Thinking Anglicans

another Covenant roundup

Updated Friday morning

Malcolm whose earlier article at Simple Massing Priest The Anglican Covenant and Democratic Centralism was listed only in the comments on my previous roundup, has written again, this one is titled Rowan and the real revisionists.

Neal Michell has written Is the Anglican Covenant Non-Anglican? at Covenant.

Leander Harding has written Commentary on the Anglican Covenant 2009.

Ruth Gledhill has interviewed Gregory Cameron, see Confidence in the Covenant? at Religious Intelligence and also Church of England to consider communion with conservatives in US at The Times together with General Synod to be asked to recognise ACNA.

Retired archbishop Moses Tay doesn’t think much of the Covenant, see Anglican Covenant ‘Whitewashes’ Denomination’s Immorality: Retired Archbishop exclusively in the Christian Post.

In a related matter, Kenneth Kearon has provided an explanation of the current legal status of the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council. See this article at Episcopal Café Anglican Constitution is what it seems to be and also this note from Lionel Deimel Communion Transparency, Take 3.

Addition

Scott Gunn has published Anglican Communion woes? Be not afraid.

The Private Members’ Motion relating to ACNA can be found here. Scroll up for an explanation of how motions get selected for debate.

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Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

From the Times article: “The Church of England is to consider recognising a new conservative church in the US in a move that will place further pressure on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, as he struggles to keep his fracturing Communion in one piece. “The General Synod will debate a private member’s motion next month calling for the Church of England to declare itself “in communion” with the Anglican Church in North America, formed in opposition to the pro-gay liberals in the official Anglican body in North America. “The synod, dominated by evangelicals, could pass the motion by… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

I find myself somewhat in agreement with Charlotte.

The vote on this resolution is a good test of where the Church of England really stands.

If the Church of England really wishes to align itself with institutionalized misogyny and homophobia, then perhaps TEC is better off outside the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Communion is becoming more and more a vehicle for oppression.

David da Silva Cornell
David da Silva Cornell
10 years ago

Re “The synod, dominated by evangelicals, could pass the motion by a 50 per cent majority, adding to the pressure on the primates and bishops to recognise the new church.”: I do find it difficult to believe that the very same body that has been so adamant of late in support of the ordination of women to the episcopate – and ordaining them without placing constraints on their functioning as bishops – would muster a simple majority for ACNA and against TEC. Would someone from the C of E please clarify whether the synod is in fact “dominated by evangelicals,”… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

I apologize for double-posting, but there is something else I wanted to say. I really think we (TEC) should just walk away. We should simply turn our backs on the C of E and the Anglican Communion and walk away. It saddens me to say so, because I have a degree of sentimental attachment to the whole thing. But this relationship we have with the C of E and the Anglican Communion — which some politely call “dysfunctional” — is really something much worse. Let’s look at the actual situation, without the sentimental glaze. If I do, I find myself… Read more »

John B. Chilton
10 years ago

Gledhill’s spin sounds like its meant to sell newspapers to people with short memories. This is the same synod that rather firmly approved women bishops last year. It seems unlikely it would declare itself in communion with ACNA.

Moreover – and Simon can clarify/correct me – I don’t believe that all private members motions make it as far as consideration by the full synod.

I’m not willing to sell the C of E short yet. And certainly not willing to abandon progressives in the C of E.

Marshall Scott
10 years ago

Interesting articles. Canon Michell’s argument is logical, although it has several lapses. First, that with all the proposed changes rejected in the first American Prayer Book, the Eucharistic prayer was still that of the Scottish church, and not the 1662 Prayer Book, demonstrating a separation and independence Canon Michell wishes to question. Second, in its own statements the first Lambeth Conference (and several subsequent Conferences) were clear that Lambeth was not to become a structure of authority to which bishops would submit. Third, the Windsor Report’s history of reception of the ordination of women at all (much less to the… Read more »

Pluralist
10 years ago

So the Right Reverend Moses Tay likens gay people and their sexual expression to ‘dirt’ and you can’t have dirt in the same Church as the non-dirty. Good to know that. It doesn’t matter whether he is for or against (he is against), his opinion is the evidence of how the Anglicanism that some seek to preserve by having the Covenant has lost the ethical argument. Diarmaid McCulloch put it recently – the Christian Church lost the various intellectual arguments, but there was always the ethical argument and what it represented – and it lost that too (he’s gay, incidentally).… Read more »

