Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Covenant: several recent views

Michael Poon recently wrote an article for the Living Church titled Rebooting Anglican Communication.

In whatever ways we justify and reinterpret the Communion instruments of the Anglican Communion, it is clear the instruments no longer unite Anglican churches worldwide. Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meetings have become obstacles rather than means of healing the Communion’s wounds.

The reasons are clear. The Anglican Communion itself, understood as a Christian World Communion alongside the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other families of churches, is a novel idea in the post-Western missionary era. The instruments emerged in haphazard ways amid the devolution of metropolitan authorities from Canterbury and New York to churches in the southern continents. To be sure, they were useful to connect churches with one another in years surrounding the independence of the southern churches.

They have now become part of the problem, and have lost their legitimacy in the new conditions of the new century. For one, international conferences are expensive exercises, which are hardly sustainable in present-day economic conditions. More important, there is a worrying disconnect between what happens at Communion levels and what occurs at local levels. The faithful in their parishes are expected to remain loyal Anglicans week in and week out. To them, the Anglican disputes are irrelevant. Many of them perhaps have not heard about the Anglican Communion Covenant. Churches of weaker numerical strength and in more fragile conditions are sidelined as well in a high-stakes and wasting religious war….

Tobias Haller has published the text of a talk he recently gave, entitled Anglican Disunion: The Issues Behind “the Issue”.

…Let me first say a word or two about where I don’t think we find our identity. And that, ironically, is in the very “Instruments of Communion” which the Proposed Anglican Covenant appears to wish to install at the center of our ecclesiastical life.

The Windsor Report called them “instruments of unity,” which is not a little blasphemous since our unity is in Christ. But those instruments don’t in any case seem to have had the effect of improving unity. The four are the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meeting. These are all relatively recent entities not only in Christianity but even among Anglicans.

Obviously the Archbishop of Canterbury has been around since the late sixth century, But the office only began to function as anything like a voice in a “communion” with the beginnings of that “communion” when the Episcopal Church became an independent entity in 1785-89…

…It was not until 1867 that the first Lambeth Conference was called, largely to deal with problems in the by then much more widely dispersed collection of provinces in the Anglican family. It was a full century after that, in 1968, that the Anglican Consultative Council, a representative body including for the first time laity and clergy as well as bishops, was created. Ten years later, in 1978, the Primates of the Communion gathered for the first time as a separate body.

Obviously these entities can hardly be held to be either “foundational” or “essential” or “definitional” of what it means to be the Anglican Communion, which appears to have gotten on well enough without them for much of its life. Yet since the Windsor Report they have loomed rather larger in the picture. And the pressure towards a single unified body has taken form in the Proposed Anglican Covenant.

Savi Hensman at Ekklesia has just published an article titled A clearer, less divisive Anglican Covenant?

Attempts to bring in an Anglican Covenant which can be used to define Anglicanismand discipline member churches have run into difficulties.

Many are uneasy with this development. In November 2011, it became apparent that the province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia would reject it.

In the words of a diocesan resolution, one of its clauses contains ‘provisions which are contrary to our understanding of Anglican ecclesiology, to our understanding of the way of Christ, and to justice’.

Perhaps it is time to abandon such efforts and build on the foundations laid six years ago by the Anglican Consultative Council, when it agreed a very different Covenant for Communion in Mission…

Meanwhile, Fulcrum published A Churchgoer’s Guide to the Anglican Communion Covenant.

The whole Anglican Communion is considering whether to adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant. All Church of England dioceses and many deaneries are discussing it in coming months before it returns to General Synod in 2012. Fulcrum has consistently supported the covenant but is aware that there is little accessible material explaining it. As a result, many people are relatively uninformed or are being misinformed about it and its significance by some opponents. We have therefore produced this short briefing paper which answers some common questions and provides ten reasons to support the Covenant…

This prompted the No Anglican Covenant Coalition to publish: A Detailed Response to Fulcrum.

