Friday, 29 June 2007

GS: more Anglican Covenant views

As Archbishop Drexel Gomez has been invited to address the synod, it seems appropriate to draw attention to some earlier remarks of his about the covenant. George Conger originally wrote this up for the Central Florida Episcopalian, although it has since appeared elsewhere. Read Gomez brings ‘Global South’ perspective to Diocese of Central Florida.

Also, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia has published a response to the Draft Anglican Covenant which can be found here as a PDF, but is quite short so is reproduced here below the fold.

Last week in a letter to the Church Times Canon Gregory Cameron wrote a defence of the Covenant principle in response to an earlier letter from John Plant. This week there are three further responses, including one from the Bishop of Lincoln.

A Response to the Draft Anglican Covenant from the Standing Committee of The Diocese of Virginia

We recognize the challenging work undertaken by the Covenant Design Group and acknowledge the draft they have presented. We affirm that the Draft Anglican Covenant is intended for discussion by every Province of the Anglican Communion and is therefore a step in the larger and longer conversation of how we live out our union in Christ.

We affirm and celebrate that we already have a covenant initiated by our gracious God, unmerited, unearned and undeserved, as revealed to us in Holy Scripture. By the love and merit of the Son in his Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, we belong to God for ever. By the charism of the Holy Spirit, we are pledged to one another as members of the Body of Christ in bonds of love which no human action can dissolve. The covenant relationship we share with one another as a gift of the Triune God has been long expressed in the Nicene Creed and in the ancient baptismal confession of the Apostles’ Creed.

We question whether a Covenant that arises out of a particular conflict and disagreement can serve to make us one, as Christ desires us to be. We fear that such a Covenant will lead to more conflict and division.

We recognize that the Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion have developed organically over time and that the interrelationships between the Instruments have been fluid and changeable. We oppose definitions and descriptions of the Instruments that limit them and prevent the emergence in the future of changes or of additional Instruments that reflect the broad riches of the Anglican Communion.

We particularly object to the clauses in the Draft Covenant that limit the authority of the Anglican Consultative Council, the only Instrument of Unity that includes lay people. We affirm that the full inclusion of the laity in decision making and leadership is a hallmark of The Episcopal Church and a particular charism of Anglicanism, and we object to any action that would diminish its vitality.

We also object to the disproportionate power given in the Draft Anglican Covenant to the Primates’ Meeting and oppose efforts to establish any body akin to the Roman Catholic Curia. The establishment of such a body is profoundly contrary to the historic spirit of Anglicanism. We are deeply concerned that the Meeting of Primates has already assumed improper and unprecedented authority to adjudicate genuine theological disagreements and to dictate what actions Provinces may or may not take without regard to the synodical structures of the Provinces, as evidenced in their Dar es Salaam Communiqué.

We conclude that the Draft Anglican Covenant is profoundly impaired by its disregard for the deep theological grounds on which we already belong together, the ecclesial history of Anglicanism as a family of interdependent yet autonomous churches that are both episcopally led and synodically governed, and by a rush to end the current disagreements in which we find ourselves.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 12:43pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: General Synod

Gomez's paper claims that everything went haywire when Robinson was consecrated in 2003.

But the ordination of bishops in other dioceses' boundaries was happening as early as 1987 (South Africa). Refer this recent TA thread

Robinson might be the scapegoat they are trying to lead to the crucifix, but the issue is much bigger than Robinson or homosexuality. They are just the red herrings used to incite the modern day crowds.

Pilate could choose to do the right thing, or allow the crowds (egged on by puritanical priests' stooges) to crucify the wrong victim.

The rest of us can sit back and watch the attempts to replay history and hope to God that humanity has evolved past the need to crucify an innocent so they don't have to feel uncomfortable about their selfish, elitist, cruel and complacent paradigms.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 2:40pm BST

Gosh -- I like this very much!

