Thinking Anglicans

Is the Anglican Covenant Catholic?

Fr Matthew Duckett has written an article entitled Is the Anglican Covenant Catholic?

In November General Synod will be asked to approve a draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant. This is being presented primarily as a way of dealing with disputes and living together as a family of churches. But it is also an ecclesiological statement; it expresses a particular understanding of what it is to be the church, of what “church” and “communion” mean. As the Covenant text makes clear, accepting the Covenant entails accepting this understanding of the church. But is it an understanding that Anglican Catholics can recognise and accept?

As John Riches has pointed out, the Covenant, like the Windsor Report before it, draws on different and sometimes conflicting ecclesiologies. So its vision of what the Church is, and consequently what communion is, is incoherent. Above all, it is the lack of a clear Eucharistic ecclesiology, and the prevalence of other views which owe much to the Reformation, which is a serious obstacle for anyone approaching the Covenant from a Catholic perspective…

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Pluralist
10 years ago

This bit is surely right, and what the Camerons and Goddards seem to be denying:

it is at heart a document about how to tell when people don’t belong to the visible institution, and only a Reformation ecclesiology can do this with sufficient clarity.

Bryan Owen
10 years ago

Be sure to check out More Than a Via Media’s response to Fr. Duckett’s piece entitled “Covenant, Catholicity, and Eucharist” at http://morethanaviamedia.blogspot.com/2010/11/covenant-catholicity-and-eucharist.html

Ed Tomlinson
10 years ago

Incoherence at the heart of Anglicanism…surely not!

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

“incoherence”? – Well ….. apparently not if one accepts (along with that naughty Kaspar) the MTAVM version.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

It is at heart a document about how to tell when people don’t belong to the visible institution, and only a Reformation ecclesiology can do this with sufficient clarity.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 5 November 2010

The BCP makes it clear that we are all parishioners, – we all belong.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

Incoherence at the heart of Anglicanism…surely not!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Saturday, 6 November 2010

Ed you have shocked me !

An ‘Protestant-Catholic’ entity that emerged from a king’s lust for a son and women, and on his practice of divorce, and other forms of wife elimination !

Next someone will be asserting the incoherence(s) at the heart of Christianity itself, in all its expressions.

Matthew Duckett
10 years ago

I’ve posted a reply to More Than a Via Media, awaiting approval there so copied at my original post as a comment.

Savi H
Savi H
10 years ago

Matthew Duckett makes an important point. The Eucharist is indeed downplayed, and at times might seem a reward for, and consolidation of, being an ‘insider’. But it seems to me (though I am no expert) that the Covenant is different from many Reformed ecclesiologies in that there is not (as yet) a detailed statement of belief to which one is expected to conform, and which at least offers ground for debate: instead conformity to whatever the Instruments of Communion dictate at any time may become a test of orthodoxy. For instance, according to 3.1.2, ‘Trusting in the Holy Spirit… we… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

It is surely true that a Church that resists reformation is a dead church. To insist on a monochrome conformity to established dogma can become a recipe for decay. Ministry can only be performed within a local context. Doctrines are basic – but not the ways of understnasding their meaning in today’s world. ‘Semper Reformanda’ – This is not a covenantal charism.

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