Monday, 2 July 2007

GS: Anglican Covenant another paper

Updated

Andrew Goddard has written another briefing document, now available at Fulcrum The Anglican Covenant: Background and Resources. It now includes many links, including to a few articles that Thinking Anglicans has not mentioned previously. Reading this document is strongly recommended.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 2 July 2007 at 9:04pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: General Synod
Comments

As a slight side-point, the interesting thing with Andrew Goddard is that it seems his correspondence with Giles Goddard went nowhere.

Can't understand this attempt to summarise document, but somehow Fulcrum is trying to position itself in an overlap with the intentions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, almost like adopting him. I may be wrong here; it is interesting how the positioning is going on.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 2 July 2007 at 10:47pm BST

Very helpful work from Dr Goddard.

It is obvious some would prefer chaos and ambiguity to reign in the AC as they seek to promote a minority agenda - but that does not provide strong foundations for the future of the AC.

The AC is on the brink of collapsing because some have taken advantage of the current loose, "unwritten constitution" to push their own agenda despite the clear, repeatedly stated objections of most of the AC around the world.....it is obvious to anyone who does not want the chaos to continue and the AC to collapse that a covenant is desperately needed.

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 8:26am BST

NP, the Anglican Communion is full of gays who have the capacity to from committed, loving relationships; this is particularly the case in the USA and Canada. To call acceptance and recognition of them an "agenda" is rather demeaning. Lambeth talked of "listening" -- something the Global South has shown no sign of being able to do.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 11:08am BST

"a covenant is desperately needed"

Depends if you want key decision-making to involve the laity and clergy, or something approaching the Roman Catholic model. Seems odd for Evangelicals to want the latter.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 11:08am BST

It is not odd, Hugh....it is common sense.
When we see a situation in which we can agree positions (eg Lambeth 1.10) but people decide for themselves that they can completely ignore the agreed position, we need to state more clearly that some respect for the said agreed positions is necessary - if we are to be a credible "Communion"

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 12:02pm BST

Pluralist - I am impressed with Graham Kings even though I do not agree with him. Politically he is very well informed and I cannot work out where he gets his information from - except to say he is himself a rising star and well connected, and certainly listened to by the ABC. I imagine he has strong links to the likes of +Durham and ++York but wonder where his journalistic tips come from. Andrew Carey? He has so often been right in his comment and analysis - though mistaken re the Covenant I hope.

Posted by: Neil on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 12:30pm BST

"The AC is on the brink of collapsing because some have taken advantage of the current loose, "unwritten constitution" to push their own agenda."

Can't deny the truth of that one.

Neil, I'm lost on the Graham Kings reference - seems my old eyes are letting me down on this one - would you give me a pointer? Thanks.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 12:52pm BST

"if we are to be a credible "Communion""

NP, I'm sure you know by now it will take more than this to regain any credibility. Uniformity in hypocrisy will not exactly buy us any cred "out there", except with those who are most comfortable with their heads in the sand.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 1:00pm BST

More Autocracy than Communion, I fear NP.

Not something I want to be associated with if it happens.

No assurances in the Draft that basic human rights will be asserted. Not even the forgotten Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.1 "that its members urge compliance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the nations in which our various member Churches are located, and all others over whom we may exercise any influence", conveniently ignored in relation to The Church of Nigeria's support for repressive anti-gay legislation.

The commitment in Section 4-5-4, "The Life we share with others", to "seek to transform unjust structures of society" rings hollow when faced with Section 6, which seeks to impose unjust structures on the Communion.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 1:05pm BST

Neil - my brain cells finally kicked in on Graham Kings - no need to explain.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 1:28pm BST

With Neil, I can equally say: I am impressed with Graham Kings even though I do not agree with him.

I see it as this. Fulcrum has a "problem" with the clobber passages of the Bible, in that it is open to debate and listening to gay and lesbian experience, but so far its "hermeneutical" wanderings and loyalty to the straight read (both senses) of given texts means it can take this pro-Covenant position as it is not primarily interested in inclusion. It does not though take the Anglican Mainstream position, say, that therefore gay people should give up being gay in what they do and put that denial into worshipping Christ. It just leaves actual gay people in a limbo of not being full people who express themselves in their relationships, or, if they do, they cannot have access into ministry. It's a sort of hard luck position. To me it is not a sustainable position.

