THINKING ANGLICANS

TEC Commission reports on the Covenant

The Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church has issued a report on the Anglican Covenant.

See this ENS news report: Task force releases report on Anglican Covenant.

“The SCCC is of the view that adoption of the current draft Anglican Covenant has the potential to change the constitutional and canonical framework of [the Episcopal Church], particularly with respect to the autonomy of our Church, and the constitutional authority of our General Convention, bishops and dioceses,” says the report.

The full text of the report can be found here as a PDF.

Mark Harris has commented on it: The Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons’ report. There it is.

Lionel Deimel has Analysis of the Report from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons.

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A J BarfordEmilyHFather Ron SmithFred Schwartzjnwall Recent comment authors
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Jean Mary Mayland
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Jean Mary Mayland

I think we should investigate the legal aspects of the relation between church / law /the state in England if the Covenant were to be passed There is a need to have a discussion on this with some MPs

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

The Covenant is expressly designed to exclude GLTB people from full inclusion in the Church. I hope that TEC will have the courage and integrity to reject it out of hand.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

@ Jean Mary

Yeah, I was wondering if this report meant that the CoE can’t pass the covenant without Parliament consenting to make significant enabling changes to the canons.

On the other hand, if the Government’s lawyers have looked at the covenant and don’t see any need to make such constitutional and canonical changes, then the SCCC is probably mistaken about TEC needing to make constitutional and canonical changes. After all, the Government’s lawyers are probably good at looking out for the Government’s prerogatives.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I agree Jean. I cant see why more hasn’t been made of this…In what sense ( if any!) can the C of E by law established and ultimately answerable to the Crown in Parliament be subject to an external authority? for example the SE Asian bishops have already talked about methods of episcopal election…supposing this was demanded of the C of E, I cant see how it could possibly agree. I think it is true to say that in the strict sense the C of E isn’t part of the Anglican Communion at all, in that nowhere is it so… Read more »

Old Father William
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Old Father William

I’m very glad to read this. Next Monday, we celebrate Independence Day in the USA. It has been pointed out that many of those who framed the United States constitution in Independence Hall, Philadelphia,were also, in Christ Church, just a short distance away, framers of the constitution and canons of TEC. Our Church, too, was independent of England, and we remain an independent Church to this day, although very much in communion with other Anglican bodies around the world.

jnwall
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jnwall

This report makes clear to me that the Episcopal Church — if it approaches the Covenant with integrity — cannot simply sign off on it and hope there will be no consequences. It also makes clear to me that were I to vote on the Covenant I would vote no precisely because it would change the fundamental character of the Episcopal Church, which while it has its faults is basically a solid institution. No possible consequence of not signing off on the Covenant is worth making basic changes in an institution that has served God well for the past 200+… Read more »

Fred Schwartz
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Fred Schwartz

The Anglican Covenant has become a ruse for the rest of the Communion to ponder while GAFCON/FCA/CANA/AMiE/AMiA move to consolidate their holdings and eliminate the real Anglican communion in favor the anglican Communion they form/create. We should be doing many, many things, but pondering this document is only a distraction that serves no purpose at all. One needs to read Charles Raven’s work to figure out what is really going on.

A J Barford
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A J Barford

“The Anglican Covenant has become a ruse for the rest of the Communion” – Fred Schwarz

Yes, it is an exercise in obscurantism of the most egregious kind.

Father Ron Smith
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It would seem, on balance, that subscription to the Anglican Covenant would create an entirely new organisation for independent Anglican Churches around the world to ‘belong’ to the particular circumscribed conditions set out within the parameters of the Covenant document. At the present moment, all the independent national church bodies described as belonging to the world-wide ‘Anglican Communion’ – which does not, for instance, include those new ‘churches’ which call themselves ACNA, A.M.i.A. A.M.i.E. or CANA – are ‘de facto’ members of that Communion Body. With the erection of ‘The Covenant’, only those who subscribe to it’s polity and disciplinary… Read more »

EmilyH
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EmilyH

Not being all that up on affairs British, particularly law, I am wondering if laws respecting praemunire are still in effect and if they would apply? Lionel Deimel raised the interesting point about Article 4, particularly that it states that the text of the Preamble is included as part of the Covenant. One of the interesting legal questions raised by the US cases and the attorneys arguing the case for the seceding congregations, and this is from memory so I may be wrong, was that TEC’s statement in its Preamble to its Constitution that it was a constituent member of… Read more »

A J Barford
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A J Barford

“praemunire” – EmilyH

– ‘the offence of asserting or maintaining papal jurisdiction in England’ (OED)

– ‘the bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England’ – (BCP)