Recently, Fulcrum, an English Evangelical organization, issued a document offering ten points allegedly explaining why Evangelical Christians should support the adoption of the Covenant. The No Anglican Covenant Coalition (NACC) has published below a brief overview of why the ten points are inadequate reasons for Evangelicals to support the adoption. In this document we offer point-by-point refutation…

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Jeremy
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Jeremy

Fulcrum says, “It facilitates changes in continuity and dialogue with both our Anglican tradition and our fellow Anglicans around the world.”

“[F]acilitates changes in continuity and dialogue.”

I have no idea what that means.

It is useful, however, that Fulcrum admits the Covenant’s homophobic origins.

Fr John E. Harris-White
Guest
Fr John E. Harris-White

Very grateful for the No Anglican covenant critique of the Fulcrum document, which appears to come from cloud cuckoo land
The Anglicant covenant would destroy the heart of Anglicanism, by reducing the communion to a monochrome evangelical, negative uninspiring body. Lead by leaded footed folk, raather than the liberating spirit of the Holy Spirit.
The automony of the Provinces is essential to the Communion.
The Covenant should be killed as soon as possible

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

NOT TO BE MISSED:

¨unmistakable signs of rebellion¨

¨If the (well-intentioned) Archbishop of Canterbury were to have his way, the Anglican Covenant would, over the next few years, encircle the globe in chains…¨

http://www.layanglicana.org/blog/2011/11/09/countdown-to-the-chains-of-the-anglican-covenant/?doing_wp_cron

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

An Anglican Covenant is tantamount to having an Anglican Magisterium similar to the model used by Roman Catholicism. The “Roman” model has been in serious trouble for many centuries. May rejection of this very bad idea continue to gain momentum around the globe.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Would I be wrong in thinking that the only reason Fulcrum is backing this Covenant document, with Section 4:2 intact, is that it will ensure the isolation of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada from the rest of the Communion, thus ensuring the continuance of the Anti-Gay stance that Reform has always maintained from the beginning? It is ironic that Reform’s orchestrated opposition to the original appointment of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury – because of his thesis on the acceptability of Gays within the Church:(‘The Body’s Grace’) – should now dissemble into the acceptance of Rowan’s plan… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Interesting quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia:’As long as the Church of England is the established religion its worship will be regulated by statute, so that Acts of Uniformity in one shape or another will remain part of the English code of law unless, and until, disestablishment takes place.’ (Catholics *would* say that, wouldn’t they?)

So, we can strain at the ‘blasphemous’ (but comparatively small) gnat of the Anglican Covenant (which I don’t favour). No problem swallowing the whole camel of an established church built on the Acts of Uniformity.

Now where else did I hear ‘uniformity’ roundly dismissed?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I thought these were a very interesting collection. But I believe even the briefest summary of Communion development must mention the Anglican Congress in Toronto. Looking at the papers from this time (1963) gives a deeper understanding to the thinking behind those “instruments” that developed in the next few decades, here’s an extract: “Fourth, that every church seek to test and evaluate every activity in its life by the test of mission and of service to others, in our following after Christ. The Church is not a club or an association of like-minded and congenial people. Nor is our Communion,… Read more »

badman
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badman

The Act of Uniformity has been repealed. The Catholic Encyclopaedia is neither an authoritative nor an up to date source of information about English law.

Robert T. Dodd
Guest
Robert T. Dodd

Fr. Haller’s excellent talk, which he presented before the Annual Meeting of Albany Via Media at St. George’s Church, Schenectady, is part of AVM’s on-going effort to inform and encourage mainstream Episcopalians in the Diocese of Albany. Outstanding in print, the talk was even more impressive in person. Fr. Haller is a riveting preacher whose early career as an actor was clearly time well spent!

