Thinking Anglicans

GS: Anglican Covenant contribution

Graham Kings, vicar of St Mary Islington and associated with Fulcrum and Jonathan Clark, rector of St Mary Stoke Newington and associated with Affirming Catholicism have jointly written an article which you can read here: Stretching and the Spirit: The Anglican Covenant.

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Pluralist
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Graham Kings does like his analogies: one minute it is watercourses and next minute it is beating drums. Here he is trying to extend the constituency approving the Covenant to include Affirming Catholicism, seen as different from the Modern Churchpeople’s Union: he has debated with me that I am at the extreme of liberalism and thus opposed to a Covenant and he sees Affirming Catholicism as liberal *catholic* as opposed to MCU as *liberal* catholic. Therefore Affirming Catholicism is more likely to be pro-Covenant. I.m not sure if it has made its position clear yet. As for this argument, the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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“No pain no gain” is a popular sporting motto. The world collectively prayed for a solution to terrorism when planes were flown into the World Trade Centre. God heard that call, to solve terrorism involves solving the paradigms that justify acts of violence, intimidation and autocracy. Throughout history leaders have sought out priests to justify their conduct. Terrible regimes and offences are done when they find priests that are willing to placate or collude in the repression of both their own people as well as the outcastes and neighbours. We are on the brink of biological engineering that is going… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

“…there may well be parts of the Communion for whom this sacrifice is too great.”

Too great for the C of E. Can’t see how subordinating Synod to an unaccountable collective papacy “will promote our Anglican pattern of synodical governance”. It threatens to undermine our polity and autonomy.

It also means illiberal opinion will determine a universal policy on the gay question.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

The “stretching” analogy is plain silly – it would be interesting to know which “co-author” came up with it. To take what Robert Runcie preached at Lambeth 1988 and quote it as evidence of what he would say in the wake of developments since then, particularly the varied developments the past ten years, verges on dishonesty. Note that this communiquĂ© is issued by Fulcrum (a click on “headlines” on the top-bar will give some idea of what we’re talking about here). How will Affirming Catholics react to what appears to be an attempt to use their name to give a… Read more »

Curtis
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Curtis

Afirming Catholicism. Ugh, if that’s where this thing is going then I’m going somewhere else. I’m not staying in a church that holds “interdependence” with a gaggle of fag-bashers.

Tim Stewart
Guest
Tim Stewart

Stretching is good. 🙂

Stretching into a covenant may well be good.

Should one, however, stretch until one has embraced invidious and illegal discrimination
(or its predecessor chattel slavery)as well as bigotry and prejudice, even though some of our beloved communicants have done?

It appears that a great majority of Anglicans don’t want this to be a deal breaker, and thus it seems clear that any covenant which would satisfy the present threatening schismatics is impossible.

YMMV

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

If the covenant means interdependence and stretching of categories, then that is to be welcomed. One area in which such interdependence and stretching could most luminously be shown is in recognition of the interdependence of Christians of different sexual vocations: gay, lesbian, heterosexual etc. Stretching of categories could involve amplification of the Pauline gospel of freedom and love to integrate recognition of the loving and responsible experience of gays and gay couples into the texture of a Christian vision.

Crescens
Guest
Crescens

I am curious: which of these clerical gentlemen has any substantial number of gays and lesbians in his parish? As assisting clergy? Serving at the altar? Members of their PCC?

Jut asking….

NP
Guest
NP

Oh dear….looks like the “anti-covenant” brigade (i.e. anti any kind of discipline or order in the AC)cannot count on the “open” evangelicals NOR even the sensible liberals who can see that it just does not make sense for an organisation to try and hold contradictory views at the same time….unless it wants to self-destruct or be paralysed by internal squabbling.

It is just common sense that there is an agreed covenant…..especially when we see what the subversion of Lambeth 1.10 has led to in the AC (ie chaos and a pathetic spectacle to the rest of the world)

NP
Guest
NP

crescens – what would that prove?

you know if they believe in upholding the teaching of the church, they would have nobody in leadership who would not agree with Lambeth 1.10?

