Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Covenant: new draft documents

Updated Thursday morning

Anglican Communion News Service Covenant Design Group issues communique and draft

An Anglican Covenant – St Andrew’s Communique

Introduction to the Anglican Covenant (St Andrew’s Draft)

An Anglican Covenant – St Andrew’s Draft Text

An Anglican Covenant – Commentary to the St Andrew’s Draft

An Anglican Covenant – Draft Appendix Framework Procedures for the Resolution of Covenant Disagreements

PDF file containing the above documents

Update

Initial press reactions:

Tameka Lundy Bahama Journal New Try At Consensus In Anglican Church

Jonathan Petre Daily Telegraph Anglican Church sets up peacemaker court

Religious Intelligence Draft Covenant text issued

Marites N Sisson Anglican Journal Communion distributes second draft of proposed ‘covenant’

Episcopal News Service Covenant Design Group issues communiqué and second draft

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Nom de PlumePrior AelredPat O'NeillEphraim RadnerMalcolm+ Recent comment authors
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poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

chapter summary of chapter 11 of catch 22 by joseph heller – courtesy of sparksnotes: Captain Black is pleased to hear that Colonel Cathcart has volunteered the men for the lethal mission of bombing Bologna. Captain Black hates the men and gloats about their terrifying, violent task. He is extremely ambitious and had hoped to be promoted to squadron commander, but when Major Major is picked over him, he lapses into a deep depression, out of which the Bologna mission lifts him. Captain Black tries to get revenge on Major Major by initiating the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade, during which… Read more »

Matthew Duckett
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Matthew Duckett

The new draft has ignored the Archbishop of Canterbury’s own response about his own role, which is an amazing act of cheek. To quote from the Church of England Response: “the Archbishop of Canterbury… as the bishop who presides in the Anglican Communion… is a locus and means of its unity… exercises a ministry of primacy that involves teaching, the gathering of his fellow bishops to take counsel together, and determining which churches belong to the Anglican Communion”. There’s diddly squit about that last point in the new draft. The new draft also empowers any Instrument of Communion, by itself,… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Thanks loads PoppyT, I agree, agree, agree. It ain broken so it donna need fixin. But the real political question is, will these new bases for policing and punishing offer sufficient means to the conservative realignment campaign, that it signs off in one way or ‘tother, and settles its malicious campaigning in for the really long Anglican haul? Can this new covenant become a familiar foundation for constantly bearing false witness against all manner of neighbors, as meanly as possible so that they will feel pressured to turn to the closed mean gospel of so much conservative campaigning; and will… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Archbishop “Stand and Deliver” of parts of the former Atlantis is not going to be able to ramrod HIS loyalty oath fantasy (of his own mixing) down the throats of fellow Anglicans…since The Archbishop has already betrayed fellow Anglicans by preaching “division” as the “consecration” of irregular bishops in Africa (who cross boundries but luckily not HIS Provincial boundries…yet). I’m afraid it is +Gomez that needs clarity in his thinking and beliving as his actions harm fellow human beings and betray already existing “oaths” and COMMANDMENTS…selective thinking/beliving are dangerous to fellow human beings…but, most of us know that already without… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

From the draft: “The Primates and Moderators are called to work as representative of their Provinces in collaboration with one another in mission and in doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have communion-wide implications.”

In the military, they call that mission creep.

The Primates and Moderators are call to pray, study and to be mutually supportive. This is just a more subtle form of the self-aggrandizing tripe whereby the Primates propose to become a Curia.

Just say “no.”

Malcolm+
Guest

Further from the draft: “Any such request would not be binding on a Church unless recognised as such by that Church. However, commitment to this covenant entails an acknowledgement that in the most extreme circumstances, where a Church chooses not to adopt the request of the Instruments of Communion, that decision may be understood by the Church itself, or by the resolution of the Instruments of Communion, as a relinquishment by that Church of the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose, until they re-establish their covenant relationship with other member Churches.” In other words, a request from the Instruments… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

With reference to the proposed procedures. There is no better example of the nostrum “hard cases make bad law.” This is a perverse, bureaucratic stitch-up designed to enhance the power of a handful of scheming political operatives. And that final clause has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever read from any international Anglican Communion body. Essentially it says that the Anglican Consultative Council shall decide the matter after the fact. Only an idiot tries to set the rules after the fact. I thought the idea had been to appoint smart people to the Covenant Design Group. I have… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Sydney will not want this as she does not use the elements that Christ ordained,i.e. Sydney uses grape juice instead of wine.

It also seems to block the way to Lay presidency.

No wonder they are taking the Lambeth boycott path. Blame it on the gays rather than admit they do not want the Covenant.

Jennifer
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Jennifer

Please read the thing carefully, folks. If one reads it as an expression of desire for punitive measures, I suppose one can possibly see that in one of the end clauses… but look at what’s ‘gone’ from the initial draft. Read it in light of the responses from the C of E and others. I find it strange that the sort of anxiety that I see for example on Stand Firm is showing up here. More attentive reading, please.

John Henry
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John Henry

“This is a perverse, bureaucratic stitch-up designed to enhance the power of a handful of scheming political operatives.” – Malcolm+. That is also my assessment of the St. Andrew’s/Ash Wednesday New Draft Anglican Covenant. The Anglican Communion would do well, during Lent, to read carefully the collection of James D.G. Dunn’s Essays on The New Perspective on Paul, revised edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing co., 2006). Dunn’s Essays present a careful reading especially of Galatians and Romans as well as of the issues that divided the first-cent. A.D. Church. The whole brouhaha was over boundary issues, such as circumcision, dietary… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Plus conservative evangelicals would have problems with baptism making us members of the Church.