Bill Moorhead
10 years ago

I hope and pray that Charlotte is premature, although I am not certain that she is. I am a little puzzled by the school of moral theology to which Archbishop Tay evidently subscribes, according to which it is grievously immoral to ordain a gay person, but to execute one is apparently not worth comment. Better five years late than never: I have just finished reading Stephen Bates’ A Church At War. This does not leave me with positive feelings about the Church of England as a model for Anglicanism (though I concede that the CofE owns the franchise on the… Read more »

Reinhold Heinrich Pauls
Reinhold Heinrich Pauls
10 years ago

So, fellow American Episcopalians and Anglicans, let’s not waste our time trying to remain in relationship with the C of E, or Anglican Church of Nigeria or Uganda,or others of that ilk… They don’t want us, and that’s that. Let’s strengthen our bonds with the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, and any others that believe in seeing Christ in all people that we meet.

MarkBrunson
10 years ago

Amen, Charlotte, Amen!

As for me and my (TEC)house, we choose God over the false prophets of CofE evangelicalism.

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

Episcopalian Yank inquires: if the CofE General Synod were to pass Ms. Ashworth’s private motion, and—particularly if coupled w/ an excommunication of TEC—it were enacted by the Bishops, could an officially anti-gay CofE be cruising for a disestablishment? How long is the sparsely-attended CofE mouse supposed to roar, before the Parliamentary lion (representing all those pagans & heathens, some of the queer) has had enough?

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

Even a quick perusal of Neal Michell’s “Is the Anglican Covenant Non-Anglican?” turns up more errors than can be conveniently dealt with. But surely the most glaring, is the canard that “four dioceses have left TEC.” I suppose Michell means those dioceses whose previous bishops were deposed (for abandoning communion, not to mention their episcopal oathes) in the past two years? They are very much still dioceses constitutionally and canonically joined to and with TEC, thank you very much! Indeed, the Episcopalians who have reorganized after the schismatic bishops’ departures (regretably, with some clergy and laity) proclaim their extended Easter… Read more »

Malcolm+
10 years ago

Shorter Neal Michell:

“Here are three times in the past when member churches of the Anglican Communion agreed not to do what other member churches had asked them not to do. This proves that all member churches are bound to listen to any foreign prelate who happens to have a fit.”

His abuse of the Li Tim-Oi example is expecially grievous.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
10 years ago

Charlotte. You can be assured that what ever happens there will be many many thousands of CofE people who want nothing to do with homophobic schismatics, will reject such recognition and want to remain in good fellowship with you and TEC.

William
William
10 years ago

On a point of order, David – I have noticed before the world-wide too-rosy view of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Once one of the most Anglo-Catholic provinces in the communion – and – under Desmond Tutu’s leadership, possessor of a prophetic voice – it is now increasingly besieged from within by Evangelical homophobes – who are steadily assuming control. And all of this in a country where masses of people vehemently and successfully opposed a simple amendment to the Marriage Act to remove discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation – leaving us with a separate-but-equal (and therefore probably… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“. . it (The Final Covenant Document) implicitly proposes to subjugate those bonds of affection, that is the actual relationships of good will and faithful engagement; with a commitment to a document that appears to focus more on enforcing doctrinal agreement and applying discipline where it is absent.” – New Zealand’s Response to The Covenant – This paragraph from the New Zealand response to the revised Covenant Document, here quoted by *Simple Massing Priest* on his web-site, proclaims our N.Z. Church’s heartfelt feeling about what seems to be happening to the traditional culture of koinonia which was once the hall-mark… Read more »

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
10 years ago

Do you know what, Charlotte? You never listened to a word I said the last time you made a posting like this. You don’t even know how Synod is going to vote regarding ACNA, and you just want to turn your back on the whole CofE. I might point out that while 126 members have signed the ACNA motion, 123 members signed a motion asking for equal pension benefits to be paid to civil partners of deceased clergy. Similar numbers, aren’t they? Do you really think those 123 people are likely to support Ashworth’s motion. It’s alright for you to… Read more »

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
10 years ago

Also Charlotte, please explain how the CofE is draining TEC of its money.

