Thursday, 13 May 2010
Church of Ireland General Synod
The Church of Ireland held its annual General Synod in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin from Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 May, 2010. There is an official Synod 2010 website with links to reports, news items and photographs.
One debate included some discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant:
Inter-Anglican and Ecumenical Relations Highlighted in Standing Committee Debate.
Here is the Anglican Communion section of the Standing Committee report.
Posted by Peter Owen on
Thursday, 13 May 2010 at 12:05pm BST
3. ANGLICAN COMMUNION
In June 2009, the Standing Committee appointed the Anglican Covenant Working Group to examine Section 4 of the Ridley Cambridge Draft of the Anglican Covenant and to recommend a response.
In September 2009, the Standing Committee adopted the report of the Anglican Covenant Working Group (Appendix B on page 233) as the official response to Section 4 of the Ridley Cambridge draft of the Anglican Covenant from the Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland. This response was then forwarded to the Anglican Communion Office.
The final text of the Anglican Covenant (Appendix C on page 234) was submitted to the Standing Committee in January 2010. The Committee agreed to refer the final text of the Anglican Covenant to the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue to enable the Commission to make a recommendation concerning appropriate action in relation to the Covenant at the General Synod 2011.
THE CHURCH OF IRELAND RESPONSE TO THE RIDLEY CAMBRIDGE DRAFT OF THE ANGLICAN COVENANT
Having considered Section 4 of the Draft Anglican Covenant very carefully, and bearing in mind a full range of points of view, we believe that the text of Section 4 as it stands commends itself in the current circumstances. The term ‘Joint Standing Committee’ clearly needs to be updated following its re-styling at ACC-14. We appreciate the work of the former Covenant Design Group, not least in taking into account the Church of Ireland’s views, and encourage the Archbishop of Canterbury and his new group under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Dublin as they seek to conclude the work on the text of the Covenant.
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"we believe that the text of Section 4 as it stands commends itself in the current circumstances"
Well that's disappointing.
"Having considered Section 4 of the Draft Anglican Covenant very carefully, and bearing in mind a full range of points of view, we believe that the text of Section 4 as it stands commends itself in the current circumstances"
- Appendix B, C.of I. Response to the Covenant -
Bearing in mind that Appendix B was presented by the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland to the recent 2010 General Synod of that Church, one wonders if there will be any change at all to this thinking before the proposed next meeting of the Irish General Synod in 2011.
The Irish S.C.'s seeming acceptance of the entirety of Section 4 of the Draft Covenant would seem to be indicative of a willingness to fall in line with the A.C.of Nigeria's, Uganda's and other Provinces of the Global South contingent's desire to exclude the Provinces of TEC and the A.C.of Canada from the fellowship of the world-wide Anglican Body.
One wonders whether this desire for uniformity in the Communion - to the exclusion of the ongoing participation of TEC and the A.C.of C. is anything to do with the Church of Ireland's need to keep it's end up against the dominant magisterial structure of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland.
A question now is, will the independent Anglican Churches of Wales and Scotland follow suit? One hopes not! And how will the Mother Church of England itself be able to live with the upcoming jurisdictional restrictions of a Covenant, which would necessitate the C.of E. being subject to the same possibilities of exclusion from the Communion by other Provinces - such as Sydney, Nigeria or Uganda?
I am one of those Roman Catholics who thinks it is one of the greatest of all scandals of Christianity that we are not in full communion with our Anglican, Orthodox (Greek, Russian and every kind of Orthodox on Earth), and yes Methodist brothers and sisters. I know many Methodists of the extreme liberal branch who do incredible social justice work with the poor and hungry, as well as outreach to the glbt community. I know many Lutherans who also fit into the same category. It is truly ridiculous that at this late date in the early twenty-first century that we cannot break bread together around a common table. Our liturgical issues are really not that far removed from the basics. We need to get over our shortsightedness and act like true disciples of Christ. I believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic feast. I have to respect that we may each differ a bit from one another as to what this means, but for the sake of Christ's Church, isn't it time we actually bridge the gaps and actually enter into full communion? I am confused as to what positions the Anglican Church of Ireland and Scotland hold on this "Covenant" issue. I wish the entire matter of "Covenant" would just disappear. It appears a "divider" instead of a "uniter" and I fail to see its' true worth. I do not mean this disrespectfully.
Thank you for your kind words Chris Smith, but we can't even agree on things like the Apostolic succession within the AC, (and we, TEC, did a really shameful "snub" to our fellow Lutherans in the U.S. over this issue) let alone beyond it.
It is still refreshing to know that our travails are felt beyond our self-drawn borders, and yes, it ultimately distances us from God.
Now about that music we'd have at that common table....
Isn't this the most important language? -- "and his new group under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Dublin."
Of course the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland is not going to get out in front of, or contradict, the work of that group.