There is, I think, an effort to advance Fulcrum to be in a position that Affirming Catholicism thinks it is in - with a place among the leadership. I don't think this is being cynical. The problem is that this is a centre ground between incompatible groups.

Affirming Catholicism, on the other hand, supports the inclusion of difference. However, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom its members were well connected, support for the whole institution is now in conflict with their support for difference because of this Covenant. Affirming Catholicism is being forced to do the same backward flip the Archbishop himself has also done in respect of this clash of positions.

This is what the Covenant does. It has people in favour of its restrictiveness, people who reject it, and people who do backward flips. It is a very unhealthy document.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 3:23pm BST

Pluralist - it is not "unhealthy" for an organisation to have a common agreed position....it is common-sense.

It is "unhealthy" for the AC to try and hold contradictory views together.....we have all been feeling the pain for years.

It would be healthy for liberals to set up their own liberal church....but there has never been the confidence to do that - not even in the Carey years....but now you have a liberal ABC to do "backflips" and impose discipline...because the only way the AC can be healthy is if it gets to an agreed position which everyone is happy with and those who are not dare to set up their own organisation rather than trying to force the AC to accept a not very convincing position

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 4:27pm BST

I'm Canadian. I think there's a cultural difference going on here - the Anglican Church of Canada has been largely liberal for quite some time, possibly because it is not an "established" church in this country. It is with considerable bemusement that I read comments such as "liberals should set up their own liberal church". Um, this is my own liberal church, thank you very much. I'm not going anywhere. If we're cut off from the Anglican Communion, and then told that it's all our fault and it's really us that's walking apart, not the other way around, AND don't we dare suggest otherwise! - so what? I'm confident life will go on much as does today. And in fifty years time, everyone will wonder what the fuss was about. It's just... common sense.

But what truth is there to the assertion that liberals constitute a minority in the Church of England?

Posted by: Brian MacIntyre on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 6:53pm BST

"It would be healthy for liberals to set up their own liberal church"

It would be even healthier for the Evos to set up their own sect. You clearly don't understand the Church as I do.

"It is "unhealthy" for the AC to try and hold contradictory views together.....we have all been feeling the pain for years."

So all those years of Evos being accepted in the Church, that was "painful" for you, was it? We should have gotten rid of you when we had the chance?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 7:00pm BST

Brian,
Props to you!

"And in fifty years time, everyone will wonder what the fuss was about."

My 74 year old mother, a little on the conservative side, only gave it twenty years, the quote, "you know, Ford, 'tis* just like the ordination of women, in twenty years we'll wonder what all the fuss was about." And besides, the Anglican Church came into being because the King was a whoremongering son of a usurper who needed a male heir to his throne, can't get much more sinful than that. England was weak, and the most powerful nations in Europe sided with the Pope. Yet, the Church of England doesn't seem to have done too badly thus far, having stood a divided house for 500+ years. We must have been doing something right.

* We still use "'tis" in my part of the world. Being a Canadian like myself, you probably know where I'm from based on "dat".

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 7:55pm BST

NP likes to assert that the "liberals" are a dwindling minority everywhere. His evidence seems largely to be that he says so.

I'm not sure I'd necessarily agree that our Anglican Church of Canada is and has been "largely liberal for some time." Actually, I find the terms "liberal" and "conservative" to be rather dubious descriptions of the two "sides" on this - although useful in the sense that we all know who we mean by them.

At the time of the schism between Rome and England, the Church of England certainly saw the issue as a national church rejecting the interference of foreign prelates. But it was Rome, not Canterbury, that made the decision that made schism official.

Of course, if Anglicans ever pointed this out, the Romish controversialists would laugh and say "Fog in channel - Europe cut off."

But if this is where it leads, so be it. The Canadian Church will take decisions for the Canadian Church and we will not be dictated to by self-appointed popes like Akinola of Nigeria, Venables of the Southern Cone, etc.

I am prepared to stand analagous to Cranmer and Parker in this dispute.

But NP may still be shocked to discover where Canterbury ends up at the end of the day.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 9:14pm BST

"Depends if you want key decision-making to involve the laity and clergy, or something approaching the Roman Catholic model. Seems odd for Evangelicals to want the latter."

