Friday, 3 December 2010

more about GAFCON and the Covenant

George Conger writes in the Church of England Newspaper today: Gafcon primates vote of no confidence in the Covenant.

The Anglican Covenant is too little and too late, to hold the Anglican Communion together, the leaders of the Gafcon movement said last week.

Revisions to the document adopted last December by the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee were unacceptable, the Gafcon primates’ council said on Nov 24, and urged the communion to adopt “new initiatives to more effectively respond to the crises that confront us all.”

Seven primates along with Archbishops Robert Duncan of the ACNA and Peter Jensen of Sydney acknowledged as “well intentioned” the “efforts to heal our brokenness through the introduction of an Anglican Covenant,” but concluded the “current text is fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate.”

And he also reports:

…While the statement was released on the same day as General Synod debated the covenant, the timing of the release was not intended to sway discussion in England, a spokesman told CEN.

The “Oxford Statement” required weeks of refining and was passed from archbishop to archbishop before it was ready for release, a Gafcon secretariat spokesman said.

Sources within the Gafcon movement tell CEN, the Oxford Statement should not be read as an outright rejection of the covenant, but as a vote of no confidence in the current draft that vests authority in the Anglican Communion “Standing Committee”.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 3 December 2010 at 1:40pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England

That´s odd as I believe deposed-TEC bishop Robert Duncan and his non-Anglican Communion ACNA ¨continuing church¨ group already accepted the ¨covenant¨...must be some confusion or simply playing all angles to cover their bases?

Oh my, do “new initiatives¨ mean that Bishop Gomez/chair of the ¨covenant design group,¨ is busy sharpening his blue pencil?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 3 December 2010 at 2:51pm GMT

Sources within the Gafcon movement tell CEN, the Oxford Statement should not be read as an outright rejection of the covenant, but as a vote of no confidence in the current draft that vests authority in the Anglican Communion “Standing Committee”.

One wonders why these much self-esteemed Primates aren´t capable of spelling out what they really know, being honest, direct and forthright and requesting further corrections to the covenant draft so they can get what they think they must have to punish other provinces and exclude sadly imagined less pure Christians at The Body of Christ.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 12:48am GMT

Yet again, the "Oh my goodness, was the timing of this statement calculated? How could you think that!" What tosh.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 3:42am GMT

This review of the GAFCON shenanigan around the issue of the Covenant clearly demonstrates the hubris of this group of Primates by drawing the attention of the Anglican World to their failure to cooperate at any level in strategies designed by Canterbury and the ACO to keep the Communion together.

GAFCON's further dissociation from the Primates' Council in Dublin next year gives further proof of their un-willingness to remain part of the Communion. Does the ACO need any more evidence of GAFCON's desire to 'Go It Alone'?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 5:14am GMT

Wasn't Chris Sugden in the press room during the General Synod covenant debate (seem to remember a twitter comment to that effect). Where was the Oxford statement issued - was it really without the GAFCON Oxford presence? There's a similar statement from Minns with just as little credibility

Posted by: robert on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 1:43pm GMT

To what extent are the statements about non-attendance in Dublin set in stone? Or is this more brinksmanship and crozier-rattling?

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 2:56pm GMT

@Tobias Haller: I myself think there is a considerable degree of crozier-rattling here. For Conger's "Gafcon sources," it's the membership of the Standing Committee that is actually at issue here. The threat of non-attendance is being used to get the ACO to comply with their demands.

What are those demands? Christopher Seitz+ is campaigning for a "representative" Standing Committee. That is, he wants to see more Africans appointed. In "fairness," according to Dr. Seitz, the membership should reflect the never-substantiated, non-transparent claims made in Evangelical circles about the huge numbers of African Anglicans.

There is also a move afoot to remove the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from the Standing Committee.

My read is this: Many on the right have resigned themselves to passage of the Covenant in its present form, not the more punitive form they originally campaigned for. So they are now concerned to control the Standing Committee which will administer the Covenant. If they control the Standing Committee, they will be able to inflict discipline and expulsion on the US church, as they have long wanted to do.

I often think back to the good old days of Security Council maneuvering at the United Nations when I contemplate the present Anglican Communion. Perhaps we'll see a Primate or two banging a shoe on the podium before all this is over, as well. But I'm a-weary of it all...

Posted by: Charlotte on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 4:09pm GMT

That is a very clear and helpful analysis Charlotte. Thank you. I get it now.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 12:07am GMT

I am still interested in the issue of how far these Primates speak for their Provinces and what liklihood there is of inter-provincial strife.Friends with a good knowledge of Ghana tell me Akrofi does not speak for the whole episcopate let alone the bishops of Sierra Leone or Liberia.Do we know anything about this? Or, for example how GAFCON Primates view the "oddities" ( which are likely to increase) of the diocese of Sydney?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 9:49am GMT

Just to follow up with a comment Christopher Seitz+ made on a Stand Firm thread, and reposted on TitusOneNine:

"Our view is the GS will/ought to covenant and also see to its proper administration. Why concede to the present SC? Gafcon appears to be more worried about the SC than the actual covenant text; that is correct."

Here, Seitz+ confirms what I've been saying: he is not seeking "fairness" on the Standing Committee; he wants the Global South to control. Then they will be able to use their powers under the Covenant to discipline the Episcopal Church.

Posted by: Charlotte on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 at 11:28pm GMT
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