Thinking Anglicans

articles about the Covenant

ENS reported yesterday on the latest development in International campaign launched against Anglican Covenant.

This evening the Telegraph has reported on developments in the English campaign in Bishop brands his liberal critics ‘little Englanders’ as new gay row hits Church by Tim Ross.

…The covenant was deemed necessary after international criticism from conservative Anglicans followed the ordination of the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2004.

Two liberal groups, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, have launched a campaign against the covenant plan, which they say is overwhelmingly backed by traditionalists.

The critics ran an advertisement in the Church Times claiming that the plan represented a move to install an “authoritarian leadership” and “the biggest change to the Church since the Reformation”.

However, the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Rev Gregory Cameron, who was on the committee that drew up the covenant, described the opponents as “latter-day little Englanders”.

In a letter to the Church Times, he said the two groups had “turned themselves into the nearest to an ecclesiastical BNP that I have encountered”.

He continued: “They resort to the old tactics of misinformation and scaremongering about foreigners and outside influences to whip up a campaign against the Anglican Covenant and replace reasoned argument with a ‘Man the barricades!’ mentality that is little short of breathtaking”…

Meanwhile Ekklesia has published these two articles relating to the Covenant:

And Bishop Alan Wilson has written Encouraging what engagement? How?

Note: There is a particularly good comments thread on this article.

Looking at the Covenant documentation for General Synod, it seems one laudable aim is to promote closer engagement between Churches.

Institutional structures can assist as well as impede strong and fruitful relationships, of course. Having a formal marriage certificate doesn’t stop marriage partners loving each other — indeed it ought to help, all other things being equal. What it cannot do is make people love one another.

Direct meeting is a gospel value. And if this is the aim, one way to judge the Covenant proposal will be to ask “How might it deliver what kind of closer engagement between Churches?” A new refereeing institution could bring churches together when they make decisions others abhor. That‘s the theory, rather like requiring divorcing couples to seek counselling…

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

There is a need to plan two moves ahead. If the so called covenant is adopted, a fall back position will be required, the development of a “no covenant-covenant” a kind of Zen covenant if you will–a banding together that will allow us to continue within the Anglican tradition as liberal catholics who continue to say no covenant except the baptismal covenant with its demand to respect the dignity of every human being.

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

Someone needs to explain to the Telegraph that St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, not the Church of England. The Church in Wales threw off foreign control less than a century ago.

JCF
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JCF

“he said the two groups had “turned themselves into the nearest to an ecclesiastical BNP that I have encountered”.”

Whatever +Cameron is smoking . . . perhaps it’s time to cut back? O_o

MarkBrunson
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Isn’t it ironic that, in making these statements, Cameron hopes to tell a lie big enough to be believed?

Levi
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What a state the Anglican Communion is in. First the ordinariates emerge as the way back to Rome. The the Covenant ends up being in the eyes of some a new form of Rome by the back door. Will the Communion continue to stagger along or will it dissolve into its constituent parts? Well, here’s a note of pragmatism. The Anglican Communion makes it members part of a large international group of Christians and gives them a platform from which to address world issues. Without it the various independent churches become minority denominations in their various countries (with the CofE… Read more »

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

“When Hooker wrote his Ecclesiastical Polity, he wrote at a time when there was a strong external authority to enforce Church discipline – the Crown.” Levi, the Crown was not (and is not) an external authority. It was and is an integral part of the governance of the Church of England. The Covenant purports not to interfere with autonomy, but it does hold out the threat of “relational consequences”. In other words, go ahead and exercise your autonomy all you want, but if someone else complains about the way in which you have exercised it you might find yourself disinvited… Read more »

Levi
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Nom de Plume:

Ah, but broccoli is sooooo good for you!

Integral yes – but I would suggest that unless the CofE is to be considered the Ministry of Religion, then I would say that Crown Governance must in its essence be regarded as an external control of the Ecclesiastical Body – but perhaps we’ll just have to agree to differ on that point.

MarkBrunson
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” Therefore if we think Anglicanism has something important to say, that it has a unique perspective on world events and the message of Christ, then we have a pressing duty to keep going together.”

That presupposes that “keeping going together” will not destroy what of value Anglicanism has to offer.

For myself, I think Christianity has something to offer, and am not at all ashamed to say that I do *not* consider the “orthodox” allegedly-anglican to be Christian at all. I’m tired of apologizing for calling evil evil.

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

Levi:

As it happens I enjoy broccoli. I usually eat it a few times per week.

Whether Establishment is a Good Thing is certainly open to debate. But it is undeniably a reality, and thus the Crown, for good or ill, cannot be described as external. The General Synod is also, of course, one of the three legislative bodies of the UK government, so it works both ways.

Father Ron Smith
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Richard Hooker might be turning in his grave – at the thought of a magisterial covenant mentality, overturning his eirenic opening to a broad Church atmosphere within Anglicanism. He would certainly not have agreed to a re-emphasis on an out-dated Sola Scriptura basis for any covenant relationship.

Father Ron Smith
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“Crucify him!” In some Christian services in the week before Easter, worshippers join in the shout of the crowd when Jesus was condemned to death. It is a sobering reminder of how easily people can join in victimising minorities, or in other ways becoming accomplices to cruelty and sometimes murder, whether or not we are Christians or otherwise religious. Evil – the destructive and death-dealing impulse – can be seductive, especially when it is cloaked in the guise of righteousness.” – By Savi Hensman – 3 Nov 2010 – We all know for a fact now, especially in the case… Read more »