Simon Cawdell
Guest

What Pluralist and the anti convenanters are consistantly failing to do is to provide a clear justification why they are not even willing engage in a process towards a covenant, the content of which remains to be finalised, and the process towards which allows plenty of time for consultation. It is as though the are supporters of a team tryng to call foul before the whistle has blown to sart the game. The convenant is necessary in some form as the old order has been shown not to work. The vote in synod is to recognise that. The actual content… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Curtis – this strikes me as being totally out of line with “Affirming Catholicism”, which is a liberal catholic group, a counterbalance to “Forward in Faith”. It is in favour of women’s ordination and, broadly, of gay ordination. Jeffrey John is a prominent supporter.

http://www.affirmingcatholicism.org.uk/pages/default.asp?sId=0

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

Our three-legged stool comprising Scripture/Tradition/Reason, is joined by Catholic/ Evangelical, Orthodox/Heterodox, Conservative/Liberal, Traditionalist/Modern wings on everything from theology and ethics to worship and ecclesiology.

Funny how, post-Colenso, we got along quite amiably with such diverse views and practices until – Shock, Horror: Gays spoilt the party by being a bit more open.

Windsor tried unsuccessfully to detach itself from the presenting issue. But as we all know, The Covenant is a hasty attempt to solve the gay problem once and for all, not any other aspect of Communion life.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“SUBVERSION of Lambeth 10.1”, yet. Back on the “Four legs good, two legs bad” mantra. “Same old, same old”, eh, NP?

How ’bout subversion of Lambeth V.13 (“Episcopal Responsibilities and Diocesan Borders”) and Lambeth ’88 resolution 72 (“affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop or priest of this Communion to exercise episcopal or pastoral ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the ecclesiastical authority thereof.”)?

http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1998/1998-5-13.cfm

http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1988/1988-72.cfm

Jonathan Clark
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Jonathan Clark

In answer to crescens – this one does (categories one, three and four anyway, and two would be welcome too). I am not yet ready to assume that covenant is going to be an excuse for persecution of LGBT people, just because some want to make it so. Joseph O’Leary (I really hope that isn’t an avatar) sums up my own angle on all this really well

Marshall Scott
Guest

I can accept the stretching analogy, but like all analogies this one has its limits. Materials can be stretched to good purpose – as long as the materials are sufficiently flexible and durable to survive the process. I’ve been watching the America’s Cup racing a bit. New Zealand lost one race to the Swiss when a small flaw in a spinaker sail became a tear, and then a shred. The “material” of the Anglican Communion may well stand up to a careful, gentle stretching. A longer, well debated process may well produce a Covenant that all can sign on to.… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I’ve got a few broken records here. I’ll put this one on: Lambeth 1:10 is not a law of the Church. Ah, here is another one. There is a longstanding position of the Lambeth Quadrilateral that has gained common consent. There is a more recent brokien record here, and it is that the Covenant with Primates making decisions undeermines synodical government, which is a form of order. Ah there is another broken record. It plays the one about always had different views in the Church and this is what makes Anglicanism what it has been for as long as anyone… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

>It is as though the are supporters of a team tryng to call foul before the whistle has blown to start the game…. The actual content [of the Covenant] will come back again.< Simon Cawdell There is no assumption that the old order does not work. The old order is doing what was done over ordaining women. Some are slower, some don’t like it. Someone is elevating this “Communion” into something more than it was, but if it is as was then it retains differences as it did. But what of this game? The game has a set of rules… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Believing two contradictory things at the same time reads foolish, on the face of the phrase. But a deeper look suggests that just such foolishness might be passing, heuristic wisdom in times of great changes – whether in data and/or in paradigms. Each sea change past loudly preached its doomsdays. The sky would fall in if people of faith changed how they thought, how they understood, how they lived, inside church life and inside the wider cultures at hand. In physics we palpably coexist in our pursuits of various frames and strategies, which hold true within certain limits, according to… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

I am very sorry to hear about sensible evangelicals, and Affirming Catholicism going down this road. Interdependence yes – but voluntarily so. That is always the best way of operating. I am reminded of the ridiculous 80s and 90s tinkering to put paishes into ‘Team Ministries’ where the dynamic is always skewed because the Team Rector is the boss. A ‘cluster’ model is always better, because people cooperate on a shared endeavour on a voluntary and equal basis.