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Michael Poon refers to “Churches of weaker numerical strength and in more fragile conditions are sidelined as well in a high-stakes and wasting religious war…” When we talk of weaker churches been sidelined, we are talking of individuals and families being sidelined. Be subject to insults and abuse, shunned, slandered, brainwashed, witnesses to whitewashing as they and their parish members are dismantled whilst the “prophets and priests” protect their “holy communion”; claiming they are holy whilst they collusively perpetrate unholy acts. Jesus often said “Woe to you Pharisees”. You place unbearable burdens upon my people, and then refuse to lift… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks for linking into Fulcrum’s Guide to the Anglican Communion Covenant and its response from No Anglican Covenant Coalition (NACC). Father Ron Smith, I think you may be confusing Fulcrum and Reform. The Guide is from Fulcrum not Reform. One of the reasons for the founding of Fulcrum was to counter the misrepresentations made against Rowan Williams by Reform, Church Society and CEEC. See: http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/newsletter09.cfm?doc=137#a2 The following comments match the Fulcrum and NACC numbering: Point 1. From my discussions, it seems to me to be an overstatement of NACC to say that most C of E bishops in private do… Read more »

badman
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badman

“To vote against the Covenant would lead to a downgrading of ‘Communion’ (autonomy with accountability) to ‘Federation’ (only autonomy).” This is preposterous. Voting against the Covenant does not in any way downgrade Communion. Voting for the Covenant does however downgrade not only autonomy but, more to the point, diversity, which has been a distinguishing feature of Anglicanism at least since the Restoration of 1660. “The Covenant is not about insisting on ‘uniformity’ but about enriching ‘unity’.” This is the language of Orwell’s 1984. What does “enriching unity” mean? The fruit of the Anglican Covenant is, precisely, to penalise non conformity.… Read more »

Laurence C.
Guest
Laurence C.

“Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.”

…except when written by a suffragan bishop, when they can exceed 700 words.

David Shepherd
Guest

Badman: my juxtaposed comment in parenthesis might actually betray an awareness of the bias in the Catholic Encyclopedia entry and the law as it stands. My focus was the critics’ comparative connivance at ‘establishment’ (largely built through enforcement of the Acts).

I’m not particularly reassured that mere repeal of such legislation was enough to undo the undue ecclesiastical privilege and influence in public life that are its hallmarks. Time to end establishment.

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Thank you Graham Kings. Clear and charitable presentation of basic facts.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Bishop Graham Kings. I bow before your testimony, My Lord! I did, indeed, misrepresent the misdeeds of FULCRUM – by naming them ‘Reform’. However, the sentiments I expressed really belong to FULCRUM, may they cease trying to balance their stance with Mishpat (true justice)

MarkP
Guest
MarkP

“The Catholic Encyclopaedia is neither an authoritative nor an up to date source of information”
and
“the bias in the Catholic Encyclopedia entry”

Sorry if everyone already knows this, but it’s worth remembering that the online Catholic Encyclopedia at Newadvent.org (which contains the quotation referenced) is the 1913 edition.

Malcolm French+
Guest

Bishop Kings, you have (deliberately or otherwise) misrepresented the position of the Coalition. Your claim that the Coalition believes “autonomy and accountability are incompatible” is manifestly false. Where we differ, dear bishop, is on whether or not accountability (and interdependence) means always deferring to others. Similarly your claim that the Coalition advocates an “Anglican Federation” in place of the “Anglican Communion” is rhetorical bumph of the first order. It is the Covenant that seeks to change the manner in which the Communion operates. The Coalition is advocating the status quo. I would ask that you do us the courtesy of… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Kings, Pt.8: “Provinces who do not wish to take part in the Anglican Communion Covenant would still be recognised as Anglican, but not be part of the main bodies of the Communion.”

Southern USA, Post-Reconstruction: “You blacks are still on the bus, just at the back! You’re still citizens, just w/o the vote. What’s the problem?”

O_o

Jeremy P
Guest
Jeremy P

Graham writes: “This is not the case in the C of E, where dioceses are autonomous but also are accountable.” What is not clear to me is what this claim means. In fact, and in law, dioceses are independent of each other, and bishops can’t, and don’t, interfere in the affairs of another diocese. Look at the St Paul’s debacle for an instance of this. It led to a number of apologiae by other bishops trying to explain to the public (who, not unnaturally, think that the C of E is a body with a national structure with effective authority)that… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

Graham Kings, perhaps deliberately, ignores the issue that forced the untimely birth of the covenant in the first place. The covenant came out of the Windsor report, which itself came out of a hurriedly assembled group seeking to respond to a development in the Anglican Communion – the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson. The problem that Graham Kings has is that the the Church of England has ordained colleagues of his as bishops who are in the same circumstances as Gene Robinson except for the fact that they have not been able to be honest about it. Hence another bishop,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It is so good to see that Bishop Kings (FULCRUM) and Christopher Seitz (ACI) are in agreement. That does give the rest of us a lead on where their arguments are heading. Thank you.

