Thinking Anglicans

Brazilian response to Covenant

Brazilian Bishops respond to the St Andrews’s Draft of the Covenant

During its last meeting in Curitiba, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil generated an official response to the Anglican Covenant – St. Andrew’s Draft. Such draft was sent to all Anglican Communion provinces, so they would examine it and send suggestions to it.

The document, entitled “Life in Communion and the Communion of Life” reiterates that there are aready instruments that define how Anglican provinces interact with eath other, and concludes that there is no need for a new covenant which would be more restrictive than what we already possess.

Read the text here.

It is also available as a PDF file here.

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Erika BakerBen WFord ElmsGöran Koch-Swahnerobroy Recent comment authors
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JCF
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JCF

Viva Brazil! 😀

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

The Portugese-speaking Brazilian Bishops won’t need to have the Primate of the West Indies translate LOVE GOD and LOVE ONE ANOTHER into English…they know how to do it lovingly…perhaps this clear and clean example of a mature response to the Anglican Communion will set the stage for some serious fellowship and a integrated Eucharist at The Lambeth Conference…ALL Anglican Bishops sharing the “gifts of God for the people of God” together/mutually and with good will/faith toward one another ought be enough of a Anglican CONVENANT for starters (not to mention just basic good manners)…actions, still do, speak louder than palabras.

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

Archbishop Venables according to the Anglican Church League has come out in opposition to a Covenant.

THE FACT IS THAT THE REAL CONSERVATIVES ARE AS MUCH OPPOSED TO THE IDEA AS LIBERALS….SYDNEY DON’T WANT IT.

Malcolm+
Guest

If we keep treating geography as a negotiable item, I may just have to declare myself a Brazilian.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I am deeply sorry that the Anglican experiment appears to be unravelling so fast. It was always my view that the Lambeth Commission was the wrong tool to fix our broken relationships and the ideas they offered in the Windsor Report and its Covenant becoming the ONLY way forward was inevitably going to be a disaster. In the immediate aftermath of the Windsor Reports publication we were persuaded that the Report would just be the beginning of a wider dialogue and agreed publicly to engage with it. Within a matter of hours as events took a hand another, deeply flawed,… Read more »

robroy
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robroy

The Brazilians embarrass themselves repeatedly with the “scripture has no place in the debate” and their obsequiousness towards their financial guarantor, the TEC. Now we have, don’t try to restrain our forays into heresy with any Covenant. “The nature of the Anglican Communion already has sufficient elements that both characterize and nurture it. This is the richness of our cultural and hermeneutical diversity that always creates the challenge of positive tension for us, which experienced in the exercise of dispersed and shared authority.” In case Sr Silva did not notice it, the Anglican Communion is currently dead. It is a… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

I rejoice at the tone and content of the Brazilian HoB. ‘Windsor or bust’ (thank you Martin R) beguiled the likes of +Durham and Graham Kings and also put them in the driving seat with Rowan in their own minds. The trouble for any leader of any constituency (be it Catholic or Evangelical or Liberal or another) is that for all the grand schemes and ideas the troops will not follow them if it means abandoning the historic generosity of Anglicanism. Loyalty to our comprehensiveness normally trumps loyalty to our particular theological tribe. Our core identity is perhaps rather stronger… Read more »

badman
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badman

The loudest English exponent of the “Covenant or bust” policy has been the Bishop of Durham, who describes the Windsor Report as “the only game in town.” The Archbishop of Canterbury is not the Bishop of Durham’s puppet and is of a far more subtle cast of mind. He will settle for what he can get, and that will fall well short of what the bolters want (and they’ve bolted already, after all) and what the liberals fear (and he won’t push the liberals further than they are willing to go). The whole business is messy and unpleasant, to put… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Well, another no, and a duck so dead it makes a mockery of the Lambeth agenda. What now would be the function of sending out letters to some bishops saying that if they disagree with the Lambeth Conference agenda regarding Windsor and the Covenant that they should examine whether they ought not to come? This policy of Rowan Williams and backers is unravelling in front of them. Perhaps they all indeed should concentrate on being better bishops. These letters were due to go out “presently” well over a week ago, and that was a delay from Tom Wright’s titbit speculations,… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

+Venables according to the Anglican Church League has come out in opposition to a Covenant. RIW There is a big difference between those who would destroy the Anglican Communion and those who would add their “input” to the overall wholesomeness of a orderly/adult communication process regarding a convenant. PB, not archbishop, Venables has respect for no process, no good will and shows no honor or dignity when violating “provincial” boundries throughout Anglicandom after he agrees, repeatedly, not to. Self-will running out-of-control, a pumped up ego and destructionist comes to mind as he removes himself from REAL conversations and efforts to… Read more »

