Thinking Anglicans

Covenant: a bad idea?

The Revd Dr Bruce Kaye is an Australian scholar, and editor of The Journal of Anglican Studies.

He has written an article titled Why The Covenant is a Bad Idea for Anglicans. (H/T Mark Harris)

In summary:

There are four reasons why this covenant is not a good idea for Anglicans.

  1. It is against the grain of Anglican ecclesiology (what we think the church is)
  2. It is an inadequate response to the conflict in the Anglican Communion
  3. In practical terms it will create immense and complicating confusion about institutional relationships and financial obligations.
  4. It does not address the key fundamental issue in this conflict, how to act in a particular context which is relevant to that context and also faithful to the gospel.
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Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
14 years ago

“The debate in the Episcopal Church is crucially about how to make a judgement about the proper adjustment to the social context in witnessing to the Gospel. That is the same issue in regard to homosexuality in Nigeria, though it is set within a different context with totally different assumptions” – Dr. Bruce Kaye – Of course! And this is why a Covenant which seeks to impose identical conditions of praxis, where social and ideological situations are so different across provincial boundaries, simply would not work. For a Provincial Church to deny its own prophetic calling to minister within its… Read more »

Brian McKinlay
14 years ago

Dr Kaye observes, in effect, that a right approach to contextualisation “has been neglected in the way in which the present conflict has been approached.”

We haven’t done the theology. Or, rather, it seems to me, some of us have done just enough of the theology to discover that there is no possibility of international agreement and that a covenant that assumes such agreement to be possible is seriously misguided.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
14 years ago

I guess if the Roman Catholic Church did not have such an iron-clad institutional ethos, it, too, would have a problem trying to encourage various national and provincial bodies to sign up to a Covenant relationship – like the one being proposed for the emerging Anglican Communion. Where different parts of the R.C. Church have different understandings of the ministry of women, the acceptability of contraception, and the possibility of married priests; there would be little prospect of getting all Roman Catholics to agree, afresh, to any future moratoria on debating such issues. It is only the Magisterium which presently… Read more »

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