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GS: another view on the Anglican Covenant

Chris Sugden of Oxford has written about this. It is hidden at the back of a Word document linked from here at Anglican Mainstream which starts out with another copy of the Fulcrum article by Andrew Goddard.

An html copy of this article is now here.

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NPLapinbizarreRobert Ian WilliamsFr Joseph O'LearyHugh of Lincoln, 'O'Level RE Recent comment authors
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Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Tawdry arguments here about the limits of agreeing to disagree. The Anglican Communion disagrees about one sexual issue, which the Global South deplores; the issue is one that causes disagreement, on many fronts, everywhere in the modern world. The covenant idea is designed to delegitimize this disagreement and to make the sexual issue an article by which the church stands or falls. This bullying tactic is plainly failing day by day, leaving the Global South look rather foolish. It is an utterly illegitimate move to claim that because Anglicans disagree on this sexual topic they therefore have no basis for… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

What sticks most in the craw about this one is the attempt to paint opponents of the “Covenant” as undemocratic (C of E canons are elected?), as in the statement, aimed at opponents of the covenant, that at present disputes in the communion are determined by “the people who run things, the people in power”. Of course, as Sugden very well knows, under the covenant, “people in power” will continue to run things – that’s the whole point of the covenant, isn’t it, Dr Sugden? – it’s just that those in power are far more likely to be Sugden’s type… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

FJoL says “The Anglican Communion disagrees about one sexual issue, which the Global South deplores….”

How many times?? It is not JUST the GS who oppose the innovations of a few in the AC.
There are many opponents to the TECinnovations within TEC and certainly there are many strong opponents within the CofE.

We would not have had Dromantine, TWR and Tanzania if it was JUST the GS or “fundamentalists” who did not want to be forced to accept the agenda of a particular group in the AC….

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

‘Because some matters are contested, it does not follow that all are.’ This is a principle which can scarcely be denied, and which can serve as a commonly-accepterd basis. For if two people contest one another on *all* matters, or even the majority of matters, what are they doing belonging to the same organisation in the first place?

Michael Merriman
Guest
Michael Merriman

Re: Chris Sugden’s article. Another source for the Communion’s standards of belief might be the statements to which the Communion has consented in the Anglican/Roman Catholic statements of the last 30 or so years. There are also inter-Anglican gatherings in Liturgy and Theology and, I think, in Biblical studies. None of these, however, have been stated in such a way as to require assent or else removal from the Communion. Also, remember that we do have one written constitution, that of the Anglican Consultative Council. The primates, however, feel that they can over rule that, as they are attempting to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

There is a lot of nonsense there about parallels with the constitution and people in power deciding beliefs. As already said, there is much nonsense about elections. The point about diversity is that Anglicanism is made of several different Church identities and ideologies, and these are handled in a spirit of diversity and compromise. What Chris Sugden does not refer to is what he means by the standard of teaching. The fact is that what ‘calls people to be there’ is interpreted so very differently, and that is, in Anglicanism, how it should be. The spirit of breadth, space and… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Aren’t CofE bishops elected as well? I mean, don’t the Dean and Chapter go through a process of electing who they are told to elect?

The real irony of Sugden’s “analysis” is the brazen Orwellianism. The draft Covenant centralizes power in the hands of the Primates – giving these foreign prelates veto power over the internal decision-making process of every Province. And somehow he positions this coup d’eglise as a major democratization and as a limitation on those with power.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Is the Church of England / the Anglican Communion a confessional church? It confesses the supreme authority of the Holy Scripture and subscribes to the Catholic Creeds. It has spelt out its confession in its formularies, ( the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles of Religion and the 1662 ordinal).” So? And why this adoration of the Articles of Religion? Do members of the C of E regularly read them and make sounds of hearty assent? Do you all regularly hear preaching from the two Books of Homilies [art XXXV]? As for the 1662 BCP, I have a copy printed… Read more »

ettu
Guest
ettu

Thanks but no thanks – we have enough to agree about already and this smacks of a power hungry group of dominators – I assume there are no dominatrixes in view of this groups dislike of female priests.