Kahu Aloha
Guest

An open, honest and embracing letter from the Bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. While saying no right now to the Covenant they say yes loudly to Communion. Their recognition of the organic as opposed to juridical nature of Communion may be something for Lambeth to chew on and inwardly digest. As parish priest in destination resort, I worship each Sunday with the world. People are fed up with the anger and discord. It is way past time to stop being fixated on a few angry older men and to start appreciating what we have in common –… Read more »

Ben W
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Ben W

Looks like in the disarray there is more unity than we first thought!

It appears that J Schori and Venables are finding their way to a common position! “+Venables according to the Anglican Church League has come out in opposition to a Covenant. RIW”

For those who want to loosen even further wider unity and “the bonds of affection” what does this mean? If you want confusion without any specific Christian identity this is one way to get there (all in the name of “communion”).

Ben W

Malcolm+
Guest

Of course, the “conservative” viewpoint cannot be defended on its merits. Therefore it depends on persecution myths and conspiracy theories. If a bishop in the Global South rejects the seek and destroy strategy of the Akinolists, clearly he’s been bought.

What utter tripe, Robroy.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“The Brazilians embarrass themselves repeatedly with the “scripture has no place in the debate” and their obsequiousness towards their financial guarantor, the TEC.”

You mean like the obsequiousness of the Global South to their financial backers, the relatively invisible forces of the US far-right?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“specific Christian identity” What is this? Christians are not an ethnic group. We do not have an identity, we have a faith. Citizenship in the Kingdom is not a nationality. This is just another example of the Right defining the group to which they belong, that they may better identify the groups they stand against. You might want to claim it is something about believing a particular creed or something, and that this would define one’s behaviour. Maybe, though belief in the Christian Creeds doesn’t seem to have altered much the behaviour of the leaders of the Global South. As… Read more »

Ben W
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Ben W

Ford,

There you go again, why go off on these “rabbit chases?” No one said anything about an ethnic group or Christian nationality.

If you have heard what I said you know the question for me has been, why do you insist on simply being TEC or ACC? Do you not recognize that the church grounded in Jesus Christ is not an ethnic or geographical identiy in this way? Time to talk straight.

Ben W

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I don’t insist on simply being TEC or ACC. I have always thought it was a mistake to go off and do things that the rest of the communion doesn’t agree with. Furthermore, I wish +VGR had been more like Jeffrey John and stepped aside “for the good of the Church”, like St. Chad of Litchfield. The issue is with the idea of “Christian identity”. Usually one hears that spoken by fundamentalists for whom it is obviously some kind of pseudonationalistic thing, as if we Christians constitute some kind of ethnic group. So, if that isn’t what you meant, then… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Ben: there is nothing which links conservatives and liberals any longer. They simply don’t believe the same things.

Does anyone seriously believe that peace is ever likely to break out?

Unless a definitive decision to accept these differences and either live with them or move apart, this sort of terious argument will continue to cause nothing but unpleasantness

robroy
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robroy

Correction: ++Venables did not “come out against the Covenant.” Rather, here is what he actually said: ———— VOL: Will a Covenant ultimately bring us altogether? Venables: Since we don’t stand together on Scripture or the creeds, it is unlikely that a covenant will do what they (Scripture and creeds) have failed to do. If we don’t stand on these two basic foundations, we are unlikely to stand on a Covenant regardless of how many drafts are written or how long it takes. The likelihood is that the language will be so nuanced that even orthodox folk will think that something… Read more »

Ford ELms
Guest
Ford ELms

“Since we don’t stand together on Scripture or the creeds”

We’ve never stood together on Scripture. Oh, we had some sort of vague statement, but let’s be honest, the Evangelicals have always had a different understanding of the authority than the rest of us. And in what way can we said to not stand togather on the Creeds?

