Friday, 13 May 2011

South East Asia endorses the Anglican Covenant

George Conger reports for the CEN that South East Asia endorses the Anglican Covenant. Here’s an extract:

…The province noted that “our accession” to the covenant was based on the understanding “that those who accede” to the agreement “will unequivocally abide by Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in its spirit and intent,” and would honour the moratorium on gay bishops and blessings.

Churches that accede to the covenant should also “bear authentic witness to the orthodox faith by an unequivocal commitment to the standards of moral and ethical holiness as set by Biblical norms in all aspects of their communal life.”

And South East Asia stated that it saw the primates as the body to oversee the implementation of the covenant, as it was the group “responsible for Faith and Order” in the Anglican Communion.

The language of the covenant that called for “common commitments and mutual accountability” among Anglicans to “hold each Church in the relationship of communion one with another,” echoed the “closing appeal” of the Kuala Lumpur statement. The 1997 statement called call for new structure to “guard the internal unity of our Communion,” and “strengthen the bonds of affection between our provinces, and especially, make for effective mutual accountability in all matters of doctrine and polity throughout the Communion.”

The province said the “similarities” between the documents were “not accidental” as the covenant was “the culmination of a decade of intense disputes over ethical teaching and church order in the Communion. The Kuala Lumpur Statement, in fact, marked the beginning of a united stand, spearheaded by churches in the southern continents, for the faith that was once delivered to the saints across the Communion.”

Those too young to remember it will find the Kuala Lumpur Statement here.

The full text of the Preamble to the Letter of Accession can be read here.

The Living Church has a report on this at S.E. Asia Adopts Anglican Covenant which contains the inital paragraphs.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 7:50am BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion

When I see reference to the "faith that was once delivered to the saints" I am reminded of many of the conservative evangelical ordinands I dealt with in the 14 years I was a Director of Ordinands. Their model was a baton race whereby a contextless "gospel" was handed down to each generation...todays gospel being identical with what preceded it back to the New Testament and unchangeable.It seems to me the major problem is the difficulty in actually communicating between provinces theologically given many different world views and levels of theological sophistication.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 9:40am BST

How about the part of Lambeth 1.10 that calls for a moratorium on border crossings? Or doesn't that mean anything?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 11:28am BST

SO! A qualified 'YES' then from the South-East Asian Provinces for the Covenant? This means that if TEC were to join in the Covenant process, S.E.A. would still not be part of it. So this would seem to be a bargaining tool for S.E.Asia. How will ACO react?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 11:45am BST

"Strengthening the bonds of affection" is beginning to sound more and more like being hugged by a python. No thanks.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 1:04pm BST

"The province noted that “our accession” to the covenant was based on the understanding “that those who accede” to the agreement “will unequivocally abide by Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in its spirit and intent,” and would honour the moratorium on gay bishops and blessings."

SEA has claimed its interpretation of the Covenant must be the one and only. Sounds familiar. Time for others to sign on and say the contrary, and push back on the mythology that L.1.10 represents the "mind" of anything other than those who supported it. As Pat points out, this is a lopsided affirmation. L.1.10 is the source of all the division in the Communion. It never represented a consensus -- but an unworkable compromise entered into in bad faith on both sides (at least those who voted for it.)

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 3:16pm BST

There are three things that concern me about the Preamble. One is the very selective use of previous statements. A large part of Lambeth 1.10, even to the extent that we extend authority to Lambeth resolutions, had to do with listening seriously to GLBT persons in our churches - a part they explicitly skip. And while the moratorium on boundary crossings came later in the Windsor Report (and to the extent that we give it, too, authority), we can remember that Southeast Asia was part of the foundation of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), arguably the first boundary crossing.

Second, they have established the first interpretative statement on the Covenant, requiring a that others embrace and agree on their view of the authority of Lambeth 1998.1.10, and on interpretation of Scripture. This "signing statement" makes clear what direction their participation in the life of the Covenant will take.

However, what troubles me most is their understanding that they are "acceding" to the Covenant. In itself, the Covenant text states that it does not alter the constitutions, canons, or structures of any signatory church. Calling their action "accession" suggests that they are embracing a centralization of authority in the Covenant itself, and are prepared to alter their own constitutional structures to fit. They may not be prepared to go so far; or they may not see any problem making such changes. Either way, this appears to be, for them, a step from the Anglican Communion to an Anglican Church.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 4:03pm BST

I so agree with Perry Butler. It is as if the gospel is written in stone, and that the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost never happened.
In our present age there are those both in the evangelical and catholic wings who have attempted to sink us into the past. They kill the gospel. and perhaps the best description of them both is forward in faith, but backward in Spirit.

Having visited Kuching it saddens me that the voice of so many good priests have been silenced.

Fr John

Posted by: Fr John on Friday, 13 May 2011 at 4:24pm BST

So, does advocating for the imprisonment and execution of members of your province cause a ripple in the "bonds of affection" that "hold us together"? After all, you are in possession of "the faith once delivered to the saints."

