Comments: Episcopal Church response to Covenant

Clear and coherent statement. It echoes what the Brazilian province stated through the Bishop's House.
Communion is not a question of legal systematization. Communion is build by mutual respect and comprehensiveness. Unfortunately some of the defenders of the Covenant are disrespectfully behaving against fellow Provinces.

Posted by Francisco de Assis da Silva at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 2:26pm GMT

"Unfortunately some of the defenders of the Covenant are disrespectfully behaving against fellow Provinces."

Exactly. Until the Primates can all come to the table and share in Christ's body and blood, there is no point to this effort.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 3:30pm GMT

If the Primates can't meet collectively (collegially?) over the Eucharist, is there still an Anglican Communion? If Primates effectively say to other Primates we can't share the Eucharist with the likes of **you**, aren't the excluded Primates effectively, if not formally, excommunicated by definition?
I'm glad to see the TEC Executive Council saying that they are glad to continue the dance, but not while staring down the working end of a shotgun. There is already a hierarchical juridicial model out there. It's called the Roman Catholic Church. I've always seen the Anglican Communion as a loose federation, where each Province recognizes the independence and co-dependence of the other Provinces. If TEC discerns that bringing gay and lesbian people into the priesthood and episcopate is appropriate, and the church in Nigeria discerns that's the most diabolical thing they've ever heard of, how is Nigeria prevented from following its own discernment?

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 5:37pm GMT

Excellent , thoughtful, anglican response to the provocation put before us.

To my mind the crucial phrase is

' mutuality not regulation'

Otherwise a great deal more time , energy and acrimony will be spent in an ultimately fruitless excercise. Rowan Williams has much for which to answer, in a short tenure at Canterbury.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 6:30pm GMT

"[H]ow is Nigeria prevented from following its own discernment?"
Because it fears that, given a fair hearing, recently recognized truths may triumph over ancient misunderstandings?

Posted by Steve Lusk at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 6:53pm GMT

"If TEC discerns that bringing gay and lesbian people into the priesthood and episcopate is appropriate, and the church in Nigeria discerns that's the most diabolical thing they've ever heard of, how is Nigeria prevented from following its own discernment?" Posted by peterpi

...because then the Diabolical will (try to) show up at Lambeth---or, God forbid, a Primates meeting!---and the Nigerian (etc) elect will get Teh Gay Cooties. }:-0

If we, the Elect, ever have to face (much less, Eat Jesus with) you, the Diabolical, as EQUAL brother&sisters in Christ, then our whole Judgment System will be shown for the nonsensical *arrogance* that it is, won't it?

peterpi, HTH.

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 7:58pm GMT

The clarity and overall soundness of this input from TEC again reminds me powerfully what depths and breadth of common prayer and church life - including the lovely balancing of lay vocations with others - all - which drew me in college to TEC, and still draws me.

Harshly judging, punishing, and policing all that is of course the core aim of the new Anglican rights, no moderation, no caveats, and certainly nothing but utter rightwing majority contempt for all manner of target folks - most notably in recent times, queer folks, women, and people who ask too many questions elaborated via scholarship instead of neatly resolved through pat doctrinal, moral, or theological answers.

Bravo, congratulations all around. Best part for me? The recognition that if we cannot come together in common prayer around the Lord's Table, then no higher form of global communion is ever going to really be possible, no matter what a new written Anglican covanant says and no matter who manages to sign off on it.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 9:06pm GMT

"Council’s covenant response reiterates the Episcopal Church’s stance that participation in the covenant development process “does not implicitly commit” the church to ultimately approving a covenant. And it makes clear that only the General Convention can sign the church onto such a document. It predicts that such approval would not come until at least 2012 and not until at least 2015 if such approval was deemed to require changes to the Episcopal Church’s constitution…" - TEC Response -

From the legal requirements alone, it can be presumed that TEC, at least, could not be fully committed to the proposed Covenant until 2015. Hopefully, by this time the GAFCON community will have either disintegrated or set up its very own protestant community - which may negate the fellowship idea implicit in such a covenantal relationship within the Communion.

One suspects, also, that there are still legal problems about the possibility of the Church of England's ability to become part of what might be seen to be a proscriptive organisation, whose membership regulations could be seen to interfere with the Church/State status of the C.of E.

As someone else has already remarked, a body of Church Provinces, aome of whose Primates have already resiled from the possibility of inter-Communion at the altar, may not have enough in common spiritually to guarantee the quality of relationship required by a Covenant for Christian Churches in Communion.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 11:59pm GMT

The Episcopal Church accepting the Covenant would be like the US Governmment surrendering its sovereignty to the British Commonwealth. Its simply not on.....

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 1 February 2009 at 3:41pm GMT

'One suspects, also, that there are still legal problems about the possibility of the Church of England's ability to become part of what might be seen to be a proscriptive organisation, whose membership regulations could be seen to interfere with the Church/State status of the C.of E.'

Yes, the C of E 'by Law established' is protected from the full force of this farce -but is only too happen to inflict it upon others.


Posted by Rev L Roberts at Sunday, 1 February 2009 at 6:02pm GMT

The whole point of this covenant business is to spank the North American Churches for being too gay-friendly, and for letting women take charge.

I say torpedo the damn thing and send it to sleep with the fishes.

Posted by counterlight at Sunday, 1 February 2009 at 9:17pm GMT

Just heard that the Pittsburgh Stealers won the Super Bowl ...is that an omen, and did Bishop Duncan name the team?

Posted by Robert Ian williams at Monday, 2 February 2009 at 12:27pm GMT
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