I honestly don't want to drive the Evangelicals out of Anglicanism, but I certainly get the feeling that they are trying to drive me out!

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 3:10pm BST


I think the Standing Committee of Virginia has it right in their response. We don't need to turn ourselves into an Anglican version of the RCC.

Posted by: Richard Warren on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 4:41pm BST

BTW I have it on good authority that the authors of the MCU paper have received very positive feedback from across the Anglican world.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 8:09pm BST


I agree, I don't want to drive out evangelicals.

I just have the same issue with predators making out they are like all evangelicals, the same as pedophiles with a fetish for boys make out they represent all homosexuals.

I despise wolves in sheeps clothing, of any flock at any level of purity. That covers Anglicans, Catholics, Muslims, Hindu, Buddhist, humanist, women, GLBTs, atheists, secularists, capitalists, socialists, armed forces, medical professions...

Jacob was loved and Esau was hated. Jacob the compassionate daydreamer; Esau the vain self-absorbed plunderer. Jacob who created speckled flocks, Esau that hunted down prey. Jacob who took on others' divine responsibilities and gifts when another abdicated and was throwing it away. Esau who sold his inheritance for a bowl of lentils and short term satisfaction, and was jealous of Jacob's rewards that came from honoring both Jacob and Esaus' responsibilities and gifts. Jacob who welcomed others into his home, even when thrust upon him. Esau who sought to cut down his own kin, rather than overcoming his own shortcomings such as jealousy and complacency.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Friday, 29 June 2007 at 11:21pm BST

Mynsterpost - glad to hear about the positive feedback. In the absence of any online petition re the ill-discerned Covenant, I for one wrote to the Bishop of Lincoln and hope others will.

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 1:19am BST

The Church Times has made the three letters available to non-subscribers:

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 11:54am BST

Thanks Hugh, link added above, I wonder why they did that? :-)

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 12:59pm BST

A rhetorical question, Simon. Skinflints and people with no money like me read the Church Times a week late. So this is a bit of a privilege and read along with previous letters. The reason the Primates Meeting is not to be Canon Law as such is because it would never get through, so this method is to get it through, and a Covenant agreed to in principle in advance is to again get it through. Well, people are not daft, and these "authorities" are not being straight up with everyone - a good enough reason to say no apparently early on.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 4:42pm BST

Re: MCU submission to General Synod; sadly I believe that +Lincoln will not be at Synod, since he's on study leave.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 5:41pm BST

I also wrote to the Bishop of Lincoln, and he did say that he would not be at Synod because of his study leave. He did say, however, that he has heard from many people who share my reservations about the so-called covenant, and that he finds it very encouraging that the MCU response is circulating with the other documents.

Seems like quite a few Anglicans don't want a fundamentalist curia running things.

Posted by: JPM on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 7:57pm BST

Thanks Hugh and Simon.

There are three souls we can say do not desire more arbitrary impositions by a cliche that considers itself above accountability to any human representation (particularly female or GLBT or sympathetic to either).

1 Kings 12. When Rehoboam was made king, representatives asking for him to lighten the heavy yoke placed upon them by Solomon (his father). The elders gave advice to lighten the load, but Rehoboam rejected that advice and consulted the young men who told him to make it clear he was thicker than his father.

The peoples' response was they rejected Rehoboam as king, as they had been given no part in Jesse's inheritance and told David to look after his own house and they went hoome. When Rehoboam went to create an army to bring them back under his control, the word of God came to Shemaiah to tell the people that this was God's Will and to go home and not fight with their brothers.

This pulling down of the house of David when it is arrogant occurs as and when required. Zechariah 12:7 "The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah." So too for this generation, salvation comes first to the outcastes out of Israel before it comes to the occupants of Jerusalem or the line of David.

God has plans to do good for all, but first those who would put their needs forward to the exclusion of others need to be reminded that we are to provide for ALL of God's creation, including the animals; see Numbers 20:9-11

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 11:09pm BST
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