Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Covenant views

From ENS in the USA we have a report Presiding officers, Executive Council member urge congregations to study the Anglican Covenant.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson and Executive Council member Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine are calling on all Episcopal congregations to engage in discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant at some time during the next two years.

The Episcopal Church leaders suggested in a Sept. 3 letter that congregations consider organizing a discussion group on the covenant during Advent (2010 or 2011) or Lent (2011 or 2012) or at another time before General Convention in 2012…

There is an official Study Guide, available here.

Meanwhile, from Simple Massing Priest in Canada we have a strongly worded critique, Saying No to the Anglican Covenant.

…The Anglican Covenant is the greatest attempted centralization of authority since the de facto creation of the Anglican Communion due to the final disestablishment of episcopacy in Scotland (1689) and the consecration of the first American bishop (1784). Despite the pretty words of 4.1.3 that the Covenant “does not represent submission to any external ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” nor “grant to any one Church or agency of the Communion control or direction over any Church,” 4.2.7 is very clear that the newly minted Standing Committee (whose creation has been a sideshow of smoke, mirrors and skullduggery) will have authority effectively to direct “relational consequences” to be imposed on recalcitrant Provinces…

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Sarah Dylan Breuer
11 years ago

I find it interesting that both the CAPA statement and the “Anglican Communion Institute” led by Ephraim Radner have said that the Anglican Covenant as it stands is inadequate. Who’s left to cheer for it?

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

With regard to the Anglican Covenant and Canada, there is a lot of indignation about the covenant in Malcolm’s piece. However I can’t help noticing that the noises being made about communion level advocates of the covenant is matched by a stony silence with regard to structures in the Canadian church. There is the suggestion to get folks opposed to the covenant involved in governance gatherings. However, at Canada’s most recent General Synod, parliamentary debate on sexuality issues was replaced with well managed small group discussion in the service of a hoped for pre-determined outcome. It will be interesting to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

One can only hope that individual diocesan synods around the world will detect the underlying snares attached to acceptance of the Covenant as it stands. The reasons for both conservative and liberal protesters are, of course, very different: For CANA & the Global South, it does not concretely support their homophobia and sola scriptura agenda; while for us liberals, it shows all the signs of a proscriptive and hierarchical tendency towards control – in the papal direction. Bishops of the Communion need to educate their diocesan and parochial organisations in the possibilities of what this Covenant could mean for their… Read more »

Lionel Deimel
11 years ago

It’s certainly clear that the covenant is not everything the ultraconservatives would like. Do we think they are criticizing it because they believe they can get a stronger draft put forward and approved? I doubt it. I suspect that the detractors on the right would be happy to have the current draft approved; it will transform the Communion, which can be further centralized and made more autocratic in due time. The criticism from the right, I assert, is intended to help convince moderates that the covenant is really acceptable. After all, if it is criticized from both the right and… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery
11 years ago

I think the Covenant is dead in the water now. Meanwhile there are now two de facto Anglican Communions. There is a group still stuck in the middle but they will probably end up casualties of the polarization. So make your choice. Could the separation be accomplished nicely and with charity and grace? I would hope so, but fear not.

Leonardo Ricardo
11 years ago

What is this latest Global South meeting about in London? These boys, and they mostly are boys, seem to think they are on a (who pays for these lofty/selfrighteous take-over-a-thons?) roll…perhaps the GS has come to pressure the ABC that he ¨takes the Covenant¨ further as advised in Entebbe last week? Instead of fussing about what the Anglican Communion ¨doesn´t do¨ these outspoken preachers must stop imposing themselves on others and should stay home and deal with the vertical corruption and vile deadly actions of civil war/outcasting in and about their religious and cultural communities…the Global South have no superior… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
11 years ago

