity and Mission and passed the following motion by 258 votes to 10 with 5 recorded abstentions.
That this Synod, welcoming the work that has been done towards the Agreed Statement of the International Anglican – Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission and endorsing its stated aim of closer collaboration in unity and mission between our two communions:
(a) note the assessment of the Agreed Statement in GS 1673 as a contribution to the further development of the text and endorse the concerns of the Faith and Order Advisory Group set out in section 4 of GS 1673;
(b) affirm the further growing together in unity and mission will depend on common witness and the exchange of spiritual gifts, as well as clarity between areas where doctrinal agreement has been achieved and areas that require further work; and
(c) encourage Anglicans to implement, with Roman Catholics, the practical initiatives for bishops and people in Part 2 of the Statement;
(d) request that debates take place in Synod on all the documents listed in Appendix 2, Second Phase in Growing Together in Unity and Mission as the next stage in the process.
After lunch Synod debated GS1681 Detention without Charge and passed the following motion by 235 votes to 2 with 7 recorded abstentions.
That this Synod, mindful both of the Christian teaching that enforcement of law should be just in process and outcome, and of the challenge that the advent of suicide attacks poses for the general public and for those who bear responsibility for protecting the public from terrorism:
(a) emphasise the importance of society maintaining a careful balance between the liberty of the individual and the needs of national security;
(b) express grave concern that an extension to the current 28-day maximum period for detention without charge of terrorist suspects would, in the absence of the most compelling arguments, disturb that balance unacceptably;
(c) while welcoming the release of most UK prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, deplore the continued holding of prisoners there without charge or due process and encourage Her Majesty’s Government to continue to use all available means to press the United States administration to close the Guantanamo Bay facility and restore the full application of the rule of law; and
(d) affirm the desirability of an early review by the Government of the restrictions and other obligations that may be imposed on individuals under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the use of undisclosed material in control order proceedings.’
The amendment below was proposed to the above motion but it was defeated on a show of hands.
Leave out paragraph (b) and insert:
“(b) urge Her Majesty’s Government to adopt a more purposive approach to the problem of balancing the need for sufficient investigative time against the need to maintain the liberty of the individual through a process of holding suspects on a weekly basis under the review of a senior High Court Judge;”
This completed Synod’s business for this group of sessions.