Scott remembered as advocate for the powerless, Canada
July 15 2004

Scott remembered as advocate for the powerless

By Solange de Santis
Anglican Journal

ARCHBISHOP Edward (Ted) Scott’s life and work as an advocate for the
powerless were celebrated July 13 at memorial services at Anglican
cathedrals across Canada, with Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop
Desmond Tutu remarking in Toronto that the former primate of the
Anglican Church of Canada “was committed and courageous but gentle.”
Archbishop Tutu challenged the Canadian church — “a church for which
he lived and for which he died” — to be a memorial to Archbishop
Scott. “Instead of bickering about human sexuality — to be concerned
about poverty, about AIDS, about wars that are frequently totally
unnecessary and immoral, about spending huge sums on defense — what
a memorial to Ted,” he said. Archbishop Scott was killed at the age
of 85 on June 21 in an automobile accident. About 900 people packed
Toronto’s St. James Cathedral on a humid morning for a sung
eucharist, with an overflow crowd of about 600 outside. Invited
guests included Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, federal Minister
of External Affairs Bill Graham, former prime minister Joe Clark and
representatives of religious denominations from around the world.

About 30 active and retired Canadian Anglican bishops attended, as
did Archbishop Scott’s successor as primate, Archbishop Michael
Peers, who read the prayers of the people. The current primate,
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, presided. Members of the Scott family
and the archbishop’s close friend, Sonja Bird, also attended.
Archbishop Tutu, in his sermon, recalled that Archbishop Scott “was
highly controversial” as he “espoused unpopular causes.” He “stood up
for aboriginal people” and supported gays and lesbians and the
ordination of women, said the retired South African archbishop, who
won the Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid.

Archbishop Scott, who served as primate from 1971 to 1986, also was a
well-known foe of apartheid. In 1985, he was appointed by
then-Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney to the Eminent Persons
Group, a committee of prominent members of the British Commonwealth
charged with helping to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid.

“It is such an incredible privilege to say on behalf of our people
how deeply thankful we are for Ted’s support and your support,” said
Archbishop Tutu. “There is a hall in a parish church in Soweto named
after Ted Scott.” A letter from Nelson Mandela that was read aloud
paid tribute to “his intimate and incisive role (in ending
apartheid), one that helped change the course of history.”

After the service, Mr. Clark recalled in an interview with the
Anglican Journal that he was foreign minister when Archbishop Scott
served on the Eminent Persons Group. “He was very forthright. He
would let me know when we needed to move Canadian government foreign
policy,” said Mr. Clark, who read the first lesson at the service.
The two became friends and often had dinner together, recalled Mr.

In his sermon, Archbishop Tutu recalled Archbishop Scott’s dislike of
ecclesiastical formality. “He said, ‘Just call me Ted.’ Some of us
lesser mortals need the high-faluting titles such as ‘Your Grace,’
but he let who he was do the talking and how eloquent he turned out
to be,” said Archbishop Tutu.

Archbishop Scott’s eight years as moderator of the central committee
of the World Council of Churches were also recalled. “He was a world
leader of the ecumenical movement at a time when the World Council of
Churches was castigated for grants to liberation movements,”
Archbishop Tutu said. That role was reflected in a letter read at the
service from Catholicos Aram I, international leader of the Armenian
Orthodox Church and current moderator of the WCC central committee,
who called Archbishop Scott “a gifted minister.” About 60 current and
former members of the Canadian church’s national staff also attended
the memorial. Just four days before he died, Archbishop Scott had led
a eucharist at the national office in Toronto, marking a move to new
quarters. In his sermon, he recalled the days when he worked in the
building, a time when the hiring of non-Anglicans at the national
office was questioned and women were not allowed to be priests; he
challenged the church to continue to be a place of inclusion. Two of
the readings at the cathedral service were also those used at the
office service. Three other cathedrals in Canada held services on
July 13. In Halifax, a memorial service at All Saints Cathedral was
led by Bishop Susan Moxley, suffragan (assistant) bishop of Nova
Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In Regina, diocese of Qu’Appelle, a
service was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral. In Vancouver, diocese of
New Westminster, a service of celebration took place at Christ Church
Cathedral “to commemorate the day of his memorial service in
Toronto,” according to an announcement from the cathedral. St. Paul’s
Cathedral in London, Ont., diocese of Huron, held a memorial service
on June 28.