Jim Naughton
10 years ago

Among the better ways to make certain that the Episcopal Church consents the election of Mary Glasspool and does not sign on to the Covenant, is for Gregory Cameron to keep running his mouth. He placed a board member of the IRD on the Covenant Design Group. Imagine the outcry if he had placed someone from an organization whose stated purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of another church in the Communion on that body. Indeed, it is precisely the previous behavior of Cameron, Tom Wright, Ephraim Radner and other proponents of the Covenant who have made it difficult for… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

“Gledhill’s spin sounds like its meant to sell newspapers to people with short memories. This is the same synod that rather firmly approved women bishops last year. It seems unlikely it would declare itself in communion with ACNA.” – John Chilton I agree with John Chilton’s assessment, and I also find Charlotte’s reaction somewhat irrational and certainly self-defeating. For my part, I refuse to give in to the fundamentalists who are trying to take over the Anglican Communion, and if one followed Charlotte’s plan, we would just make it easy for that to happen. Despite my previous bowing to Erika’s… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

Nick Lincoln, my understanding is that the Episcopal Church (USA) funds a large proportion of the activities of the Anglican Communion Office and that its subsidies help make the Lambeth Conferences possible. Because the Lambeth Conference keeps the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England at the center of Anglicanism worldwide, I think I can include both the Anglican Communion (in general) and the Church of England (in particular) in the list of those who benefit from TEC’s membership in the Anglican Communion. From those who benefit, TEC receives — what, exactly, again? (Besides verbal abuse, interference with our… Read more »

Curtis
Curtis
10 years ago

Since border crossing has become an acceptable practice, I’m hoping that mission work to the UK from TEC might be an up and coming new move. Canterbury needs some competition. After ‘lil President George we could use some grammatically correct english over here. Come over here and do church with us.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
10 years ago

Threatening schism is just not the Christian way of proceeding; see I Corinthians.

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
10 years ago

Charlotte, I understand how you feel. At least your safe haven is your Church. In the CofE, LGBT people and those who are supportive are largely at the mercy of the diocesan bishop. You have absolutely received verbal abuse and interference… from some members of the Communion. I’m not denying that, and I think that the way many Anglicans have responded to TEC’s actions is appalling. It is utterly disheartening to watch how the ABC is treating LGBT folk, and even women (now he’s hinting his dissatisfaction over women’s ordination). Those of us liberals in the CofE are, as you… Read more »

rick allen
10 years ago

All the above seem to assume that the C of E must be in communion either with TEC or ACNA. Is there any reason it can’t declare itself in communion with both?

Simon Robert Dawson
Simon Robert Dawson
10 years ago

Charlotte,

In the US you have Fox News. If as a Brit I took all of my information about the US from Fox news I might get the wrong impression of what was going on on your side of the Atlantic. Please understand that in the UK we also have religious journalists who are just like Fox News, but not quite as balanced. Many of the articles quoted here are polemical not factual.

Simon

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

If, as according to some quoted above, believe that TEC was insufficiently Anglican from the beginning, I wonder why in the 19th century the CoE and others let themselves be lured to the first Lambeth, which we helped organize.

Funny how some folks suddenly notice such things. Convenient, that.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
10 years ago

Jerry
In our previous conversation I had thought you were asking about the reactions to the Covenant of ordinary people in the pews.
Of course, General Synod is a different issue and there’s some small hope that they may not vote for it.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“I just would hate to see TEC walk away, as you are suggesting. We need TEC’s prophetic voice now more than ever. What can be achieved by TEC walking away on its own? More can be achieved by progressive Anglicans working for change from within.” – Nick Lincoln, on Friday – I absolutely agree with Nick’s statement here; of solidarity with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, on their prophetic stance towards the LGBT community in the Church and the World. My belief is that there are many within the Church of England who, if they were able, would… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
10 years ago

Charlotte: I think you have got the measure of the CofE. They have no courage. The liberals within it should have made it clear that they were backing and support TEC and their stance and if necessary , would split the entirely worthless and redundant, institutionally homophobic Anglican Communion. But the problem is, as the responses here show, they are too wedded to the institution and the nostalgic idea of a Communion to do the right thing They are compromisers with no courage and no backbone. Put it like this. You leave – and watch how many have the courage… Read more »

