Comments: Two views about the Covenant

I'm more with Bagshaw at the moment than with the CTers. In fact the CT piece reads very oddly indeed. Clearly, the covenant is not a new baby, and to just that extent, does not automatically merit the shared deference and one-way care that a new baby probably evokes among us, for any number of evolutionary, theological, ethical, and simple human reasons.

If the covenant is a new baby, CT words that stroke up our valiant fantasies that it will likely grow up fast, to become a doctor-geneticist who shines in his lab wearing a golden halo like a medieval saint painting - this baby is a male, isn't he? - and finds the cure for cancer, or hepatitus C, or HIV-AIDS, or the common cold - are odd and troubling in the extreme to any thinking Anglican. RW ought to be ashamed of himself is he even secretly broaches the covenant in his own mind and heart with such fatuous imagery? The CT Folks are also smart enough to know what spin doctoring they indulge, so I'm about as impressed as being greeted by a smarmy used car salesman down at the local car lots.

Dressing up RWs covenant as a new baby is an interesting parlor trick - with the spin doctor deck of symbolic analogy cards all stacked, one way.

Even if we run with the new baby image for a bit, we easily realize that many couples in strife who hope that a new baby will glue them together for all the best - themselves, the new baby, and the outside surrounding communities included - are doomed to disappointment. There is hardly a failure so keen as having a new baby, born into the deep, dark heart of the such irrefutable, relentless family strife - you know, exactly the sort of deep, unremitting strife which the Sex Wars have occasioned for Anglicans?

In such violent family climates, then, two outcomes are typical - neither one very welcome. The new baby is born into being a victim of the very strife which he (again, that marvelous maleness of the humble new baby as our savior?) was otherwise supposed to quell and calm and heal. The other outcome is also typical, and frequent. The new baby becomes a transmitter, an embodiment of the strife - he grows up to be a batterer, plain and simple. One says in retrospect, that he was sadly born into such a fate - and hushed tones are not out of place.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 6:15pm BST

Actually, Dr Dan, I'm not so certain CT's endorsement of the Covenant is so ringing. They are correct to say that it is surprising that the HoB has not called for a higher level of endorsement by GS, precisely as they say because the impact of the Covenant, if adopted, would be so significant. But if they have not called for a super-majority, could it be because they fear it will not survive such a test? Yes, 2/3 would be a clearer endorsement. 50%+1 would be a squeaker and would reveal how weak the support for the Covenant really is. Such a win would be technically legitimate, but hardly anything to start building a new consensus on.

I truly hope that Paul Bagshaw is incorrect in believing that the Covenant is being pushed forward by the leadership of the Communion as a mechanism to push out the Episcopal Church. I have no doubt that's what the Global South have in mind, along with their rich American friends, but I hope the leadership have not sold out so completely. The expulsion of the Episcopal Church would be a great victory for the Global South, but a pyrrhic one, for it would also spell the end of the Anglican Communion. The next logical step would be a rush toward the Porvoo Communion as a more congenial forum.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 10:05pm BST

"None of the provinces has yet rejected the Covenant, but neither can anybody be confident that it will come smoothly through the provincial processes that are currently working towards a verdict." - Leader, 'Church Times' -

This, surely, is not quite correct. To my certain knowledge. my own Province of Aotearoa/New Zealand has already indicated that it would not be happy with Section 4 of the proposed Covenant Document as it now stands. While admitting that the first 3 sections might be subscribed to - as a formulaic agreement on the Creeds and other formularies agreed to so far by members of the Communion, the General Synod of our Province has signalled its profound dis-satisfaction with the disciplinary measures spelled out in Section 4. Seemingly, then, one might suppose that, unless Section 4 is changed radically, the Covenant is not acceptable - to at least one Province of the Communion.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 3:59am BST

The Church Times piece stops just short of its real point, it seems to me.

The English bishops opted for a simple majority because they are afraid that they may have trouble securing even that - and they are certain that a 2/3 supermajority is simply impossible.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 7:31am BST

"The English bishops opted for a simple majority because they are afraid that they may have trouble securing even that - and they are certain that a 2/3 supermajority is simply impossible."

So why do they alone get to set the rules? Doesn't anyone else [like priests, deacons, lay people] have a say?

I'm afraid, even after reading this site for several years,that the arcana of C of E legislative process confuses me [as ours evidently still confuses some on your side of the pond].

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 8:43pm BST
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