Tobias Haller
Guest

The Anglican Covenant (in section 4) is an effort to formalize ways of altering communion relationships that up to now have been up to the individual provinces. But the Covenant lacks the means to enforce such alterations: the implementation of those changes in relationship ultimately fall back on the same provinces, though in theory coordinated by the Standing Committee’s recommendations. Far from being a way forward, it is a way sideways.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Bishop Kings, may I respond to your words: “The covenant is not so much about centralisation…”? So it’s alright if one province ordains a bishop who has a lesbian partner, and another one doesn’t? I think it’s alright, but I doubt if the Covenant is envisaged as such a merry means of promoting such diversity. In my mind, of course the Covenant is about centralisation. It’s created to establish a central set of practices and dogma, and to inhibit provincial deviation from that centrally-stated requirement of uniformity. It’s exactly about centralisation. And the aim is control of provinces so that… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(…contd) Otherwise it wouldn’t have arisen out of doctrinal differences especially over sex and gender. And otherwise, yes, it would be enabling provinces to develop diverse expressions of belief, in the context of faith lived in experience and sincerity, but in varying cultural settings, in diversity and divergence, without a centrally imposed ‘majority’ view implicit in the original reasons for the Covenant and its processes of control. Th Covenant seems to me pretty obviously about control. About trying to control how a province may or may not grow, or express its faith. And yet Anglicanism was born from the assertion… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Bishop, you also wrote (sorry to keep quoting you but I am trying to home in on your views): “Being accountable is central to Christianity.” Being accountable to God is central to Christianity. I can see that. But that is quite different to being accountable to another Christian’s divergent views on, say, sexuality. We are accountable to one another in bonds of care and love. But we are not accountable to a Covenant, or to another province’s dogma, and indeed the imposition of uniformity might very well get in the way of the exercise of conscience in our accountability before… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Bishop, you wrote: “To vote against the Covenant would lead to a downgrading of ‘Communion’ (autonomy with accountability) to ‘Federation’ (only autonomy).” That is quite an assumption. There is absolutely no reason – if we live in diversity and celebrate our variety and differences, but seek unity in Christ – why we cannot retain bonds of love and care for one another… why we cannot live in unity in Christ, and in Christ find our communion, even with all our differences. Provinces can be autonomous and still share communion in Christ… unless a group, in a desire to impose uniformity,… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(…contd) How can it be? We are all in union with Christ and the Holy Trinity for eternity, whether we are uniform or not! So I do not see why a federation of diverse and autonomous Anglican provinces need be unaccountable in terms of shared faith in Christ and shared care for one another, or ‘out of communion’ when in the eternal Trinity you cite, we are clearly *never* out of communion either with God or with one another. We are called to live in Christ and Christ in us. Period. The Covenant is an instrument, arising out of doctrinal… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Bishop Kings: “The Covenant is not about insisting on ‘uniformity'” In that case, Bishop, the Episcopal Church may ordain lesbian bishops or (quite soon) allow gay marriage in church, and the Covenant will not block that? I would say: of course it is going to insist on uniformity on matters of sex and gender – because that is exactly why the Covenant arose in the first place. It may have other ideals as well. It is framed in them. But the reason it was seen as a needed initiative was because a dominant group in the Anglican Communion wanted some… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

“We are divided, so let’s stay divided.”

No.

We are one in Christ.

If we are amazingly and wonderfully diverse, and don’t all agree, we are still one in Christ.

And thus, whether we like it or not, in communion with one another. For ever.