Neil
Guest
Neil

ps This also looks like ambitious men not wanting to undermine boss Rowan. They must know that there is nothing Anglican is spirit or ethos about any Covenant.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Re Simon Cawdell. The Covenant is wrong in principle regardless of content. It is un Anglican. The old order has not in fact failed – the problem is that the ABC (for whatever reason) has failed to face down threatening bullies manipulated by rich North American (mainly evangelical) traditionalists. The CofE will refuse to be bullied. I do not believe the Covenant will be passed in the end, and therefore the sooner it is thrown out the better for all. We have all been outwitted by well organised dark forces – and the logic of going down the Covenant route… Read more »

NP
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NP

Pluralist – not broken records just the facts having to be repeated given some do not want to hear tham…….

So, yes, I am sorry you do not like it but most of the AC is sick of having a small no of people openly ignoring agreed positions – this is why we have had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique already – but some still do not get it…….and think these facts can also be ignored at will

Chris
Guest
Chris

The newspeak is getting pretty deep in here.

The Covenant is supported by “traditionalists” but goes against “traditional Anglicanism.”

Scripture in itself bears clear witness to contradictions, but it not clear – or at least not reliable – about human sexuality.

The Spirit is stretching us today by reversing a number of teachings (not just about sexuality) from the 1st C.

Those teachings of the 1st C are not totally reliable, because they are culturally conditioned – and that’s bad. But today’s new teaching of the Spirit is good precisely because it’s culturally conditioned.

NP
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NP

Neil – what a conspiracy it all is!!

How did these “dark forces” you see get TEC to do their bidding and cause the crisis we see in the AC?

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Affirming Catholicism is not going down that road, Neil, at least, not on the basis of this document. Clark happens to be on AC’s Synod steering group, and that, so far as I can see, is where any connection ends. Whether the co-authors would like the reader to assume that there is a greater connection – as you have done – is another matter.

ps Have not seen a Göran posting in ages. Still around, I hope.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Drdanfee, good modeling. Pluralist, I liked the broken record retort and insight that inept teachers rely on repeating mantra because they don’t understand the founding principles. This comment is an example “What …the anti convenanters are consistantly failing to do is to provide a clear justification why they are not even willing engage in a process towards a covenant…” Biblical reasons to block. Habbakkuk 1:4 “Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” Jeremiah 2:7-8 Jer 2:7 “I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Here we go then (I am deliberately avoiding the continuing broken record) with a question:

Affirming Catholicism – would you like to put on your website, as a group, your position on the as proposed so far Covenant for the Anglican Communion?

It is a burning question, the Synod is coming; many, it seems, are against the Covenant at your end of the Church, but your once big figure Rowan Williams is in favour (or something else to do a similar task he said last).

Malcolm+
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Malcolm+

But Simon, the game has already begun. And one of the teams has proposed that they should get to rewrite the rule book AND appoint the referees.

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

“…this is why we have had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique already – but some still do not get it…….and think these facts can also be ignored at will…”

NP repeats and repeats and repeats, ad nauseam, his/her mantra.

Those may be, in NP’s mind, the equivalent of the Council of Nicaea, but in the mind of most of the provinces of the Anglican Communion, it does not achieve that significance.

Sorry NP. By now you need a new needle for your old record.

Neil
Guest
Neil

NP – There has clearly been a determined alternative agenda from your constituency long before the consecration of Gene Robinson. Even before the last Lambeth. I grant that (on a purely political level) the action of TEC played into your hands. Your lot should have been faced down over the celibate Jeffrey John (though praise God that Gene is not).

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Aff Cath Synod members have at least one declared opponent of the Covenant. More will follow I hope. A declaration would help.

We already have ecclesiastical anarchy in the C of E with Resolution C parishes doing their own thing. But I detect a softening of the FiF line in a more Aff Cath direction. The schism in the Catholic wing could be beginning to heal.

This GS 1661 coup d’eglise should be resisted: the solution to anarchy isn’t dictatorship, but a continuation of liberal democracy.