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

It’s a bad plan. Whoever is decieved by it is profoundly duped into a divisive powergrab.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Interesting: “They oppose any idea of covenant because they do not wish to be accountable… ” Disrespect for the faith of others, might this be a subtle form of reviling? It isn’t because of a desire to maintain the Catholic faith and tradition, no, only a desire for easy willful disobedience. I think that’s false witness,no? “perhaps out of a preference for structures more tied to our imperial past.” You’re an Imperialist if you don’t let me boss you around! What infuriating doublespeak! “(the AC)confesses the supreme authority of the Holy Scripture… If (Scripture and tradition) are in conflict, our… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

yeah, Sugden’s arguments are cover-up edifices, and the bottom line is always that HIS sort of believer is the only real and possible believer, and thus endowed/called by God to police any other sort of believer, no matter what. His utter confidence in a written covenant, and utter lack of confidence in the complex web of worldwide Anglican relationships around domains of witness, worship, Tikkun Olam service, and the like strikes me as nearly as embarrassing to his point of view as are the Anglican realignment propensities for bearing false witness against prog-lib believers, and queer folks, too. I can… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The key concerns about the covenant were well summarised. Lapinbizarre made an excellent point regarding the nature of electing bishops. One contemplation is that there are some strongly entrenched leaderships with an “us” and “them” mentality vis a vis alternative interpretations. A long-term coterie of a handful of bishops, who have been campaigning and affirming each other for decades will not allow a black sheep into their inner sanctum. Some make blasphemous claims that Jesus is the complete manifestation of God, so the Old Testament is only relevant to prove Jesus is the new god and earlier players are superceded.… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

A briefer, presumably earlier version of Dr. Sugden’s observations, dated June 13th, was published by “Anglican Mainstream” as a preface to the “Draft Anglican Covenant” paper of Dean Colin Slee and others. Sugden’s “unelected” argument wholly ignores the fact that all five signatories of the paper opposing the covenant are writing not in their “unelected” capacities as Dean of Southwark, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, etc., but as elected members of the Church of England’s General Synod, a circumstance which Sugden indirectly acknowledges when signs his preface in that same capacity (“Oxford 183”). In an earlier posting to this… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

“It is not JUST the GS who oppose the innovations of a few in the AC. “There are many opponents to the TECinnovations within TEC and certainly there are many strong opponents within the CofE.” This may be so. The Archbishop of Canterbury has himself expressed strong disapproval of the consecration of Gene Robinson. But he has also said, and I think most Anglicans agree, that this is not one of those issues by which the Church stands or falls. The GS are treating it as if it were. In short, Anglicans disagree on many gay-related issues, but by and… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Over at Titus 1.9 the Diocese of Virginia’s rejection of the covenant proposal has been greeted by a deluge of the same kind of illogical argumentation I criticized above. The Titus 1.9 people already speak as if the Covenant had a status that obliged all good Anglicans to accept it humbly. The very sensible, theologically grounded critique of the covenant by the Diocese of Virginia is treated as an adolescent tantrum with no theological content. Have these people ever studied theology? Or has their fundamentalist thinking so dulled their theological ear that they do not recognize theological language when they… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

A paragraph on the doctrines of the Incarnation and Trinity followed by one implying that Lambeth 1.10 is “the standard of teaching to which the Anglican Communion is committed” is disconcerting to say the least, and evidence that the Covenant will be a process of doctrinal authoritarianism, as much as one seeking to heal apparent rifts. In previous posts, I suggested that Lambeth 1.10 is self-refuting. I was wrong. It is central to the love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin thesis. The ‘hate the sinner’ mob are told to tone down their language, while the ‘pink agenda’ crowd are told to play ball and shut… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Have these people ever studied theology? Or has their fundamentalist thinking so dulled their theological ear that they do not recognize theological language when they hear it?”— Fr Joseph O’Leary

Right on, Father Joseph!

NP
Guest
NP

Noinstitution can exist and work productively without an agreed set of principles…..this is just COMMON SENSE. Only the AC has been daft enough to think it can survive (let alone thrive) while trying to contain completely contradictory views, having people assert that they are faithful members while breaking all rules they do not like – this ain’t COMMON SENSE for an organisation that wants to grown and reach out. Why has the AC tried to tolerate contradictory views? Why has it been too scared to say, “you do not agree with the AC and its resolutions, please go start your… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Fr Joseph I like your sentiments. The other thing that is hard to document on editable boards is how the “hate the sinner” camp have had to backflip on other matters such as God caring about justice in this world, the environment, abolishing slavery, Jesus’ imagery leading into that fateful passover. They claim to be the same as us as they co-opt our paradigms when they realise they are theologically robust and relevant to the collective consciousness. They have no shame in pretending that it is what they stood for all along. TA stands as a forum that provides the… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Kurt and FJOL – yes, Canon Dr Sugden and Rev Dr Andrew Goddard have studied theology – maybe with more distinction than you?

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

NP asked Why has the AC tried to tolerate contradictory views?

wot? like the Real Presence versus sundry heretical views on the Sacrament….?