The desire to impose uniformity (and just such a desire lies behind the creation of the Covenant) is the divisive thing, at odds with the eternal communion and Oneness in Christ.

We should all seek to live with one another’s differences, and not see them as division, but as variety, in all the mystery of our lives in Christ.

(contd…)

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(…contd)

Being a Christian is about being in Christ, not about the polarities of doctrine and theology. The Covenant is a human-made instrument that calls into doubt the integrity of communion that is our very existence in Christ.

Division is whatever we let the human heart embrace in fear and ‘othering’ of those who are different from us.

Unity is ‘in Christ’ – wherever we are along theological spectrums. We are united not divided.

And then there are those who seek to control.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

“It is an ‘opt-in’ Covenant.”

Forgive me for feeling that is like Orwellian double speak (though I do trust your good will and I don’t think you seek to deceive!)

An ‘opt-in Covenant’ means an ‘exclude-some Covenant’ in such an outcome.

‘Opting in’ is for people who conform. If you don’t conform with “us” then you are consigned to the margins.

We’ll say you’re doing it to yourselves… but “we” are making up the rules and telling you you can’t come in with us.

It’s not ‘opt-in’… it’s ‘lock out’.

(contd…)

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It would appear that the Covenant may soon become a redundant feature in the life of the Communion. Kendall Harmon’s blog has the latest communique issued by GAFCON, meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, at the ‘First Conference of The Divine Commonwealth’ – presumably a brand new Church being inaugurated by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, and aided and abetted by other conservative elements in the Anglican Communion – including the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia. Such hubris! Kyrie eleison!

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Lastly, Bishop, you say at the end: “the Anglican Covenant is the only way forward.” No it really isn’t. It is no way forward for Christians in the US, or Canada, or New Zealand, or in their tens of thousands in England, and across many other provinces, for whom the way forward – in all integrity of faith – leads to full recognition of gay and lesbian Anglicans in all positions in the Church, and towards Gay Marriage. It is absolutely clear to almost anyone who is honest, that these issues are quite simply points where there is no concensus,… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(…contd) This flies in the face of the reality that there is simply no such consensus. It is purely partisan. The way forward, in maturity, can only be by seeking our unity in Christ, and understanding that we can each hold diverse but sincere views in absolute integrity. And then we love each other. And we say, “We are One in Christ.” That is the way forward. The question is whether some Christians and some Provinces are mature enough to open to that grace and truth, because truth it is. We are One in Christ. Forever and ever. We have… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

The hypocrisy continues: upholding the legacy of uniformity when it delivers Anglican pre-eminence over other Christian denominations within each province and decrying it when the scope of uniformity imposes itself across national boundaries. I am also against a false unity which pays lip service to the tolerance of plural views on human sexuality while, in stark contrast, most commenters here have shown little acknowledgement that ‘the way forward, in maturity, can only be by seeking our unity in Christ, and understanding that we can each hold diverse but sincere views in absolute integrity’. (Prove me wrong!) While most lay folk… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks, JCF. I don’t think the parallel with the bus really works. Black people did not have a choice whether to sit at the back or not. Provinces do have a choice whether to opt in to the Anglican Communion Covenant or not. Without that choice, we would not having these debates in synods and online.

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks, Jeremy P. You develop further the fascinating question about autonomy and interdependence of dioceses in the C of E as well as accountability. Yes, dioceses are autonomous, but I would still argue that they are interdependent and accountable to the Church of England. You are right concerning the restrictions on commenting on the protests at St Paul’s, but in the end the Bishop of London was invited to help out at the Cathedral by the Cathedral and the Archbishop of Canterbury did comment. Your case study actually shows autonomy and interdependence and accountability in action in a well known… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks, Michael French+ and Susannah for raising this point about Communion and Federation. From various discussions with many differing groups, it seems to me and to many observers that, sadly, the status quo is not sustainable. The Anglican Communion is in a new situation it has not been in before, and the hyperconnectively of our web-world manifests our new context. If we did nothing to reshape the Anglican Communion along the lines of the Covenant, we would be open to being accused of being ostrich-like, in putting our heads in the sand. We have to face the awful facts, which… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks for all the various comments and thoughtful responses. I will attempt some further comments in the hope of a continuing conversation on this thread. Michael French+ Thanks. I did not have the space to quote the whole of the NACC comments and so referred to the text at the beginning of my comment. Concerning Point 3: The Fulcrum text is ‘It gives form to a vision of ‘communion with autonomy and accountability’ that has been central to the Communion’s self-understanding…’ The NACC text in direct response is: ‘You can’t have it both ways. There is autonomy now. Enforced accountability… Read more »