Keep the tanks from rolling in, I say.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The covenant is all about shutting down any prog-lib theological or faith tendencies, hitherto welcome and alive in worldwide Anglicanism. Every realignment campaigner blog I’ve read admits and presumes this goal or function, as do many other observers, up to and including some inside or outside Anglican church life. Everything else is distraction, cover story, and spin doctor packaging. High flying diction about covenant which will clearly permit Akinola and his sort of realignment conservative to lay absolute claims on TEC, or prog-lib believers everywhere around the planet, but which define away and presuppose that the reverse can never happen,… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Jerry – I repeat these facts of AC history because some people like to pretend that they did not happen….and just because maybe 5% of AC members do not like the decisions that have been made, some want to say they do not have authority…..I repeatedly mention them because they are real and are widely accepted as reasonable responses……..just hoping the AC had responded differently to TEC’s actions since 2003 will not lead to a better outcome in your eyes, sorry. Neil – I do not deny that many have for a long time been keen to see the AC… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

As someone who likes prog-rock, I know, I like this new term prog-lib. No Cheryl, I didn’t say that. You wrote: “I liked the broken record retort and insight that inept teachers rely on repeating mantra because they don’t understand the founding principles.” No, good teachers faced by pupils being disciplined employ the broken record technique to stop them answeering back. It is anti-argument employed at a particular moment. My point is that it is anti-argument. However, you then have the shattered teacher, one perhaps who never gained control in the classroom, who ends up in a psychologically dishevelled state… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“The Covenant is wrong in principle regardless of content. It is un Anglican.” I think you are confusing right and wrong with Anglican and un-Anglican. It is Jesus’ will that we be one. There’s nothing wrong, in principle, with making mutual commitments in order to enter into a deeper unity. What is wrong with the current proposals is that they are being designed for use as a cudgel against certain provinces. So, let’s not confuse the idea that greater mutual dependance is desirable with the flaws of this specific proposal which will need to be addressed if it has any… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

ruidh says “There’s nothing wrong, in principle, with making mutual commitments in order to enter into a deeper unity.”

yes – but (being realistic) maybe deeper unity requires that we have to let divisive elements walk apart

certainly the experience of the last few years shows that deeper unity is certainly not possible when people feel free to “tear the fabric of the communion” and the insist that the communion must accept their behaviour without realrepentance on their part

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP, What exactly is it about the blessing of gay unions in a church on the other side of the pond that upsets you so much? Is it merely about failure to obey some law? Do you fear that a married American gay couple will threaten your redemption? I ask because, as I have said before on many occasions, I do not understand the Evangelical unwillingness to tolerate what they see as errors in others when others have always tolerated what they considered as errors in Evangelicals. Why can you not show to others the tolerance that has been shown… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“let divisive elements walk apart” But you won’t, will you NP? You insist that everyone must understand Scripture and the faith the way you do, threaten and scheme and plot to get your way, accuse others of the very sins you yourselves are guilty of, deny that anyone who disagrees with you has any faith at all and certainly doesn’t have any respect for Scripture, then call everyone else rebellious because we don’t agree with you! No doubt that’s more fun, and you get to feel oh so holy, but it really isn’t helpful. Of course, it helps that you… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Ruidh – We already have the wherewithal to make the Communion work and mutual dependence has long been around in praying for one another and supporting link Dioceses etc. Long may it deepen and flourish. I believe any kind of Covenant to be wrong in principle – not just the one on the table at the moment. Picture the AC as a family, and then strict mothers/fathers like NP applying the family rules in a way that throws some out because they break the rules – this kind of behaviour would be highly unusual in most families I know. Arguments… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

ps – you make a Covenant with OTHER churches, not internally in your own family

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“Picture the AC as a family, and then strict mothers/fathers like NP applying the family rules in a way that throws some out because they break the rules – this kind of behaviour would be highly unusual in most families I know.” That depends on the rules. If I have a rule in my household that overnight guests are not permitted and my adult child breaks that rule, there will be consequences. Perhaps a loss of the privilege to call the family homestead a home. There’s nothing at all unusual with that. There’s nothing wrong with appropriate boundaries. We might… Read more »