The Church of Ireland has issued this press release:
A Response To The Consultation On Draft Anglican Covenant
Church of Ireland General Synod’s Standing Committee agrees response to Consultation on Draft Anglican Covenant.
The Primates of the Anglican Communion have called on member churches to agree a Covenant which will recognise their common bond. Each church is being given an opportunity to contribute to the process.
The Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland, at its meeting on Tuesday 20th November, agreed a response to the Consultation on a Draft Anglican Covenant. The response includes an alternative form of wording for the Covenant, which the Standing Committee hopes might encapsulate an approach that would be acceptable across the Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
The text of the response is posted on the Church of Ireland website at the request of the Honorary Secretaries, and may be accessed by clicking here [PDF].
An html copy of the proposed covenant text (not including the covering explanation) can be found here.
The introduction is copied here, below the fold.
THE CHURCH OF IRELAND RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT ANGLICAN COVENANT PART ONE
This Church of Ireland response to the Anglican Draft Covenant was prepared by a small drafting group comprised of those who were, or had been, elected members of ACC and those who had been much involved in ecumenical affairs on behalf of the Church of Ireland. The preliminary discussion centred on whether the idea of a Covenant was to be supported, or whether something much simpler was required, such as a common statement. Two previous Church of Ireland responses within the Windsor process had shown somewhat different emphases in relation to this issue. However it soon emerged that there was within the drafting group, a general willingness to support the Covenant concept.
The drafting group decided that rather than make a line by line response to the Draft Covenant, it would use it as a basis for the construction of what it was felt would be an acceptable form of Covenant. A new drafting for a Covenant was then discussed at a full meeting of the drafting group and the Bishops of the Church of Ireland. It received a very positive response with a few minor suggestions which were easily incorporated. The Standing Committee of the General Synod, representative of the clergy and laity of every diocese then passed the response.
The thinking behind the Church of Ireland re-drafting could be listed as threefold:
1. A Covenant should express very clearly the themes of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence within the Body of Christ;
2. A Covenant should aim, insofar as possible, to be inclusive;
3. Whilst perhaps not solving the present crisis a Covenant should, by emphasising what is implied by mutual responsibility, go some way to prevent similar crises in the future.
The methodology of the redrafting included the following:
In discussion it became clear that, though procedures were felt to be inappropriate within the context of a Covenant, the Anglican Communion would have to put in place procedures, in keeping with the Covenant, to deal with crises which might develop.
The redrafting of the Covenant as attached here is offered in the sincere conviction that the Church of Ireland has a real contribution to make. This response is representative of work undertaken together by those of a wide variety of views in relation to both churchmanship and issues of human sexuality.
It reflects a determination to stay together in the face of the current difficulties. This redrafting is offered as a suggestion as to a possible Covenant which might be agreed on the one hand by those who emphasized the need for a greater sense of communion and all that this implied, and on the other by those who stressed the need for the recognition that provincial autonomy must remain paramount.