Thinking Anglicans

Is the Covenant a Bad Idea?

Bruce Kaye, who is an Australian theologian, has published a series of articles about the Anglican Covenant. Here are some links:

The Anglican Covenant Get Ready for Trouble which points to The Anglican Covenant is coming ready or not

Why the Covenant is a bad Idea for Anglicans 1

Why the Covenant is a bad Idea for Anglicans 2. Ecclesiology.

The Final Text of the Covenant is still an inadequate response to the conflict in the Anglican Communion

3. It will complicate and confuse Institutional Relations

4. Covenant still an inadequate response for Anglicans

5. Covenant and fundamental issues for Anglicans

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Father Ron SmithNom de PlumePaul BagshawRod GillisMalcolm+ Recent comment authors
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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Bruce Kaye is right on. The generalities of the agenda for the forthcoming General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada are beginning to reported on here. You can just feel and see the anxiety and pressure that Covenant politics have created in our House of bishops and Council of General Synod oozing toward Canada’s General Synod 2010.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Of course, it is a bad idea ! Some of us have been saying this since the beginning.

It’s a rubbish idea.

I can’t see me ever accepting it. On principle.

jimB
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Yes, it is a very bad idea. A good many of us have been saying and writing that it is since the Windsor Fantasy was published. We are a communion based on ‘bonds of affection” not a church bound by threats. Would that the Eames / Windsor Commission had gotten that simple idea or that Dr. Williams would defend it. Absent that it is up to the synods / conventions to vote no.

FWIW
jimB

Malcolm+
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In fairness to Dr. Eames and his committee, how could they have known that suggesting an agreed statement of principles as a possible way forward would be lead the Communion to wallow in this heaping pile of cow dung?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Bruce Kaye presents a very thoughtful & incisive case for rejection of the Anglican Covenant as it now stands. This type of ‘Confessional’ document, while it might suit the Sola Scriptura stance of the Global South Primates, has proved inimical to the tradition Anglican sense of reasonable diversity, for which, hitherto, the Communion has been celebrated. For Australia (apart from the Sydney Archbdioce under GAFCON Secretary Peter Jenson) and New Zealand to sign up to a ‘Confessional’ Covenant relationship with the likes of Uganda and Nigeria would be tantamount to the abandonmnet of any modern understanding of the Gospel outreach… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

Fr. Ron Smith wrote: “For Australia…and New Zealand to sign up to a ‘Confessional’ Covenant relationship with the likes of Uganda and Nigeria would be tantamount to the abandonmnet of any modern understanding of the Gospel outreach to the LGBT community.” I would suggest, Ron, that your excellent statement would have been even more appropriate if your last four words were omitted. Any resemblance between the Christianity embodied in Jesus, and the hatred spewing churches of Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda is tangential at best. While an argument might be made that we should be charitable to such provinces, hoping that… Read more »

Frozenchristian
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Frozenchristian

And the interesting thing about Bruce Kaye is that he is an Australian evangelical – studied at Moore College. Don’t know if he’d use that label now (in Australia) but when he worked over here he identified himself with the evangelical part of the Church of England (he was senior tutor at St John’s Durham) and wrote papers for the 1979 National Evangelical Anglican Congress at Nottingham.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Malcolm when you write “In fairness to Dr. Eames and his committee, how could they have known that suggesting an agreed statement of principles as a possible way forward would be lead the Communion to wallow in this heaping pile of cow dung?”, Your feelings on the Covenant come through. But what is your take on how the Covenant is playing out in your part of the Canadian church? What do folks in your part of the Church expect from GS 2010 with regard to “ongoing discernment”, to use the argot of church bureaucrats, of human sexuality and The Covenant,… Read more »

Malcolm+
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I don’t have any particularly reliable means of measuring attitudes around here apart from my own observations which are, inevitably, filtered through my own perspectives. That said: 1) In our diocese, we have avoided the worst of the sexuality wars by simply not playing. There is broad agreement across the spectrum here that, while we disagree on the presenting issue, there is no logical reason that this issue should be a Communion breaker within this diocese. Having almost collapsed under the Residential Schools issue (where we would have likely been the next diocese to go bankrupt) and facing serious issues… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Malcolm, with regard to your query about interest in a progressive blog in Canada, see my posting in reply to you on Thinking Anglicans ‘Faith and politics” March 2nd. I asked you about a read on the issues in your part of the Canadian vineyard. Here in Nova Scotia , there was a lot of extensive study done over several synods on human sexuality going back a decade and a half ago. I think we’ve talked it out. A recent “intentional listening ” group did precious little on the issue in preparation for our most diocesan recent synod in 2009.Interestingly… Read more »

Paul Bagshaw
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Paul Bagshaw

A key argument for the Covenant came from those who felt tainted (contaminated?) by actions in another part of the Communion (specifically the acceptance by TEC of people as full members of the church irrespective of their sexuality). The conservative logic was that the doctrine of one was the doctrine of all. They repudiated toleration of such difference as an Anglican virtue. Covenant mechanisms, they explicitly hoped, would enable the repudiation of unacceptable actions (and actual or implicit doctrine) by the repudiation of the Province as a whole. Consequently any Province which now accepts the covenant will thereby formally accept… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The conservative logic was that the doctrine of one was the doctrine of all. They repudiated toleration of such difference(sic)as an Anglican virtue. Covenant mechanisms, they explicitly hoped, would enable the repudiation of unaccept-able actions (and actual or implicit doctrine) by the repudiation of the Province as a whole. Consequently any Province which now accepts the Covenant will thereby formally accept that the actions (and stated or enacted doctrine) of all other covenanting parties are acceptable. That includes support for the death penalty for homosexuals.” – Paul Bagshaw, on Friday – Precisely! Thank you Paul for this clear and simple… Read more »

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

I can’t apparently comment on Bruce Kaye’s blog without signing up for a blog of my own, which I don’t want, so…. A very helpful series of articles! I find the distinction between provincial autonomy and provincial responsibility particularly helpful. In paragraph 21 of post number 5, Dr Kaye states that “What is being claimed is that it is already clear that particular attitudes to homosexuality are part of the central beliefs of Anglican Christianity and as such should apply in every cultural context, and also that such a definition of Anglican Christianity must be enforced in relations between provinces.”… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“One question regarding the study (of the issue of homosexuality) requested by Lambeth 1978, 1988, 1998: was this intended merely as an academic exercise? – Nom de Plume – If so, then the rules of the game were certainly not applied by certain provinces of the GAFCON contingency. At least one African Provincial Primate solemnly declared that he wouldn’t have a bar of it – pronouncing the whole idea of sexual differentiation to be ‘diabolical’ How does that fit in with theological competence and Christian compassion, I wonder? And this is the sort of provincial attitude that all other Provinces… Read more »