The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church has published its latest response to the St Andrew’s Draft of the proposed Anglican Covenant.
The response is in a PDF file available here.
There is also a covering press release. Some excerpts:
[Episcopal News Service — Stockton, California] The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council said January 30 that the church “remains committed to the Communion-wide process of conversation towards an Anglican covenant.”
“At the same time, TEC wants to emphasize that matters of moral authority and interdependence amongst churches result from mutuality, not regulation,” the council wrote its response to the St. Andrew’s Draft of the proposed covenant.
“Care needs to be taken that our conversations around an Anglican covenant do not draw us necessarily toward a hierarchical model of a church union or even the perception of Anglicanism as a singular global church,” the response said…
…Council’s covenant response reiterates the Episcopal Church’s stance that participation in the covenant development process “does not implicitly commit” the church to ultimately approving a covenant. And it makes clear that only the General Convention can sign the church onto such a document. It predicts that such approval would not come until at least 2012 and not until at least 2015 if such approval was deemed to require changes to the Episcopal Church’s constitution…
…In response to the Joint Standing Committee’s question about what changes are needed in the St. Andrew’s Draft, the council offered nearly five pages of section-by-section comments. It raised the most concern over the process (that begins to be described in Section 3.2.5) to be employed when any proposed or enacted measures at the provincial or local level “are deemed to threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.”
Calling it “the most problematic section,” the response said the process that involves consultation, mediation, and communion-wide evaluation is “overly juridical.” The council said that from the time an Anglican covenant was proposed in an appendix to the 2004 Windsor Report, there has been a movement “calling for the beginnings of inter-Anglican canon law or, if not that, inter-Anglican processes for negotiations and settlement of disputes and concerns.” Council summed up its comments by asking, “How does the covenant help us look like Christ?” and asked how it helps Anglicans recognize Christ in each other…
The recent Church of England response to the same draft was reported here.