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 2:07am BST

"faith that was once delivered to the saints"! Which "faith"? That of St Paul or that of the so called "pillars of the Church"? They are not the same even in the New Testament.

Anglicanism is based on Scripture, Tradition and Reason. It is Reason that tells me that there is a God and the logic of the Gospel is acceptalbe. The Latitudinairans are probably right. Today's Gospel is just another religion which thrives on promoting fear and guilt. But I think with the new genration of young people, Church dictatorship will not last.


Posted by: CP36 on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 2:52am BST

people should remember this province was created because Singapore did not like the pro women policies of Hong Kong. The Diocese of Singapore was run like a police state and would make Sydney blush.

As for the Church of Ireland.. despite allowing women and divorce, it is a relatively conservative body. It voted for women bishops in 1990 and there are no women appointments yet. Bearing in mind only two Church of Ireland bishops actually wear mitres.. so Protestant is its inheritance, particularly the northern dioceses.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 12:28pm BST

I disagree cp36 Anglicanism was founded on the principle of Royal authority and Supremacy and a theology borrowed from the Reformers was added in the 1550s. The people of england had no real say in this formulation.

The reason and tradition elements were added in the nineteenth century.

Posted by: robert Ian williams on Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 10:50pm BST

My Lord of St. Asaph will be very upset that his allies in South East Asia will have let out the secret that the Anglican Covenant is what it has always been - the creation of a coercive central authority, a veritable fundamentalist Politburo.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Sunday, 15 May 2011 at 12:27am BST

"The reason and tradition elements were added in the nineteenth century."

It was suppose to have come from Richard Hooker who lived from 1554 - 1600 who wrote, "Unto the word of God, being in respect of that end for which God ordained it perfect, exact and absolute in itself, we do not add reason as a supplement of any maim or defect therein, but as a necessary instrument, without which we could not reap by the scripture's perfection that fruit and benefit which it yieldeth." I agreee with Richard Hooker that Reason is a necessary instrument. As for Tradition the it was something that evolved from the second century onwards and Anglicanism has retained the best parts of it.

"The people of England had no real say in this formulation."

Right, but I thought that applies even to today's Anglican Churches. The average Anglican in this part of the world would probably have not heard of the Anglican Covenant, know what is in it or care about it. He or she has no say about it. It is a case of "as it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever, world without end". But I still like Anglicanism. It is the best version of Christianity.


Posted by: CP36 on Sunday, 15 May 2011 at 6:37am BST

The Anglican Church settlement was in 1559, when Hooker was still a child. There is nothing about reason in the 39 articles of 1563 either.

The true Church according to the articles is where the sacraments are duly administerd and the gospel preached.....

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Sunday, 15 May 2011 at 5:02pm BST

"There is nothing about reason in the 39 articles of 1563 either."

There is nothing about Reason in the 39 Artices because it itself is a product of Reason from the mind of Thomas Cranmer. Anglicans have always been debating about something or other since the Reformation. To accept any document as final and stop debating is unAnglican. When people jettison Reason they can do all sorts of evil to their fellow human-beings because they can be trained to believe some holy book says so. God himself says, "Come let us reason together ...". Reason is of supreme importance and is common sense according to the Latitudinarians. Religion without common sense is dangerous.


Posted by: CP36 on Monday, 16 May 2011 at 2:27am BST

"The true Church according to the articles is where the sacraments are duly administered and the gospel preached....." - Robert I Williams -

Precisely, Robert. And the Church of which the Articles speak is, of course, the Church of England. (There is no mention of the Roman Magisterium's connection with this mission in the Articles)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 16 May 2011 at 11:34am BST

>>"The true Church according to the articles is where the sacraments are duly administerd and the gospel preached....."

I think that comes from John Calvin.

The Anglican Article 19 says, "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same."

It is not the "true Church" but the "visible Church".


Posted by: CP36 on Monday, 16 May 2011 at 1:18pm BST

Oh dear Robert! Hijacking the discussion again.
Still, he was 100% correct in his predictions about the Ordinariate.

My problem with this is the deceit implicit in the accession document.

Please forgive me for repeating myself again, but this Province does not stand by Lambeth 1.10 nor does it even pay lip service to statement made by the Primates, for example the Dromantine anathema.

This Province made representation to the Singapore government to criminalise FOR THE FIRST TIME lesbianism as recently as 2007 and asked the government to maintain the harsh penalties against male homosexuality.

They are liars! They are deceivers! They do nothing but bring our whole faith into disrepute by their false claims. This whole document is false.

My problem is that friends like Rowan Williams and Gregory Cameron viewed Chew and his actions as "moderate" and courted him and his like as allies. I suppose that just says something about the deadly intent towards gay people from some other Anglican provinces.

"...... unequivocally abide by Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 IN ITS SPIRIT AND INTENT". This is truly gut wrenchingly shameful.

Sorry, but it just makes me so hurt and angry.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 16 May 2011 at 5:58pm BST
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.