Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Church in Wales gives “amber light” to Anglican Covenant
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales debated the Anglican Communion Covenant this morning and has now issued this Press Release.
Church gives “amber light” to Anglican Covenant
April 18 2012
A plan to protect the unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion was given an amber light, rather than a green light, by the Church in Wales today (April 18).
Members of its Governing Body voted to affirm their commitment to the Communion and the Covenant process, but asked questions of the Anglican Consultative Council which meets in October. They feared the recent rejection of the Covenant by the Church of England jeopardised its future and clarifications about that were now needed before a decision could be made.
The Bishop of St Asaph, Dr Gregory Cameron, who proposed a motion which was amended in the light of the Church of England decision, said, “We have given the Covenant an amber light rather than a green light but in doing so we are being honest about where the Church is today. However, I think we need to reaffirm our strong commitment to each other through the saving power of Christ revealed in the Gospels. That is what I believe the Covenant ultimately calls us to do and I hope one day the Church in Wales will be able to vote for it.”
The amended motion, which was carried overwhelmingly, was that the GB:
i) affirm the commitment of the Church in Wales to the life of the Anglican Communion;
ii) Affirm its readiness to engage with any ongoing process of consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant;
iii) Request clarification from the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to the status and direction of the Covenant process in the light of the position of the Church of England;
iv) Urge upon the Instruments of Communion a course of action which continues to see reconciliation and the preservation of the Communion as a family of interdependent but autonomous Churches.
The published agenda gave this text for the original unamended motion:
Posted by Peter Owen on
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 at 5:11pm BST
That the Governing Body:
i) affirm the commitment of the Church in Wales to the life of the Anglican Communion, and subscribe to the Anglican Communion Covenant;
ii) invite the Standing Committee to monitor the Church in Wales’s participation in the Covenant on an annual basis.
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Gregory Cameron may well want to describe this as an amber light but surely the amendment was the polite synod speak way of saying no.
So glad the Gregory himself offered this amendment.
It was Gregory Cameron who I had previously reported here anonymously as saying the consequences of England's rejection needed to be closely examined by the ACC who were likely to "pull it". This will be bitter for Gregory who has worked tirelessly on the Covenant over a couple of years and genuinely believed it was a step forward both in catholic order and for gay people to have a real opportunity for a hearing in the Communion. As Jonathan Clatworthy reports Dr Cameron was always (and uniquely) willing to engage with opponents of the Covenant.
There is also something of a "post-Rowan" feeling here. The Archbishop has bent over backwards to be publicly supportive of his predecessor, but now things are different and his early opposition to the Covenant so well articulated at a previous Governing Body, has returned. I understand Gregory was surprised by the bench not giving their support at their recent meeting, Monmouth was to speak against and the motion that the matter should not be put, likely to succeed.
It's worth noting that the Archbishop of Capetown's recent letter has picked up the theme that the Covenant is NOT dead in the water. A theme we also find in an otherwise nasty little essay just published by Fulcrum. I imagine that this is the Lambeth/ACO message, in which case it was even more interesting that Gregory himself moved the amber motion.
Remember your highway code! Amber means STOP.
Doesn't an amber light mean "slow and prepare to stop?" Or does Dr Cameron imagine this is a flashing amber light, which at the end of a red phase in the UK means "give way to pedestrians"?
At least he has managed to resist the urge to compare anyone to the BNP on this occasion, so I suppose we must be thankful that the good bishop's metaphors are merely obscure rather than actually inflammatory.
As I've commented before. Given what has happened how can the Covenant possibly be a unitive force for good in the Anglican Communion?
It seems to me that there is some wounded pride evident as well.
It would be best simply to drop the whole idea now, but I suppose that that can't actually happen until a new Archbishop emerges.
So I imagine we'll limp on for the rest of the year with traffic lights of red amber and green ... stop, get ready, go and then stop again.
I got a smile from the link posted by Simon S.
Yellow (amber) lights mean the same thing in North America, in theory. In practice, it usually means put it to the floor before the light turns red.
So the Welsh dragon fails to breathe Red hot fire yet again! That's the trouble with Anglicanism - permenantly stuck on Amber.
I found out recently in New Zealand, when I turned a corner on a Yellow Light, I was fined $150!
It is not difficult to see how this decision came about in the Church of Wales. Bishop Gregory is a realist and he probably knew that the Covenant might have been lost without this last minute amendment.
It will be of great interest how the upcoming meeting of the GAFCON claque to take place later this month in London will affect the non-GAFCON Primates - in their assessment of the advantages - or disadvantages - of trying to lure the more conservative Provinces back into the Communion.
Bishop Nazir-Ali seems hell-bent on putting the cat among the pigeons with his confrontational interview given to the Telegraph recently. He seems to have the bit securely between his teeth on GAFCON's bid to exclude the LGBT community from any role of participatory leadership in the Church
I think that Bishop Gregory and his loyal team of Covenanters will have much more to be concerned about than the local traffic regulations.
I was taught that Amber means "stop if you can do so safely before the lights turn red but move swiftly across if that's the safer option".
Martin do you know that Gregory proposed the amendment? The press report just says that he proposed the motion that was then amended.
Jeff Bridges in "Starman", explaining to Karen Allen that he (an extra-terrestrial) understands the rules of driving:
"Red means stop, green means go, yellow means go very fast...."
Sorry to mislead you Brian.
As I understand the substantive debate did not happen. The amendment although not actually drafted by Gregory (probably Swansea and Brecon) DID have his assent, which everyone is seeing as a very gracious move on his part. So that was what I meant by offered.
No press release on the talks that were held on the second day around women bishops. Major changes are thought to be in the offing in the way this is proposed to move forward.
Well, Pat, them's the American rules, for sure.
Simon, I got a good laugh out of your link.
It's quite true that Gregory Cameron was willing to engage with even his most humble critics, meaning moi on my wee blog. He surely caught me by surprise. At first, I thought it must be someone else posing as the bishop, but I've come to realize that it was indeed Cameron.
To a good many folks in the US, an amber light means speed up, but the official position is still slow down and stop unless you are already nearly beneath the traffic light.
We, in the New Zealand Diocese of Christchurch are presently in the middle of a Division for voting on the Covenant. I made my little speech (against - on grounds of stifling prophetic initiative) and had to leave - being a P.T.O (retired priest only) - but was under the impression that there were more speakers against than for the Motion.
We will know in a few hours time!
Oh dear, not so.
It would now appear that the text for the amendment was also drafted by Llanelwy! Just to get the historical record straight.
For those who might be interested. I did an earlier comment that the Synod in progress at the diocese of Christchurch Synod meeting today, was about to go into division for a vote on the Covenant. My prayer this morning at Mass was that the Holy Spirit rule.
The result has just been announced Covenant NO!
With no following motion!
This vote will go on to our General Synod in ACANZP in July and will probably tip the balance away from the Covenant.
Christ is Risen, Alleluia.
What could be more unWelsh, nay unCeltic than the proposed 'Anglican Covenant' with its control-freakery, its head in the sand attitude,pomposity-grandiosity, and failure of honesty - ok its BS !