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, On Christian identity, it is true that for many what really identifies them is not faith in or their loyalty to Christ, that is only some kind of pious extra. Their real identity is determined by their ehnic or nataional allegiance. Having spent some time in India it becomes very clear you do not become or remain a Christian apart from basic loyalty to Jesus Christ. That is central to your identity. In our neighborhood as well with people from Asia and elsewhere it is clear Christians have specific identity and are not the same as the Hindus etc.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“What this means I think is that just because of our identity in Christ we would stand for respect and fairness for all.” I agree entirely. But who is not standing for respect or fairness here? Who are the ones saying that those they disagree with are faithless, selling out to the world, “unitarians”, and on and on? +Jensen just recently drew the circle smaller and declared of any Evangelical who attended Lambeth, their “credentials as an Evangelical”, I believe he worded it, would be forever tainted! The Right doesn’t only hint, but outright states that those who oppose them… Read more »

Ben W
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Ben W

Ford, These terms do get thrown around a lot. I mean simply that, loyalty to Christ in gospel context. But I am not using it to negate anyone in particular (e. g. cons vs liberal etc). We can all have various blindspots and need to be ready to engage with one another to not only speak out but to hear and sometimes be corrected. On identity, it is not only ethnic or national allegiance but even sexuality that may come to take that primary place for some (their primary way fo thinking of themselves and seeing themselves is wrapped up… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Deflecting, as always.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben
The problem I’m having with your last statement is that we would actually quite like to be seen as Christians primiarily, but in current religious discourse we’re not allowed to.

Especially those who oppose us refuse to see past our sexuality, make it the one defining issue and then claim we can’t be loyal followers of Christ if we have a different view on sexuality from them.

I’d be delighted if I never had to have another sexuality conversation ever again but could concentrate on what is truly important.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“But I am not using it to negate anyone in particular (e. g. cons vs liberal etc).” In which case you are, as I said, one of the very few Evangelicals to which this applies. Since words like “Christian”, “faith”, “orthodox”, etc. have very specific meanings to most Evangelicals, obviously being used to refer to themselves and exclude anyone who isn’t Evangelical, you need to realize that when you use these words without such meaning, you are liable to be misunderstood, since no-one is accustomed to an Evangelical using the word “Christian”, for example, to include non-Evangelicals. You, as I… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, I see definite meaning in these terms as well (nothing to be gained in deliberately keeping things fuzzy is there?). But I also recognize that people can be wrong in important areas of doctrine or life and still be a Christian (that has included me at times!). That does not mean we become blind to falsifications of the gospel or simply affirm the actions of people who knowingly continue in sinful conduct. But we cannot simply assume that about someone,that a person knows and deliberately discounts the gospel. This is a patient but clarifying process in the end(cf. Matt… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben
“That does not mean we become blind to falsifications of the gospel or simply affirm the actions of people who knowingly continue in sinful conduct.”

Any chance you might ever be able to concede that people do not “knowingly continue in sinful conduct” but that they genuinely believe their “conduct” to be free from sin and affirmed by God?

Might that be something you could take with you from months of talking to us on TA?
Your view is really quite insulting.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, I thought you might actually have read closely enough to see that is part of what I am saying! I think there are those for one reason or another who think they are right in what they do, and I do not not just assume they wilfully reject what they understand to be right. The tendency is to say that what we disagree about after all is not very important; but one reason differences are hard is that all disagreements are not about nothing! (in other words there are important differences between people that matter deeply). I think there… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“I think there are people like Spong or Ingham for whom what is affirmed in the gospel has long been passe. It is almost a scandal in their view that one could be so “unmodern” as to think that the gospel might be true in its basic affirmations and be the basis for faith and life. They know and understand very well the plain teaching of scripture, that is simply discounted on this and other matters.”

Maybe, Ben W, you should try to get this verdict of yours confirmed somehow by the individuals in question… or eihter keep your peace.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben

In the post I quoted you spoke of “sinful conduct”, and I fail to see how that applies to a set of beliefs.

Spong and Ingham still firmly believe that their reading of Scriptures leads them to the same Christian God.
You can disagree.
You can say that, according to your understanding, they are wrong.

But what you cannot do is to claim that they are, and I quote you again, “people who knowingly continue in sinful conduct.” Or belief, in this instance.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika,

If you wish to pronounce further on bishop Spong why not begin by reading what he has said about God (and many other matters)? It is not that hard to know, he has said it again and again!

Ben W

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben
What I’m saying, and I have read Spong, is that he genuinely believes himself to be a Christian and to seek the Christian God.

I say it again:
You can disagree with him, many do!
You can believe him to be misguided, wrong, no longer within acceptable bounds of your understanding of Christianity.
That is all perfectly ok.