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

“And regarding your woman-in-an-abusive-relationship analogy: what would you do if The Law you reported the abuser to just sat back and let it happen? Or even condoned it? Would you run away and hide? Or would you do something about it?” – Posted by Nick Lincoln

Only my commitment to (Gospel-inspired) nonviolence prevents me from saying “See re ‘Good-bye, Earl'” (The Dixie Chicks)

;-/

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
10 years ago

You say, Merseymike that we are too wedded to the institution. The thing is, being the Established Church of England, we have a unique, national vocation to serve the entire country. This was a crucial part in my own vocation within God’s Church, and I don’t want to lose that. That doesn’t mean I don’t have courage, and I find the implication offensive. Some of the comments made on here are so very selfish. You’re not interested in supporting your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and you just want to walk away because the CofE isn’t moving fast enough… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
10 years ago

So far the latest rounds of consideration for this new covenant have been interesting to over-hear, to say the least in a misleadingly mild manner. Gledhill continues her typical habits of partisanist media manipulation, hardly to be compared with good old neutral-fair journalism as traditionally practised? She is clearly playing an old Eric Berne transactional human relations game, called: Let’s You And Him Fight. Be advised. The strategic and progressive CoE dilemmas heighten and just keep coming. The most basic dilemma is, Will a progressively tilted western parliamentary democracy allows its single established church to be (A) homophobic in regulation-doctrine… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

Nick Lincoln, my understanding is that, in an abusive relationship, the abuse follows a cyclical pattern known as the “cycle of violence,” while the level and intensity of the abuse tends to worsen over time, and often becomes fatal to the abused. Abused persons may be co-dependent, believing that somehow, through their suffering, or by doing things that will please the abuser, they can change the abuser into a loving person again. Because the “cycle of violence” includes phases when the abuser is repentant and sorrowful for the abuse, the abused person can be fooled into thinking that the abuser… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

Erika Thanks, and yes, you are correct in the overall subject of the original dialogue. But here, and I have re-read what I posted, we were talking about whether or not TEC should care about that part of the general pew-sitters of the CofE who would care, versus most of whom apparently would not give a rat’s patootie about what happens in the Anglican Communion beyond the realm of England, per your astute assessment. As Richard Ashby put it, “…many many thousands of CofE people…want nothing to do with homophobic schismatics….” If Richard is correct, and I trust that his… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

“All the above seem to assume that the C of E must be in communion either with TEC or ACNA. Is there any reason it can’t declare itself in communion with both?” – Rick Allen You can’t have it both ways; either there is a recognition of the integrity of each national church and its boundaries within the Anglican Communion, or we are likely to see more splinters all over the globe. I have a feeling that if General Synod were to approve a document which had the effect of terminating the relationship with TEC, and if enough provinces around… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

“My belief is that there are many within the Church of England who, if they were able, would embrace your open and honest acceptance of women and gays into the ministry of their Church”

“…if they were able…”

I don’t understand this – do you mean lay people? Clergy?

Why would they be UNable to simply voice support? Given the institutional hypocricy of the C of E, I guess I understand that gay clergy might feel unable to give public support – but surely not gay and straight lay people, and surely not straight clergy.

What gives?

MarkBrunson
10 years ago

I’m still with Charlotte.

If you want to come with us, then come with us. If you are too frightened to leave CofE and seek a communion with TEC, then stay.

But stop telling *us* we have to change *your* church. If you can’t do it, we can’t.

karen macqueen+
karen macqueen+
10 years ago

I think that there is very little chance that TEC will, on our own, leave the Anglican Communion. I recall hearing one of our seminary theologians saying that only TEC decides who we are in communion with. That is why we have not threatened to break communion with Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, the Southern Cone, etc. It seems wrong to us to theaten to break communion. TEC values the communion for the opportunities it provides for mission and ministry. Even now, we support hospitals, schools, and local churches in provinces that declare they are not in communion with us. They share… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Karen, as a cradle C.of E. Christian, presently a priest of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand, I applaud most heartily your generous take on the relationship of your Church, TEC, with the rest of the Anglican Communion. I, too, feel that the present tensions will pass, and there is no need for panic. What would not be helpful at this time would be a classic ‘failure of nerve’ within the progressive partners of the Communion to wait upon the very best resolution that can be brought about in the circumstances. Only the Devil is in a great hurry to… Read more »