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

The Titus 1.9 people often act as if they have not studied theology, NP.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

I get seriously ****ed off with this ‘my degree’s bigger than yours’ nonsense. It is perfectly possible to take a higher degree in an area of theology (or even an affilated area) without once addressing the nitty-gritty problems of hermeneutics. I have no idea where the illuminati of Reform took their doctorates, nor for what those doctorates were awarded. I do know that a doctorate per se says much about an individual’s intelligence in terms of raw proicessing power and their ability to deliver a reasoned argument on their chosen theme. But a PhD in (say) divergent readings in the… Read more »

JPM, Ph.D.
Guest
JPM, Ph.D.

One thing the process of earning a Ph.D. taught me is that there are plenty of fools with Ph.D.s. They are usually the ones who try to win every argument by pointing to their doctorates.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I have a PhD in sociology, focusing on sexuality, but I’m sure that wouldn’t mean you would accept my views, NP!

Pluralist, Ph.D, MA, BA, CSE
Guest

This is so pathetic. I’m sure everyone is aware of the technique, which is to raise the matter of qualifications, and then repeat over and over again the same point as a kind of spoiler to argument. I didn’t even rent an academic gown. I went to a photo session, put one on, snap, and took it off. I have never been to one degree ceremony. As for a gown in church, my mum got some good material from a shop in Mansfield and for £50 made one. It put symbols on it I wanted at the time, I’ve used… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

When I said they seem to have forgotten their theology, I was not referring to hermeneutical nitty-gritty but to their claim that the Virginia statement had no theology in it; in fact it has a solid theological perspective to which the GS, whatever their theological formation may be, have rendered themselves blind, or so it seems to me. The statement perfectly well addresses NP’s remark: “No institution can exist and work productively without an agreed set of principles…..this is just COMMON SENSE.” It points to the deep grounds of theological unity that have held and still hold the Anglican Communion… Read more »

Laurence Roberts CSE Maths , grade 4
Guest
Laurence Roberts CSE Maths , grade 4

As far as I know, Jesus and the first disciples had no paper qualifications

only hearts and minds opening to the unfolding present moment

‘Heaven of such imperfection made’

(RS Thomas)

Pluralist
Guest

articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae

Sorry, I’m a bit thick. What does this mean?

Hugh of Lincoln, 'O'Level RE
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln, 'O'Level RE

Come on Pluralist; with so many letters after your name I would have expected you to know 😉

PS. Thought academic hoods were not worn at Eucharist – when we’re all equal, but allowed at Morning and Evening Prayer.(???)

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae an article by which the church stands or falls Much talked of the in Reformation period, and contrasted, I think, with adiaphora (matters of less moment). Today’s reading from Galatians points to a Church whose one law is love. It warns against abusing the glorious freedom Christ has given us by letting it be an occasion for the flesh, but it in no way sets up iron laws to reduces consciences to bondage. Those who want to make strictures against particular expressions of sexual love articles by which the church stands or falls are very… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Calm down chaps…. …my point is that too often on TA when people do not like the views of others we get comments questioning their academic credentials (as above) or saying ideas are “pagan-rooted” or implying that it is mainly Africans who do not get the sophisticated ideas held by TEC….some people here get irritated when such attacks on people’s conservative views are challenged by the facts! I know some wish that the opposition to TEC’s innovations could be written off as a small, ignorant group in the AC….but I am afraid that event he liberal ABC admits that there… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Sugden’s formula is the Bible alone. He believes that it is perfectly clear on moral issues. Yet his own evangelical constituency cannot agree what the Bible teaches as regards divorce and re-marriage…hence “his” Covenant and the Reform Covenant deliberately sidestep this issue. ( look at the clauses) He also knows that the ” orthodox” in the USA including bishops are riddled with divorce and re-marriage. To the extent when I tried to raise this on a conservative blog web I met with criticism and threats. Any reference to marriage in the Anglican Covenant must explicitly deal with divorce and re-marriage… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Let’s see, NP, who was it who recently poo-pooed Pluralist’s academic credentials? And who persists in tearing phrases out of context – “Pagan-rooted”; “mainly Africans” – to imply that those disagreeing with him are racist? As to Lambeth 1.10 – as I asked the other day (not that you replied; answering the uncomfortable not, it seems, being among your stronger points) – what about Lambeth V.13, or Lambeth ’88 Resolution 72 (both titled “Episcopal Responsibilities and Diocesan Boundaries”)? Are we to assume that only such Lambeth resolutions as serve your ends have “ex cathedra” status? ps Unlike Pluralist, who seems… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Dear Lapin – since pluralist felt he was in a position to question the credentials or assumptions of others, I think it is perfectly legit to have a look at his website and see what his are. Boundary crossings – addressed many times….do you notice that there is no Tanzania Communique on the issue? DO you notice the thousands of Americans who REQUEST oversight from their heretical leaders? Do you not see that if an area has been taken over by a subversive leadership, it is always going to be necessary for faithful Anglicans to seek faithful bishops from outside….and… Read more »