Thinking Anglicans

Dispose of the messy Anglican Covenant

Giles Fraser has written in this week’s Church Times about the Anglican Covenant.

…To recap: the Anglican Covenant is an international treaty, cham­pioned originally by the Bishop of Durham at that time, Dr Tom Wright, among others. It was a re­sponse to the threats by conservative Anglicans that they would walk away from the Communion if other provinces became more gay-friendly. It is rather like bankers’ saying that they would walk away from the City of London if they had to face the Tobin Tax. This sort of blackmail ought never to be pandered to.

Of course, the Covenant never was the only game in town. This is the type of emergency rhetoric that is often used to push through otherwise unpopular legis­la­tion. But the fact that the Anglican Commu­nion has not fallen apart — it is just a bit dented — shows that a great deal of the huffing and puffing about walking away was just empty threats and so much posturing.

The idea that all the different Churches of the Communion can be held together only by signatures on a page rather than years of tradition and common baptism and liturgy is an unnecessary bureaucratisation of theology and fellowship.

If you allow one province a quasi-legal mechanism for pushing out another province, then you are providing a context for acrimony, not for reconciliation. Recon­cilia­tion comes when those divided by differences learn to see Christ at work in each other. Mostly, this is achieved through patient friendship and listening….

In other Anglican Covenant news, the No Anglican Covenant Coalition has announced another prominent academic Professor Marilyn McCord Adams has become a patron. See full press release here (PDF).

“The proposed Anglican Covenant was conceived in moral indignation and pursued with disciplinary intent,” according to Professor McCord Adams. “Its global gate-keeping mechanisms would put a damper on the gospel agenda, which conscientious Anglicans should find intolerable. The Covenant is based on an alien ecclesiology, which thoughtful Anglicans have every reason to reject.”

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Jonathan Jennings
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Jonathan Jennings

Rochester Diocesan Synod voted against the covenant today:

Unverified (but what I scrawled down) figures were:

Bishops 1 – 0

Clergy 8 – 30 (3 abstentions)

Laity 14 – 26 (7 abstentions)

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Who spoke, Jonathan?

Are there copies of the addresses (if any!)

Father Ron Smith
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Congratulations on the No Covenant Coalition’s acquisition of Professor Marilyn McCord Adams to become its fourth Patron. Nothing quite like a woman’s touch to bring a balance of wisdom – a bit like the Church, really. ‘Female and Male created God them’.