Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – press reports of Wednesday's business

Updated Friday

Whilst Synod was debating the Anglican Communion Covenant, news broke that the GAFCON primates had rejected it, although this was too late to affect the Synod debate. But the press is naturally reporting both stories together.

Riazat Butt writes in The Guardian that Unity document exposes Anglican divisions and that African clergy reject ‘fatally flawed’ effort to unify Anglicans.

Ekklesia has Anglican Covenant confusion reins after firm GAFCON rejection.

Matthew Davies at Episcopal Life Online writes that General Synod supports Anglican Covenant process.

Reuters reports that Conservative bishops deliver blow to Anglican pact.

At Christian Today Maria Mackay writes that Church of England affirms support for Anglican Covenant, while Jenna Lyle writes that Anglican Covenant in question after conservatives withdraw support.

The BBC has General synod step closer to Anglican Covenant.

AFP reports that Church of England backs covenant but traditionalists rebel.

Update

John Martin has written for the Living Church about the Covenant debate: Victory for Covenant, ‘Catholic Spirit’ at English Synod.

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Raspberry Rabbit
Guest

reins? Sure Ekklesia means “reigns”. The writer had too much post-synod alcohol in his veigns.

Pluralist
Guest

Assuming no effect from the GAFCON decision, it seems to me that the dioceses will pass the Covenant and put on the Synod afterwards exactly the moral pressure to pass it that the Covenant would exert on Churches to resist changes. However, there may be a twist in this in that GAFCON could find itself on the outside, and thus be forced into entryist strategies of parallel institutions of parishes, bishops, theological colleges and the like. Passing the Covenant is a small confirmation of my own move to the Unitarians where creeds and such coercion are rejected in favour of… Read more »

Terence Dear
Guest
Terence Dear

Like most contributors to TA, I am opposed to the Covenant. I voted to remain in the Common Market in 1975 but, given the opportunity today, I would vote to leave because the present EU has become a bureaucratic monster. I am afraid the Anglican Communion will go exactly the same way. (I’m particularly against the CofE signing the Covenant because, in doing so, it will not only bind itself to the agreed standards of behaviour, it will bind the Royal Prerogative as well, which I don’t think it is legally able to do. But what do I know?) However,… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I very much hope, therefore, that TEC and the Canadian Church will sign up as well.”

No – I’ve commented on this elsewhere, but want to repeat it here.

We in the US are painfully aware of our history -when the whites sat in the nave, and the slaves in the balcony. I don’t want to belong to something that has a balcony for the “lesser” Anglicans – and that includes GAFCON.

Gene O'Grady
Guest
Gene O'Grady

I think the loose ball Mr. Dear is thinking of occurs in basketball, not football. Although that may be a hopelessly American perspective.

Bill Moorhead
Guest

I think Cynthia is absolutely right. No multi-tier Communion. If any Churches think they need to “walk apart” that would be very tragic, but people need to take responsibility for their own actions and not blame them on what somebody else does. I commented over at The Lead this morning: “I think one of the ways God pours out grace upon us when we wander astray is with a bucket of irony. It may be that the defection of the GAFCON gang will have the effect of saving the Covenant for +Rowan. On the other hand, if the GAFCON gang… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Terence, why should Canada and the TEC sign up for something that has now lost its raison d’etre?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“However, I have no doubt the CofE will sign the Covenant. I very much hope, therefore, that TEC and the Canadian Church will sign up as well. Both Churches exemplify the standards of behaviour set out in Section Three of the Covenant (Our Unity and Common Life) while the Gafcon Primates have made it clear that those are not standards they themselves are willing to live by.” – Terence Dear, on Thursday – I think, Terence, in the circumstances, many of us who look with suspicion on the Covenant could tentatively endorse your suggestion here – that TEC and the… Read more »

karenmacqueen+
Guest

Dear Rowan Williams, Hello? Hello? Is there anyone at the other end of the line? Hello-o? Oh, thanks. I couldn’t hear you. Perhaps it’s the beard… Anyway, I wanted to hear your thinking about the Covenant at this point. I noted your fervent speech at the General Synod. It seems to have brought the members of Synod around, huh? Nice work. Did they understand what you were saying or did they just vote the thing in the affirmative to send it on? So, now what? The GAFCON heavyweights will not come to the Primates Meeting. So, you can shelve your… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

What Cynthia said.

And our leadership is becoming aware that – even if they are blind enough to sign on – we won’t necessarily follow where they lead.

Sheep know bad shepherds, as well as the Good One.

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I believe Cynthia Gilliatt’s comments in this thread are right on target! I would add: A two tier Anglican Communion whereby institutionalized homophobia and misogyny are accepted practice is something that The Episcopal Church and the Canadian Church should reject at every turn. I believe they will do so. If the Church of England adopts such a Covenant it will ultimately destroy their credibility with society at large. It is already a destructive and divisive time bomb in the Roman Catholic Church. It is better to stay the course and follow the light of Christ’s inclusive love and allow the… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

I can assure our American readers that the ‘loose ball’ is indeed a term from football. There is not much basketball played here for it it be a term from that game (and even less American football)

Terence Dear
Guest
Terence Dear

How much of a two tier communion will there be? If the Gafcon Churches withdraw from the Primates’ Meeting, the Standing Committee and the Covenant, to what extent will they constitute the second tier that Cynthia, and I, are equally opposed to? All I’m suggesting is that, if the game changes, it is usually a good thing to at least review your tactics. Cliché coming up! – Some of my best friends are Americans. I have a great affection for America but two things disturb me: Specific to TA is the sense of victim-hood that comes across in many of… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘Lose cannon’ or should that be Canon ! – expresses the destructiveness better though.

