Monday, 22 November 2010

Covenant - something to covet?

Bishop Pierre Whalon, who is Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, has written an article which is published at Anglicans Online.

You can read it at Covet a covenant?

…The Covenant Design Group tried their best to satisfy the demands of those who wanted to restrain local provinces from actions that would disturb, as well as those who insisted on maintaining complete independence. In that sense, the document is interesting, and I maintain that the process of discussing its proposals throughout the Communion is healthy for us all.

However one frames it, the Covenant does provide a mechanism for eventually determining who is “in” and who is “out.” Do I want, say, the Diocese of Sydney “in” or “out”? Based on what? Their peculiar ecclesiology, which lies well outside the usual range of Anglican options? Their desire to have lay people presiding at the Eucharist under certain conditions? That it often seems to be too much of a family affair? What benefit would there be to them and the rest of us in ostracizing them? Or any Anglican church you think has placed itself outside the pale?

Also, the weekly front page essay at Anglicans Online is about the Covenant. You can also read that over here (permalink).

We decided it was a two-letter night. Like to read about the Covenant, to be voted on this week by the Church of England? See the left side.

If you’ve had quite enough of the Covenant, have a look at the right side.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 22 November 2010 at 8:37am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

If you’ve had quite enough of the Covenant, have a look at the right side.

I'm definitely in that category. However, I think the right side was about the covenant too, in a stealth-fighter sort of way.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Monday, 22 November 2010 at 5:27pm GMT

The comment from the medical doctor explains why so many thoughtful people move to the Episcopal Church, from other denominations and religions. It is exactly on target.

Posted by: Andrew on Monday, 22 November 2010 at 7:03pm GMT

"However one frames it, the covenant does provide a mechanism for eventually determining who is 'in' and who is 'out'. Do I want, say, the Diocese of Sydney 'in' or 'out'? Based on what? Their peculiar ecclesiology, which lies well outside the range of Anglican options? Their desire to have lay people presiding at the Eucharist under certain conditions? That it often seems to be too much of a family affair? What benefit would there be to them and to the rest of us in ostracising them? Or any Anglican Church you think has placed themselves outside the pale?

- Bishop Pierre Whalon, CEC in Europe -

Well! What a wonderful argument for 'NO COVENANT' One could hardly take issue with this as one of the most cogent reasons for not going along with the proscriptions of Section 4.2. of that oddly divisive document.

I have long wondered how Anglicanism at large could manage to get along with the Sydney-siders who want to ditch the whole theory of priesthood, as being subtly different from the lay order in the Church, & who want to blur the distinction of Holy Orders in this radical and non-catholic way.

The good Bishop certainly ought to make all of us put on our thinking caps about this one; because whatever we 'traditionalists' think about gay's and women's ordination; this lay presidency lark is perhaps just one step too far. After all, a priest is a priest and a faithful lay person is a no less dignified but distinctive part of the worshipping community of the Church.

Sydney, though, does have different ideas, and are they any more or less radical than the idea of homosexual persons being made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore capable of representing Christ at the altar? I think Sydney has gone even further than that, in its break with classical orthodox and catholic doctrine.

However, I am not willing to break Communion with Sydney on this matter - as long as they are not hell-bent on breaking Communion with me on my opinions about women and gays being ordained.

If only we could live together with our different sets of shibboleths and orthodoxies, all things would be well, all manner of things would be well

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 at 4:59am GMT
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