Tobias Haller, in his article mentioned on this thread, appears to put forward the only possible apologetic for the acceptance of the Anglican Covenant. However, his thesis is based on the fact that the GAFCON attempt to take over the essence of the Anglican Communion - in their establishment of their own offices around the world - ought already to distance us who are not part of that, from their fundamentalist agenda; thereby opening up the possibility of a 'Reasonable' relationship of all other Provinces within a Covenant of sorts.
I could see a glimmer of hope for a Covenant based on an agreement between non-GAFCON Provinces of the Communion - but which would then need to modify the unedifying ethos of Section 4.
SE Asia has acceded - and added some kind of preamble; & the CofI has subscribed - with much clarification as to what that means. It seems the Covenant must be some kind of origami document - you just take the paper and twist it into whatever you want it to be.
So the Church of Ireland has signed up for the Covenant -- but only because that Church thinks the Covenant has no force.
They're right, in the sense that the Covenant isn't worth the candle.
They're wrong, in the sense that the Covenant will be used -- indeed, already has been used -- to bully, bludgeon, and intimidate.
Ireland "subscribed"; South East Asia recorded its "accession," and others have "adopted" the Covenant.
That leaves other churches free to acquiesce, advocate, approve, assent, autograph, back, bless, boost, consent, cosign, countenance, ditto, endorse, favor, get behind, give stamp of approval, give the go-ahead, go along with, hold with, ink, obey, okay, put John Hancock on, rubber-stamp, sanction, sign, signature, support, take, undersign, underwrite, or say yes to the Covenant or whatever yer havin yerself...
I think we're in linguist country again, and again in one that is expressed in slightly superior terms by native English speakers.
It's easy enough to analyse in detail the implications of adopting/signing up to/acceding to a Covenant - and it would be a nightmare for lawyers in one of our countries!
But before we continue this conversation as though our own interpretation of those words and our own reason for chosing certain words was authoriative.... could we maybe make an effort to understand what different countries MEAN by the words they've chosen?
And for monolinguals out there, that's NOT the same as finding synonyms for those words and using the same English to explain everything. It's discovering what those words mean in the respective source languages and cultures, and then working out what they might mean in this particular context.
That's not to say I agree with all the countries who are using different terms to place a tick in the "Covenant" box, but it's saying that, so far, I don't understand what they mean by it and that the analyses and meanings provided by monolingual English speakers lack authority and don't help me to truly understand.
It would seem, in fairly plain English terms, that some Provinces of the Communion are stopping short of actually 'adopting' it for their own use. That means, surely, that they do not necessarily own it.
Any other relationship to the covenant document, which stops short of 'adopting' it, may just merely be acknowledging its existence - without claiming it for themselves. That's what I think, anyway.
Until it gets rid of Section 4, I would not want to even consider it a viable means of securing koinonia for Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
"The problem for those of us who are Irish Anglicans is that our General Synod, while 'subscribing' to the Covenant, appears to have simultaneously affirmed the very "ecclesial deficit" affirmed by Quincy. Quincy has explicitly, and Ireland has implicitly, denied a key characteristic of patristic catholicity - what the Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement has described as "continual reciprocity" and "permanent conciliarity". For the church catholic, the local cannot have priority."
It would seem that this particular "Irish Anglican" - from the article on 'Catholic and covenant' - would appear to be more 'Catholic' than anyone other than the Pope. Granted, the Anglican Representative in Rome might be constrained to attune his argument to that of the Vatican, but to say that all 'Irish Anglicans' think we need a Covenant to ape Rome's magisterial rule is patently untrue. Otherwise, why would the Irish General Synod have voted to not 'adopt' the Covenant as it stands.
Obviously, not all non-GAFCON Provinces of the communion are whole-heartedly supporters of the present Covenant document - preferring their own independence to promote the Gospel in situ. When will the ACO understand that Section 4 is a No-No?
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