Do hope people look at it sooner rather than later. If there are major problems, they aren’t going to be resolved in the last 30 days, unless there is a dynamic and pressure leading up to that. Better to study it early, identify the issues, suggest alternatives and agree where the lines must not be crossed. If everyone has had a fair chance to contemplate and collaborate, then no nasty document will be foisted upon an unsuspecting Communion. The members of the Communion can make it a palatable document, or junk it if it is without merit and only a… Read more »

EmilyH
EmilyH
11 years ago

The communion document as it stands presents issues for both the left and the right. The right may fear that it is unenforceable and the left fears what it will become. This reminds me a bit of a dialogue Matt Kennedy had with Ephraim Radner (reputed to be a centrist) had some time ago on whether or not the GS should attend Lambeth. Kennedy feared it could be viewed as conciliar and authoritative. Radner argued that it could and that is why the GS should attend viz: “As far as I can see, Matt’s reaction is on the level of… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
11 years ago

Emily’s concern is valid. The response is that souls that play numbers games are merely oppressors by another name. (It is also why we should not wait until the last minute to contemplate and respond). Just because some Christians hearts are selfish, and their imaginations small, does not mean that God is either selfish nor small. God has the ability to make provision for each and every soul. It is those that refuse to make provision who are limited, not those who open their hearts and minds to God’s bigger, all-embracing vision. We don’t have to all live in the… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

@ Ian Montgomery, Who do you think should separate from what?

Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

Good Heavens, the idea that Lambeth could be seen in the same light as Nicea is absolutely laughable. Even if you ignore all the assurances given when the Conferences started that it would not be legislative, at best it would be a “local” council. It couldn’t possibly be taken to speak for the entire Church. It really does make Radner look silly (and Kennedy as the soul of reason, oddly enough).

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

@EmilyH: “What Radner suggested above is that the [Lambeth] conference could morph into something else, particularly if Nigeria and Uganda showed up with the needed numbers..” Of course. And so could the Covenant, or the Primates’ Meeting, or anything else if Minns, Duncan, et. al. are able to control it and “morph” it into a needed tool. Their goal is complete control of the US Episcopal Church and they have a proven willingness to use any means necessary to achieve it, So far they have failed. Will they ever stop trying? No. Will they eventually succeed? Yes. They already do… Read more »

Lionel Deimel
11 years ago

Charlotte,

I suggested in May that we withdraw from the Anglican Communion, at least for a time. (I described the idea as a sabbatical.) My suggestion didn’t get a lot of traction. You can read it here: http://blog.deimel.org/2010/05/reviving-old-proposal.html

Ken Gill Cole
Ken Gill Cole
11 years ago

From my perspective as a member of the Diocese of Springfield: We are a lamb being led to slaughter. The brightness of our ideas surfaces from time to time, rising and peeking through the fabric of our traditions, only to be woven over and suppressed by those who fear freedom of expression. How easy it is to lose track of the teachings of Jesus by stepping into the web of political wrangling that gains its purpose in the squelching of sources of controversy for the purpose of presenting a unified front. Central control is the objective. I met Greg Venables… Read more »

EmilyH
EmilyH
11 years ago

Given that Lambeth was not to be viewed as legislative, Radner+s comments, taken as he is viewed as “moderate” are all the more telling. Trust is a huge issue. Trust that TEC will comply without being forced (Article4) and Trust that the GS will not impose further measures, —the 39 Articles, Athanasian Creed etc. as well as its specific biblical exegesis. TEC has already voluntarily stepped aside from the ACC. What happened? Dromantine happened Nottingham happened. The GS attempted to pack the ACC with primates and, with the standing committee, taken a firm step in the direction of a magisterium.… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
11 years ago

I’d like to “be in a relationship” too, EmilyH, but what kind? Should we stick with what we have? Our so-called partners are unrelentingly abusive and mean, except when they need to separate us from some of our money. We persist in thinking that they’ll somehow come around, that they really do love us and need us, that this thing is just temporary and we should try to stay together. Can a relationship this one-sided be founded on reality? I say it’s delusional. Look at Okoh, look at Orombi, look at Venables, look at Duncan and Minns. What are they… Read more »

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