Any one for croquet?

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Is the Covenant the Anglican version of Infallibility?

Fr Mark
Guest

Terence Dear “Specific to TA is the sense of victim-hood that comes across in many of the comments” Isn’t this a little patronising? Perhaps honouring those who have been wounded by the institution of the Church would be more sensitive here. I would say that TA receives comments from a lot of people who have been badly treated by those in power in the Church, and who yet refuse to walk away altogether, which is what those in power would much prefer them to do. Instead, they have decided to at least stay in the forum of debate and make… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Terence Dear said, “American propensity for isolationism. Walking out on the game because you don’t like the ref’s decision isn’t good.” Cliches are not only cliches but also quite often inaccurate. It is ironic to level the isolationism accusation, when it was North Americans who first proposed that the Lambeth Conference take place. As far as I know, Canada and TEC are still attending the primates’ meeting in Ireland. So they are not walking off any field. And last I checked, the Archbishop of Canterbury was primus inter pares — first among equals. Nothing like an international referee. Not a… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Fr Mark thank you. I am also always surprised that people seem to assume that the only ones struggling with staying together are the conservatives and that liberals are generally considered to be selfish and unwilling to compromise. The sacrifice and compromise for liberal provinces and for individuals is enormous when you think that they are willing to live side by side with someone like Bishop Orombi who would have them executed if they lived in his country, or with Western churches who will not allow them to be priests or bishops and who would rather not employ them in… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

A couple of Posters have expressed hope that Canada will not sign the covenant. Canada passed a resolution at its most recent GS commending The Covenant for study in advance of the next GS in 2013.We are in much the same situation as the C of E at this point–except for the time frames. I’ve attached a link to the resolution and the comment with it. The comments were authored by our church bureaucracy. They are very covenant friendly regarding changes made to the original covenant draft. I think it fair to say that they are indicative of a pro-covenant… Read more »

garydasein
Guest
garydasein

According LGTBTs second-class status in an institution is morally indefensible. What is at stake here is not some silly doctrine about something unfalsifiable but rather people’s lives. A covenant that would discipline provinces for opening up marriage to same-sex couples and the ordained ministry to all LGBTs, married, partnered, whatever, would communicate that the Anglican Communion still promotes gay bashing/bullying. Like the ecumenical movement, this covenant assumes that dog collars make up the church rather than the people. LGBT lay people will be able to drop out of provinces that sign on to homophobia or refuse to enforce equal protection.… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

Indeed, the term “loose ball” applies in North American football as well – as in this example from last weekend’s Canadian Football League Western Division Final: http://cfl.ca/video/index/id/15811 I agree with Rod that antiCovenanters in Canada need to begin making our case beyond the blogosphere. Any Canadians interested in being part of that process, please sign up at noanglicancovenant.org so that, as the Canadian Convenor for the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, I will have your contact information. I expect to be making further contact with the Canadian group over the next week. Canadians have played a significant role in the campaign… Read more »

Alan T Perry
Guest

In addition to Malcolm’s comments, let me say that I have a post on my new blog, and will be posting every few days with further thoughts on the Covenant. I have roughly a half dozen posts fermenting in my head, and no doubt that will keep growing. Click on the link below for the most current, a discussion on the question of Instrument Choice, in other words whether there ought to be any kind of Covenant, which is a question that has been largely ignored since the beginning. I hope that what I write, though from a Canadian perspective,… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“Isolationism” is an easy charge, and simplistic. I have no problem with being “isolationist” when, for instance, someone is saying to me, “Look, to be a part of this group you have to beat up and rob that guy over there,” or “To be in the group you’ve got to do drugs,” or “To be in the group you’ve got to drink this and get on the comet to Heaven!” Stepping out of a failed, morally-reprehensible “communion” is not isolationism. We can’t make you go with us, so it’s your choice to stay. We’re not cutting ourselves off from the… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Must thank Rod Gillis for the link.

Especially for

‘request that conversations, both within the Anglican Church of Canada and across the Communion, reflect the values of openness, transparency, generosity of spirit, and integrity, which have been requested repeatedly in the context of the discussion of controversial matters within the Communion;’

I have would never have associated the treatment of lesbians and gays in and by the Church with ‘openess’, ‘generosity… and integrity’. Nor the process leading to and following the ‘Windsor Report’ with ‘openness, transparency, generosity or integrity’.

I am speaking from experience.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Mr. Dear, Well, if others refuse to fight the powers-that-be to do what is right – I think a sense of “victimhood” is easily found on both sides of the Atlantic, given the excuse of “we-can-do-nothing-because-it-puts-our-jobs-at-risk” we constantly hear for not opposing the bishops and archbishops – if others refuse to stand, we must “go it alone” – if that’s isolationism, then well and good; some of us don’t see this as a trivial ball game but as something that actually matters in the lives of ourselves and others, and find the constant politicking and excuse-making to be repugnant –… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“I have a great affection for America but two things disturb me: Specific to TA is the sense of victim-hood that comes across in many of the comments. I don’t myself do victim-hood. It’s too self-indulgent and a waste of energy. The other thing is the American propensity for isolation-ism. Walking out on the game because you don’t like the ref’s decision isn’t good. – Terence Dear, on Friday – Terence, I sometimes look right through the comments on a particular thread again. And I can see what Mark finds difficult about your state-ment here; Victimhood happens – when people… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Fr. Smith wrote: “That’s not about Victimhood, Terence, but about Common Justice and Christian Charity. That’s the Churches’ Mission in god’s World.”

Amen.

I’ll go with what Jesus said, and actually did, rather than the oppression and hate displayed by much of the self-appointed ultra-orthodox, anytime.