Reflecting on the 30th Anniversary of the Apology

 — Aug. 2, 20232 aoüt 2023

Editor's note:

As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Anglican Church of Canada's apology for the church's participation in the Residential School system, all churches are called to reflect on our continuing obligation to truth and reconciliation. The 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have not yet been fulfilled, the Calls for Justice of the Murdered and Missing Indigemous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report (2019) continue to be ignored by Canadians, and the continuing legacy of colonization and the intergenerational traumas that it has caused to Indigenous people and communities remains largely unchanged.

On Sunday, August 6, we in the Anglican Church of Canada will pause to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the Apology offered by Archbishop and Primate Michael Geoffrey Peers. This moment is more pronounced, in light of his death on July 27.

I humbly ask that the moments we take on Sunday and throughout the week should also reflect a thanksgiving for the ministry of Archbishop Peers. He prayerfully stepped into that historic moment and stood before the people, apologizing for a wrong done and for trauma committed by our church. The willingness of the church to participate in the residential school experience has resulted in a legacy of trauma that’s been handed down and is lived daily by Indigenous survivors and their families.

We should note that any legacy of an individual is evaluated and critiqued by history—no one is exempt from this reality. Archbishop Peers stepped into that moment, with those humble words, and in so doing placed his legacy before us today and in this week. A legacy is not about us as individuals, but rather is a legacy handed on to those who follow. So, it is right that we should reflect and examine our church and ourselves through the lens of the Apology and the 30 years following. Acknowledging that what we as Christians do in this and every moment, adds to the historical legacy that we too will pass down to the children of creation who are going to follow after us. How will we be critiqued and evaluated by those who will look back on our collective history?

For those that do not know, let us take a moment and look back to August 6, 1993 in Minaki, northern Ontario. Archbishop Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offered a heartfelt and very personal Apology’ to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada for the church’s actions in the residential schools. The ‘Apology’ was received and acknowledged by our Indigenous relations and representatives at that historical gathering, and since then, we the Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous ministry have challenged the wider Anglican church to live into the Apology. To push words into action and action to change and healing.

History has proven that any community can only move forward at a pace set by the slowest and most resistant among us. Have we the church lived openly and completely into the Apology of Archbishop Peers? Have we walked forward actively seeking openness to truth in our shared Canadian history and sought out ways to reconcile?

As an Indigenous person I will openly share that I still experience denial that any wrong was done, and I still am challenged to prove that wrongs were committed by the churches and denominational participation in the residential schools. So, education, change and healing is still required after 30 years, and a lot of work is still in the calling for the rest of us.

On Sunday, we the church will again pause and reflect and give thanks for those who have apologized and for those who walk today in reconciliation and healing.

Posted: Aug. 2, 2023 • Permanent link:
Categories: News, OpinionIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, apologies, Chris Harper, Indigenous peoples, Reconciliation
Transmis : 2 aoüt 2023 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : News, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, apologies, Chris Harper, Indigenous peoples, Reconciliation

Most Rev. Michael Geoffrey Peers served as primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 to 2004

Archbishop Michael Peers (1934-2023)

 — Aug. 1, 20231 aoüt 2023

Late last week we learned of the death of Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 to 2004. Our deepest condolences are extended to his wife, Dorothy, and his extended family.

Although +Michael retired as primate nearly twenty years ago, the legacy of his leadership continues in so many aspects of our life as a church. He often told the story of how he came to be a member of the church as a non-church attending young adult through the simple invitation of someone else. ‘Come and see’ was the invitation that brought him into the doors where he found, in faith, what he was seeking. He reminded us not to underestimate the power of invitation!
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Dr. Catherine E. Clifford, professor of systematic and historical theology at St. Paul University in Ottawa

Lay synod member Catherine Clifford praises Pope Francis’ method of dialogue, participation

 — July 13, 202313 juil. 2023

After nearly two years of parish listening sessions and consultations at the regional, national and continental levels, theologian Catherine Clifford said she thinks Catholics the world over are beginning to understand synodality.

“This is like a long kind of apprenticeship,” said Clifford, who teaches systematic and historical theology at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada.

