Thinking Anglicans

Covenant update

Paul Bagshaw, whose recent writing on this topic was reported on here, has written A couple of covenant comments.

Commenting on the paper by Stephen Noll, linked here, he writes:

Since 1998, and to some degree before then, the Communion has come to be conceived as a single entity lacking central governance. But it was never intended to be such – it grew as a federation of Churches each of which had, and safeguarded, its own coherent doctrine and effective discipline – accepting the differences in both from one province to another. That it was ‘lawless’ was not a criticism, merely a statement of the obvious. Each member had plenary jurisdiction and law; the Communion never had jurisdiction.

Nonetheless the mood changed. The federal structure (in the shape of the Eames Commission) sought an answer to the dissatisfaction of some by creating a tighter, more unitary structure – and the covenant mechanism can only move in that centralising direction. The SCAC reinforced it. The Anglican Communion is now thought of as a single body which ought to have the apparatus of a single body to make the idea real.

He also makes some comments on the ACC Constitution and the remarks of John Rees, which were reported over here.

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Scott
Scott
11 years ago

“Nonetheless the mood changes…” Of course the mood was changed by a strategic plan which was well funded and well executed mostly from the US. Public Relations is all about managing mood. But pandering to the public mood is dangerous and it certainly has nothing to do with being church. The mood in the US at least has been extremely fearful lately – which drives us to look for simple answers, safety, and security. The present Anglican structure does not fit that bill. But God help us if we go the covenant route, because then we’ll have an Anglican worldwide… Read more »

John Bunyan
John Bunyan
11 years ago

We simply do not and cannot have a worldwide Anglican “Church”. We can and do have various Churches in varying degrees of fellowship with one another, representatives of which at times have met together in congresses and in the Lambeth Conference over which the Archbishop of Canterbury presides. The Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia, for example, embodied in an Act of Parliament, makes it clear that our Church is autonomous although in communion with “the Church of England” under normal circumstances. There is no practical possibility of that Constitution being changed to diminish in any formal or legal… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“But God help us if we go the covenant route, because then we’ll have an Anglican worldwide church designed to make us comfortable and secure, rather than calling us to greater love and faithfulness to Jesus.” – Posted by: Scott on Thursday – I’m inclined to agree with Scott here. To move towards a restrictive Covenant relationship – that would seek uniformity in place of ecclesial fellowship in diversity – would be a step backwards towards a sort of papal magisterium, which was rejected at the Reformation. For the prophetically-oriented liberal movement of individual Provincial Churches to be forced into… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Covenant proponents want to create a mechanism that will determine, if you engage in this or that innovation, then are the rest of us still in Communion with you. One of the reasons the Covenant will be difficult to torpedo is because it is designed to put those of us who oppose it in the position of a vote against the Covenant is a vote against Communion. It is for this reason that I believe that the Canadian Church will vote in favor of the Covenant in the end, although likely via some sort of resolution that will allow weasel… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“say TEC were not to sign and The Scottish Episcopal Church were to sign, does anyone think the Presiding Bishop of the day will be greeted differently in Scotland should s/he visit there?” – Rod Gills – Rod, I’m jusy hoping that New Zealand will not vote in the same way that you fear the A.C.of C. might vote on the Covenant. I fear that would be a retrograde step, inimical to true Communion. As for the Episcopal Church of Scotland; it has already proved itself to be sufficiently independent of the Church of England not to have been persuaded… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Thanks Fr. Ron, one of the positives about a site like this, is getting perspectives on the ground from places one has only passing “tourista” familiarity with. The flip side of my question, is that in the end, if the Covenant flies in most parts of the Communion, it may not actually move things much further beyond where they are now. Covenant proponents may in the end get hoisted on their own landmine. However, I hope and pray I’m wrong about Canada, but staring down controversy does not seem to a national trait here by and larger.

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