JeremyP
Guest
JeremyP

Graham Your comments are interesting, but still don’t really answer the point. The St Paul’s example is of an accountability that only becomes operative when the bishop is invited in to help a floundering Chapter. But he had no rights over them – they had to trigger the engagement of the bishop’s advice. This is a far remove from the Covenant, where the capacity to interfere in a diocese/province will be triggered by people from far outside the local context. As for the other examples, they don’t really deal with the question of accountability in difficult or controversial cases. Even… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Briefly to address David Shepherd’s two concerns, first let me say I completely agree with his second statement. Were we to approach divisive matters confident in our unbreakable unity in Christ, we might be able with greater maturity to settle into those differences. But on his first point I must disagree. It is not “hypocrisy” to expect uniformity within a Province while allowing diversity between Provinces. (Nor do I think it has anything to do with preeminence over other denominations — except perhaps in England where the church is established; and where indeed it may be a problem.) But for… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

And, by the way: what about this?

federation (Latin: foedus, foederis, ‘covenant’)

Malcolm French+
Guest

With respect, Bishop Kings, you are playig word games. To speak to an historic example, when it first occurred to Bishop Hill to ordain (Florence) Li Tim Oi so that Anglican Christians on the other side of the Japanese lines might have access to the sacraments, he acted in acountability. He sought the advice of other bishops (specifically the archbishops of England). He then acted in autonomy, rejecting the advice of the English primates, and ordained Li Tim Oi a priest. Your version of accountability seems to demand that, once a negative view was received from abroad, Bishop Hill should… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

Bishop Kings, I quite understand that there are those who believe the status quo (provincial autonomy) is unsustainable. While I disagree, I certainly respect that this is an honestly held belief. However, the origins of Anglicanism as a distinct religious identity are rooted in the Church of England’s assertion that she must have autonomy to pursue the gospel as seemed best for and to the Church of England rather than submitting to the centralized authority of Rome. By logical extension (and as constantly reiterated in the early days of the Lambeth Conferences), the several provinces of what became the Anglican… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

It was actually Bishop HALL Malcolm+ who ordained Florence perhaps Hill was just a typing slip……Hall was a product of Bromsgrove School where I taught in the mid 70’s.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I agree with Malcolm French – in his understanding of Anglicanism as it has been seen by the Church of England and, more recently, by recently by most Provinces of the Anglican Communion partners. Each member is a national Church – located in its own particular context – with its own provincial Constitution, Bishops and Synodical government. Any attempt by any other Province within the Communion – to alter in any way the polity of any one of the national Churches – against the wishes and explicit authority of the local Church – would be strongly resisted. The Covenant would… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

As Bishop Graham Kings is a bona fide commenter on this thread, I wonder what is his attitude, as a Bishop in the Church of England, to the dismissive remarks made about the Anglican Communion by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh at his much-trumpeted ‘Divine Commonwealth First conference’ ?

David Shepherd
Guest

While provinciality may indeed be a worthy ideal for internal self-government, the historic role and influence of the Anglican church is far from ideal. Especially in former colonies, it is tarnished with the brute force of colonial rule and, rightly or wrongly, viewed with suspicion of surreptitiously imposing its values on the wider society.

If there is a demonstrable commitment to undo the entire legacy of uniformity, it may engender enough trust between provinces for us to settle or accept differences without recourse to a written covenant.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Indeed, David, which is why I lay so much stress on Humility as a part of this coherent Triad. Not only is it a willingness not to impose, but an openness to being reformed oneself.