Clifford is one of 10 non-bishop delegates from North America who will participate as members at the Oct. 4-29 Synod of Bishops on synodality in Rome. On July 7, the Vatican announced the full list of synod participants.
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CCCB and USCCB welcome announcement of North American synod delegates

 — July 7, 20237 juil. 2023

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the news from the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod of the delegates appointed for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held this October. The two episcopal conferences serve as the coordinating entities for the North American region for the Synod, which is themed, For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. The first session of the Synod will be held at the Vatican on 4-29 October 2023, and the second session is scheduled to be held in October 2024.
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WCC North American president Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith of the National Baptist Convention USA shares from the North American region as the WCC Central Committee gathers in Geneva on 21-27 June 2023, for its first full meeting following the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe in 2022

North American region of WCC challenges regional racism

 — July 6, 20236 juil. 2023

Racism has been identified as one of the most significant challenges facing the North American region in the United States and Canada, a World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting has heard. Members of the North American region of the WCC’s Central Committee, its highest governing body between Assemblies, met during its 21-27 June meeting in Geneva.

“North America or Turtle Island, which is the Indigenous name for North America, is one of three continents that make up ‘The New World.’ The continent was new to 15th-century European explorers but old to the Indigenous peoples already living there,” said Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith, WCC president from North America.
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St. Cuthbert's Catholic Church in Old Elvet, Durham, England

Journeying together in synodality and ecumenism

 — July 6, 20236 juil. 2023

In recent years, the movement towards Christian unity, which had quickened after the Second Vatican Council, seemed to have become mired in a quagmire of insurmountable difficulties. The synodal process launched by Pope Francis has changed all that. The extraordinary synodal journey is not one that the Catholic Church is embarking on alone. The recently published Instrumentum Laboris – working document – for the forthcoming October assembly in Rome devotes a whole section to Christian unity and how the Catholic Church can learn from other traditions. This was the theme of a recent meeting that brought Church leaders and theologians from the Catholic Church and six other Christian denominations to Durham, in the northeast of England.
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 Icon from the Mégalo Metéoron Monastery in Greece, representing the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea 325 A.D., with the condemned Arius in the bottom of the icon

WCC to celebrate 1,700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea

 — July 6, 20236 juil. 2023

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is planning a year of activities in 2025 to mark the 1,700th anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325, a key moment in the history of Christian faith and for the ecumenical journey today.

“The anniversary offers an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the outpouring mission of God’s triune love and the implications this has for the common witness and service of the churches, it gives us the opportunity to ask afresh with others what Nicaea means for us today.” said WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay.

The first Ecumenical Council was a gathering of Christian bishops in Nicaea, now İznik in present-day Türkiye, as the first attempt to reach consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

“Then, as now, the call to unity was heard within the context of a troubled, unequal, and divided world,” recalled Pillay.
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The Universal Priesthood and Synodality

The Universal Priesthood and Synodality | One Body

 — July 5, 20235 juil. 2023

“Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ” (Lumen Gentium, #10).

The reports issued during the diocesan and continental phases of the Synod on Synodality 2021-2024 offer a consistent call for a renewed understanding of the universal or baptismal priesthood. These reports frequently refer to the Vatican II quotation above, reminding us that 60 years ago, the church began to chart a new path in which the laity are not passive observers of the clergy’s active ministry. At times over the intervening years, lay ministry has been deemed a collaboration in what was typically understood as clerical ministry. The very word “ministry” has been frequently denied to lay people, who were instead meant to have an apostolate in the world. Pope Francis’ call to end clericalism has not meant an end to ordained ministry. He has cautioned against moves to clericalize lay ministry, pointing instead to the baptismal dignity of all. The Synod participants have noted the scriptural foundations for a baptismal priesthood.
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Participants in the 2018 Sacred Circle

Learning from the Sacred Circle

 — July 4, 20234 juil. 2023

The Sacred Circle is a gathering of Indigenous Anglicans in Canada. This year, it took place between May 29th and June 2nd, and its journey of understanding and reconciliation has much to teach the Church’s understanding of God, spirituality, and the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The gathering took place around a fire.
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Pastor Peter Noteboom, General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, speaks to a rally about the Canada-US 'Safe Third Country Agreement' (STCA) which has been challenged in court by the CCC together with Amnesty International and the Canadian Council of Refugees

Supreme Court decision on Safe Third Country Agreement misses the mark on refugee rights, but offers some hope

 — June 16, 202316 juin 2023

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision today on the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is a complex result that ultimately fails refugees.  The Supreme Court has allowed the appeal in part, sending the equality rights issue at stake back to the Federal Court,  and holding out for the possibility of the agreement being declared unconstitutional. But the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International Canada, and the Canadian Council of Churches are disappointed that the Supreme Court of Canada failed to decisively rule that the Safe Third Country Agreement violates refugees’ rights, exposing refugee claimants to further harms while awaiting another legal challenge.
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