The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, has said that, while he supported the principle of an Anglican Covenant, he could not endorse the proposed version currently on the table.
See press release, Archbishop of Wales warns proposed Anglican Covenant could lead to exclusion.
See full text of his address, Talk to the Governing Body, September 2007. Here is an extract:
Three of the primates have also ordained bishops specifically to exercise ‘pastoral oversight’ in North America, and this has won the approval of a fourth primate, the Chair of the Covenant Design Group who has said that their consecrations could lead “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the USA”. To intervene in the internal affairs of another province in this way has hitherto been regarded by the Communion as totally unacceptable. The Windsor report condemns such activities as did previous Lambeth resolutions. Although the primates in Tanzania also condemned these actions, they seemed to accept the fact that some primates did not feel able to refrain from such actions, until sufficient provision had been made, for what are regarded as faithful Anglicans in North America. That totally subverts the polity of the province concerned and Anglican ecclesiology in general, (if it happened in this province, we would not find it acceptable), but the primates seem to give it passive acceptance. The implementation of the Covenant will be in their hands, and they seemingly condone ‘the breaking of the bonds of affection’ in a very substantial way by some of their number. As they said in their press statement at Tanzania , “Those who have intervened believe it would be inappropriate to bring interventions to an end until there is change in the Episcopal Church”. They then go on to propose pastoral strategies with a pastoral council and a primatial vicar for the Episcopal Church to be in place by the end of September. That would possibly end interventions by individual primates but it would be a massive intervention in the affairs of the Episcopal Church by the primates as a body and all of this before a Covenant is even in place.
Moreover the primates at Tanzania went further. They said, “Pastoral needs are not limited to the Episcopal Church alone. Until a Covenant is secured, it may be appropriate for the Instruments of Communion to request the use of this or a similar scheme in other contexts should urgent pastoral needs arise”. In other words, there could be wholesale intervention by the primates in any province until a Covenant is in place and then obviously intervention by them again if any province was deemed to have breached the terms of that Covenant. Not surprisingly the Episcopal Church has refused such requests. In an attempt however to be irenic the Episcopal Church says, “The proposed pastoral scheme is injurious to the Episcopal Church but we pledge ourselves to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the primates compatible with our own polity and canons”. In other words, before a Covenant is even established the primates are imposing deadlines and demands. What will happen if a Covenant were to be in place?