Actually, I don;t think it's odd at all. While evangelicals were reformers, they campaigned for increased role of the laity because the laity could be swayed in a decade or two while entrenched bishops took much, much longer to turn around to a new position.

Now, however, evangelicals are generally conservatives disinterested in any change in doctrine or practice and so they naturally favor the institution which is least susceptible ton change.

Posted by: ruidh on Tuesday, 3 July 2007 at 10:06pm BST

"they naturally favor the institution which is least susceptible ton change."

Apart from radical institutional reform you and NP favour, ruidh? Once this is done, there'll be no need for the laity in Synod or ACC.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 12:41am BST

"Pluralist - it is not "unhealthy" for an organisation to have a common agreed position....it is common-sense."

And the Anglican Communion does indeed have a common agreed position -- the Christian Faith as expounded in Scripture and the Creeds.

One the other hand it is unhealthy for any organization to insist on agreement inopportunely, to close off debate that could lead to the upgrading of the organization. NP is making agreement on the highly volatile issue of sexual ethics as regards people of homosexual orientation a condition of Anglican unity. Since such agreement does not currently exist he is in fact casting his vote for the destruction of Anglican unity. Of course he maintains that the disagreement is sustained only by a dwindling minority of liberals -- but it seems to me clear that this is not the case, even in Nigeria.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 4:39am BST

FJOL asserts that the nast NP "maintains that the disagreement is sustained only by a dwindling minority of liberals -- but it seems to me clear that this is not the case, even in Nigeria."

So, why have we had Lambeth 1.10, Dromantine, TWR, the Tanzania Communique and the proposed covenant??

It really does not look like my view that Lambeth 1.10 is right from scripture and should be upheld by AC members is only held by a minority in the AC - and the ABC certainly does not believe he can keep the AC together by ditching 1.10, does he?

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 8:21am BST

"should be upheld by AC members"

Why do you not think it important for AC members to uphold ALL of the Lambeth statement, NP, why is it only the one part that you like the rest of us have to uphold, and you are free to ignore the rest?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 11:11am BST

It does seem counter-intuitive that evangelicals should seem to be advocating such an heirarchical model of authority, given that historical evangelicalism was about empowering the laity and constraining the power of heirarchs.

That said, the internal rationale of evangelicalism is not always apparent in its practical manifestation. Often, those who propose the most egalitarian ecclesiology present in fact the most heirarchical - consider the role of "the pastor" in the most conservative American evangelical denominations.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 4:39pm BST

Ford - for the thousandth time.....I accept all of Lambeth 1.10 including the bit about listening....and I define listening to mean listening and do not accept the "revision" of its meaning to mean "agreeing" or "agreeing to disagree" etc

Malcolm - it ain't about power, the covenant is about getting some sort of order and unity.....remember it is the liberal ABC driving the idea (not me) ......because even he can see that a free for all on actions (eg TEC's attitude in 2003) does not work - if you want unity, that is

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 8:50am BST

"I accept all of Lambeth 1.10"

For the thousandth time, it's not Lambeth 1.10. That is only one part of a much longer report that contained things you obviously don't even bother with, much less accept. You can't pick one part of the Lambeth statement and ignore the bits you don't like just because that's the way you treat Scripture. "Bible mining" is bad enough, you don't get to go "Lambeth mining" too!

"I define listening to mean listening" Which is what you were asked to do. The only ones defining "listening" as "agreeing" are Evos who are so afraid of the consequences of treating us as human, they won't even acknowledge our existence in the Church, let alone talk to us. So spill, if you define 'listening' as 'listening' and not 'agreeing,' then to whom did you listen? Put aside for a minute the way you think others define listening, how did you listen AS YOU DEFINE IT? You didn't at all, did you?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 1:04pm BST

And Lambeth V.13 ("Diocesan Boundaries")?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 2:09pm BST

NP said, "it ain't about power."

Now you've done it. I laughed so hard that coffee came out my nose and blew all over the keyboard. I'm lucky I didn't short it out.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 5:35pm BST

When I was a kid, that was called the "Elephant Trick", Malcolm.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 7:22pm BST

You have to meet someone in order to get close enough to listen.

Posted by: L Roberts on Friday, 6 July 2007 at 11:22am BST
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