Counterlight
Counterlight
10 years ago

I second karen mcqueen’s comments. The Episcopal Church hasn’t broken communion with any other church, nor should it. Primates broke communion with our church when they refused Table Fellowship with us (the only kind that really matters). This whole “crisis” is bishop driven. The “bond’s of affection” may not be there among the mitered heads, but they remain strong among the laity and lower clergy of the various churches, even with those of Central Africa, as Scott Gunn pointed out in his recent essay. If the membership of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion’s days are numbered, then let… Read more »

david rowett (=mynsterpreost)

Just to let Charlotte know that I’ve been today to the requiem mass of a priest, presided over by a suffragan bishop, where during the tribute and at various other points during the service explicit mention was made of the love and support the departed had received from his (male) partner.

Reform hasn’t won YET!

Malcolm+
10 years ago

I can quite well understand the frustration by many North American Anglicans to be quit of this dysfunctional Communion and its feckless Archbishop. But there are several reasons why we should not walk away. * We are called to love these people. We cannot walk away. * We are a prophetic voice for justice and an inspiration to those in other churches in the Communion. We cannot walk away. * We are called to stand in solidarity with the oppressed LGBTQ in those so-called Global South churches where their bishops want them dead. We cannot walk away. It is worth… Read more »

Malcolm+
10 years ago

Since each church in the Communion is autocephalous, each is free to enter into Communion with whoever they wish. It is not binding on other churches in the Communion. The Anglican Church of Canada is in communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada. Technically, the rest of you are not. The Episcopal Church is in communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Technically, the rest of us are not. The Church of England is in communion with the Porvoo churches. Technically (most of) the rest of us are not. If the Church of England chooses to be in… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Malcolm. You have expressed the feelings of many others of us within the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. “We are one bread one Body, for we all partake of the One Bread” – this is the hallmark of our Unity in Christ – not faux organisations like ACNA or GAFCON.

RPNewark
RPNewark
10 years ago

David Rowett wrote, “Just to let Charlotte know that I’ve been today to the requiem mass of a priest, presided over by a suffragan bishop, where during the tribute and at various other points during the service explicit mention was made of the love and support the departed had received from his (male) partner.”

Said priest was a kind, caring servant of God and of his parish and people. Ed, rest in peace and rise to glory!

Nick Lincoln
Nick Lincoln
10 years ago

To Charlotte and those who agree with her: It is also worth highlighting the fact that gay clergy in the Church of England are not under the protection of employment law. For a gay clergyperson to come out to their bishop is a brave thing to do, considering that bishop has the power to withdraw their license and take away their livelihood. Charlotte, I think your comments are born from an ignorance of the way things work in the Church of England. Members of TEC are always asking the rest of the Communion to understand that they have a different… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
10 years ago

Nick Without wishing to minimise the difficulties you highlight, that is an oversimplification of the current UK legal situation. There are many aspects of employment law which do already apply to clergy, and this will significantly increase under Common Tenure due to start quite soon. But even in respect of the laws against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, the exemption is not total. The famous Regulation 7(3) only exempts from certain specific forms of *direct discrimination* and does not apply at all to any form of *indirect discrimination* or to *harassment*. The current discussion in Parliament about adding… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

Nick Lincoln, I’m not sure I really know where to start with my own response to your posts. First of all, why do you assume that only gay priests care about gay priests? It’s as if you assume no one cares about gay and lesbian Christians except other gay and lesbian Christians. That’s not true. Quite a bit of support for full inclusion in the US comes from people who are themselves heterosexual, but who have a son, daughter, brother, or sister who is gay. Others have had dear friends who were gay and cannot abide hearing the gay-bashing pulpit… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

For Nick Lincoln, as I posted on the 8th and the 9th, I did not agree with Charlotte and do not intend to walk away and allow the neo-Puritans to take over the Anglican Communion; I agree that we, in TEC, owe this determination to — as Richard Ashby put it — the many, many thousands in the CofE who do not want to see TEC, or ACofC, excluded. On the other hand, in her 12:03 am GMT response to you, Charlotte makes an excellent point. It is indeed time for you and your compatriots to cease your perceived acquiesence… Read more »

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