MrsBarlow
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MrsBarlow

I’m not necessarily against this covenant, however I think the design group has really botched this draft given the number of typos, and the enormous slap in the face to our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church in the following phrase in the commentary:

The Archbishop of Canterbury exercises his ministry collegially with his brother Primates.

Since when was Katharine a boy’s name?

I also think it would be wise to remove the gendered reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘he’ from the actual covenant. It might be 200 years away, but it will happen.

Prior Aelred
Guest

I am assuming that “Church” means constituent province, but it is not good for that sort of definition to be unclear in a legal document (as we recently saw with the Bishop of Quincy reading TEC’s canons “the Communion of this Church” to mean the WWAC which (dis?)organization didn’t even exist when the original language of this canon was composed). I would also like some clarity of the membership of the ACC — if it is going to be the primates & their appointees, it shouldn’t have any authority whatsoever (the primates having repeated demonstrated their inability to accomplish any… Read more »

poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

all this discussion simply demonstrates that any covenant will leave us worse off than before. by discussing proposals we are being drawn into tacit acceptance of the possibility. we should simply argue the case against a covenant of any kind.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

My first reaction to : “(1.2.4) to ensure that biblical texts are handled faithfully, respectfully, comprehensively and coherently, primarily through the teaching and initiative of bishops and synods, and building on habits and disciplines of Bible study across the Church and on rigorous scholarship, believing that scriptural revelation continues to illuminate and transform individuals, cultures and societies;” The framework document of the Global South Catechism has a far more catholic understanding of the responsibility of ALL the faithful when it comes to the interpretation of scripture – it even says rather naughtily that people should study the scripture themselves so… Read more »

Matthew Duckett
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Matthew Duckett

A second thought, if I may. The Church of England response wanted this written in to the covenant:

“[We commit ourselves] to refrain from intervening in the life of other Anglican churches (sc. provinces) except in extraordinary circumstances where such intervention has been specifically authorised by the relevant Instruments of Communion.”

It wasn’t. I wonder why?

Matthew

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Drexel Gomez should have resigned from, or been removed from, the Design Group after he participated in the Kenya consecrations of Attwood and Murdoch last August. Ne no longer has the integrity to participate in, let alone chair, an already highly suspect process.

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“[We commit ourselves] to refrain from intervening in the life of other Anglican churches (sc. provinces) except in extraordinary circumstances where such intervention has been specifically authorised by the relevant Instruments of Communion.”

Might it be that some members of both the CofE and the GS can see what’s coming?

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Hugely significant is the comment that just 13 Churches (I’m not too keen on Provinces!) found the interest/time/resources to respond to the Nassau Draft. Among those responding we are told: “both the idea of covenant and the usefulness of the term “covenant” were questioned” Yet the Commentary to the draft strangely then concludes “all signalled a willingness to move forward, despite various questions and concerns, and a clear mandate was given to this meeting of the CDG.” I have commented on earlier threads that one of the principle problems apparatchiks at Lambeth and the ACO experience is the (sometimes almost… Read more »

Eamonn
Guest
Eamonn

Listen to Jennifer, friends, and then go back, read and reflect. I am still unconvinced that we need a covenant, but if the Communion as a whole eventually agrees that we should, then this draft, and its differences from the previous one, should be weighed up as dispassiontely as possible, rather than provoking knee-jerk reactions.

Malcolm+
Guest

This seeming improvements from the previous draft to this draft are only cosmetic.

The bizarre provision for the ACC to decide post facto that some particular action means that people have expelled themselves is simply the stupidest clause I’ve ever read in a legal document, draft or otherwise.

The curial – indeed, quasi-papal – authority handed to the Primates collectively is not diminished, merely disguised.

Just say “no.”

Ephraim Radner
Guest
Ephraim Radner

Martin Reynolds raises a good question regarding “responses” and their representation. We discussed this at length. It is interesting that the majority of formal provincial responses came from Western churches where both the habit and capacity for discursive meetings of church officials, leaders, and representatives are well-rooted, and where English is a first language. Many Provinces in Africa and Asia, on the other hand, were able to offer only informal responses, usually conveyed through other means (Primates, representatives on other international commissions, etc.) than Provincial synods or committees. Are these informal responses accurate (they were largely quite positive)? That is… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“There has been a demand from these quarters that the “processes of reception” are more clearly defined and that the locus of authority within the Anglican Communion is more easily identified so that the reception process can be seen to be working and that agreements can be seen to have some standing. They have indeed asked that the Anglican Communion behave more like A Church.” Then, I say, that is THEIR problem, not ours. The Anglican Communion is not a church…it is a brotherly/sisterly bond among autonomous churches with a common history. They should be seeking reception with each of… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Martin Reynolds —

Excellent point! Of course there is no one person or group who speaks with authority for the WWAC — that is why all ecumenical agreements have been between specific churches (or provinces), rather than the Communion as a whole (although a “trickle across” theory has often been assumed).

At some place Andrew Brown (IIRC) suggested that he did not think that Rowan Williams really believes in the Anglican Communion — if so, he is certainly doing his best to see that it does not exist in future!

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Glad to have some comments from one of the Designers. I wonder if the process for responding to the next draft will respet the timelines of the Provinces’ internal processes? e.g. the next General Convention for ECUSA is 2009 and the next General Synod for the Anglican Church of Canada is 2010. That would allow for a preliminary response to the post-Lambeth draft. Any reasonable process would allow Lambeth 2018 to take a look before a final version is sent to the Provinces for ratification. Also, there is a problem with the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury within the… Read more »