Friday, 5 November 2010

Is the Anglican Covenant Catholic?

Fr Matthew Duckett has written an article entitled Is the Anglican Covenant Catholic?

In November General Synod will be asked to approve a draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant. This is being presented primarily as a way of dealing with disputes and living together as a family of churches. But it is also an ecclesiological statement; it expresses a particular understanding of what it is to be the church, of what “church” and “communion” mean. As the Covenant text makes clear, accepting the Covenant entails accepting this understanding of the church. But is it an understanding that Anglican Catholics can recognise and accept?

As John Riches has pointed out, the Covenant, like the Windsor Report before it, draws on different and sometimes conflicting ecclesiologies. So its vision of what the Church is, and consequently what communion is, is incoherent. Above all, it is the lack of a clear Eucharistic ecclesiology, and the prevalence of other views which owe much to the Reformation, which is a serious obstacle for anyone approaching the Covenant from a Catholic perspective…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 5 November 2010 at 6:37pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

This bit is surely right, and what the Camerons and Goddards seem to be denying:

it is at heart a document about how to tell when people don’t belong to the visible institution, and only a Reformation ecclesiology can do this with sufficient clarity.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 5 November 2010 at 8:49pm GMT

Be sure to check out More Than a Via Media's response to Fr. Duckett's piece entitled "Covenant, Catholicity, and Eucharist" at http://morethanaviamedia.blogspot.com/2010/11/covenant-catholicity-and-eucharist.html

Posted by: Bryan Owen on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 3:01am GMT

Incoherence at the heart of Anglicanism...surely not!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 7:58am GMT

"incoherence"? - Well ..... apparently not if one accepts (along with that naughty Kaspar) the MTAVM version.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 9:42am GMT

It is at heart a document about how to tell when people don’t belong to the visible institution, and only a Reformation ecclesiology can do this with sufficient clarity.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 5 November 2010

The BCP makes it clear that we are all parishioners, - we all belong.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:04pm GMT

Incoherence at the heart of Anglicanism...surely not!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Saturday, 6 November 2010

Ed you have shocked me !

An 'Protestant-Catholic' entity that emerged from a king's lust for a son and women, and on his practice of divorce, and other forms of wife elimination !

Next someone will be asserting the incoherence(s) at the heart of Christianity itself, in all its expressions.


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:11pm GMT

I've posted a reply to More Than a Via Media, awaiting approval there so copied at my original post as a comment.

Posted by: Matthew Duckett on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 3:47pm GMT

Matthew Duckett makes an important point. The Eucharist is indeed downplayed, and at times might seem a reward for, and consolidation of, being an 'insider'. But it seems to me (though I am no expert) that the Covenant is different from many Reformed ecclesiologies in that there is not (as yet) a detailed statement of belief to which one is expected to conform, and which at least offers ground for debate: instead conformity to whatever the Instruments of Communion dictate at any time may become a test of orthodoxy. For instance, according to 3.1.2, 'Trusting in the Holy Spirit... we seek to affirm our common life through those Instruments of Communion by which our Churches are enabled to be conformed together to the mind of Christ.'

This is borne out by the current situation. Though I am no admirer of the leaders of the Southern Cone, the reason why this province has been punished while Nigeria, say, has not suggests that failure to respond in a timely manner to a letter is a more serious offence in the new Anglican order than border-crossing, offences against charity involved in encouraging human rights abuses etc.

Posted by: Savi H on Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 10:24pm GMT

It is surely true that a Church that resists reformation is a dead church. To insist on a monochrome conformity to established dogma can become a recipe for decay. Ministry can only be performed within a local context. Doctrines are basic - but not the ways of understnasding their meaning in today's world. 'Semper Reformanda' - This is not a covenantal charism.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 7 November 2010 at 9:00am GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.