For 2009 the scheduled Co-Chair’s were the Most Reverend Gary Gordon, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Whitehorse and the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. 48 hours prior to the commencement of the “dialogue” Archbishop Fred Hiltz was unable to attend and the Right Reverend Michael Ingham, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster fulfilled the role of Acting Co-Chair.
The principal topics for discussion were the growing global issue of human trafficking particularly what it means to the Vancouver area with the Olympics getting underway in less than 100 days and the Apostolic Constitution recently issued by Pope Benedict offering ex-Anglican Priests and parishes the opportunity to join the Roman Catholic Church while maintaining many of their current practices.
The Bishops prepared a brief statement that was delivered at a public information session at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver on Thursday, November 19th at 4pm. The information session was followed by a worship service that blended Vespers with Anglican Evening Prayer.
The Most Reverend Michael Miller CSB, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver attended the worship service.
The following is the statement presented by the Bishops:
In February, Vancouver-Whistler will welcome the world to the 2010 Olympic Games, a celebration of human development through sport. Our churches rejoice in the unity and respect that the Olympics signifies to the world. We, the bishops of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Bishops’ Dialogue, stand together to call attention to the profound social ill of human trafficking. The buying and selling of human beings subverts the very essence of the Olympic spirit. An estimated 800,000 people are trafficked annually across the national borders, and millions more are trafficked within their own borders.* We call upon the faithful of our churches and all people of good will to uphold and defend the dignity of every human person. We pray that the solidarity and success of the Olympic Games will give a new respect for human life around the world.
In our discussions at this meeting we have touched upon the Apostolic Constitution recently issued by His Holiness. Our discussions were cordial and took place in the context of mutual respect and cooperation between out two churches. In Canada we have had a protocol since 1990 that permits the orderly transfer of clergy between our two communions. In this we emphasize the spirit of mutual attentiveness and not competition, and in the same spirit we seek to understand the deeper implications of the Apostolic Constitution.
The bishops of this dialogue will pray together, recognizing that it is by the grace of God that we may witness the unity that Christ desires for His church.
* United States Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (US TIP), Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report 2007 (2007)
Members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Bishops’ Dialogue
Most Rev. Gary Gordon Co-Chairs Most Rev’d Fred Hiltz
Mgr Pierre-Andre Fournier Rt. Rev’d George Bruce
Mgr Francoise Lapierre, P.M.E. Rt. Rev’d James Cowan
Most Rev. John Pazak, C.Ss.R. Rt. Rev’d Dennis Drainville
Mgr Albert Thevenot, M.Afr. Rt. Rev’d Michael Ingham (Acting Co-Chair)