What you cannot do is call him a deliberate sinner, implying that he knows better but ignores the truth in favour of his own interpretation.
That is at best not understanding his sincerity, at worst slander and lying about him.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, You can defend the indefensible if you like. I do not question that Spong still in some sense wants to talk about God and likes some things about Jesus – so do a lot of Hindus and often hold to more of the substance than does he – (the alternative of ouright atheism is rather bleak). There were Marxist materialists who insisted they they were actually the true “Christians” by picking some things from the NT. If one simply takes license to define terms as it suits you then you can be anything you set your mind to. Do… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

You mean go down into anti Modern subjectivity, I suppose Ben?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben “If one simply takes license to define terms as it suits you then you can be anything you set your mind to. Do we want to go that route or live there?” Possibly not. What’s that got to do with anything? My point is that you have no right to call Spong, or any other self professed Christian a liar or a deliberate sinner, simply because you don’t agree with his views. Your earlier statement of affirming people who “knowingly continue in sinful conduct” implies that it is not possible to hold widely different views with sincerity and that… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, I don’t want to prolong this, but with you it is very hard, as you put it, not be “insulting” (if you are prepared to turn almost anything I say into insult)! It does make it more clear why we are in such trouble in reading scripture together for its meaning. If you go back you will see clearly enough that I have said precisely, 1)that I believe it is possible to hold “different views with sincerity;” and 2)that I do not assume “that anyone not agreeing with [my] framework is automatically a liar and a sinner.” One thing… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben If I misunderstood you so badly, then please go back through your posts on this thread and tell me, what precisely, “That does not mean we become blind to falsifications of the gospel or simply affirm the actions of people who knowingly continue in sinful conduct.” refers to. At first I had thought it referred to sexuality. You then told me I wasn’t reading your post properly and that people could disagree with sincerity. But then you concluded by criticising bishops Spong and Ingham about their views. So, what or who precisely where you getting at when you said… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I have some questions of your awareness of evangelicals if you think this is how they are “used to refer to themselves and exclude anyone who isn’t Evangelical.” “ My awareness of Evangelicals comes from direct experience gleaned in my 45 years of life. As I say, if you do not use “Christian” to mean “Evangelical/fundamentalist Christian” then you are, in my experience, a very great rarity. Not only that, Ben, but I have frequently heard Evangelicals strongly assert that they do not think non-Evangelicals are not Christians, then turn right around and use the phrase “Christians believe” to refer… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, Bs Spong and Ingham are both people who know quite well the Biblical teaching on God and various other matters. In particular if you follow Spong, he rejects what he knows the Bible teaches and opts for his own “redefined” teaching to go his own way. You must live in very sheltered world! You have not met people who ignore what they know or who have abandoned what was clear to them to do something that is contrary and justify it somehow? (e.g. the apostle talks abaout people who know one thing and do another, Rom 1:18ff). But you… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, We get a lot of generalizations don’t we, Catholics are like this or that(“they don’t read the Bible and listen only to their priest” but some of the most serious readers of scripture I have met are Catholic etc). I think your statement, “I do not see such respect and fairness in the actions of the Right,” falls into the same category. Who all is included in the “Right?” It’s a generalization that means you either have not come to know many evangelicals or operate with very confined assumptions. I have already pointed you to evidence that if your… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Who all is included in the “Right?” “ Akinola, Minns, Venables, Harvey, etc. Not exactly an obscure bunch. “It’s a generalization that means you either have not come to know many evangelicals or operate with very confined assumptions.” I assure you I have met many Evangelicals in my time. Just because you personally don’t behave as they do does not mean their behaviour is rare. As I have repeatedly said, my stereotypes are based on 45 years of experience. I have met Evangelicals who do not behave in this fashion, but, as I said, not many at all. It seems… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben I am really trying to follow what you’re saying but I struggle. What motive could anyone have to “sinfully” abandon what they believe? Surely, if people change their beliefs they simply say that they don’t believe xyz any longer. There is nothing sinful about it. Spong has reinterpreted Biblical teaching about God in a way that makes sense to him. Yes, it is not conventional. But that doesn’t make him dishonest. It may make him wrong, but surely, it doesn’t go beyond that? I agree there are many ways of knowingly going against what you know is wrong and… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika,

You want to know precisely who I was referring to in saying, “That does not mean we become blind to falsifications of the gospel or simply affirm the actions of people who knowingly continue in sinful conduct.” I was not making trying to make a narrow statement refferring simply to sexual matters.

Ben W

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben Of course no-one wants to affirm deliberately sinful behaviour. I wouldn’t want to watch a murder being committed and say, ok, that’s just how it is. But that’s not my question. You made a particular statement that arose out of this particular thread of conversation. Something in the context of talking about people’s faith made you say you did not want to affirm their knowingly sinful conduct. I would still like to know, who or what precisely, in this thread, you were referring to. Otherwise we end up in this wishy washy place we were a few weeks ago… Read more »