Monday, April 28, 2008

Perhaps I should declare myself a Brazilian

Should the current bizarre geography of the Anglican Communion continue unchecked - what with Fresno, California and bits of the BC lower mainland becoming part of Argentina, bits of Virginia proclaiming themselves to be in Nigeria and a number of suburbs outside Chicago purporting to be in Rwanda - I may have to decide where my little bit of Regina resides.

If I weren't such a geographical fundamentalist, I just might have to decide that my house in southern Saskatchewan was part of Brazil.

The Brazilian House of Bishops have just issued a pastoral letter about the oddball proposal for an Anglican Covenant. Well, it reads like a pastoral letter. It's all very polite and everything. And it does call itself a pastoral letter.

But a better description might be that it is a ruthless deconstruction of the fatuous reasoning which underlies the proposed Covenant.

Do read the whole thing. But here are some of my favourite bits.

The Covenant continues to be a mistaken proposal for the resolution of conflicts through the creation of curial instances absolutely alien to our ethos.

. . .

Insisting on a formal and juridical Covenant, with the logic of discipline and exercise of power, means . . . returning to the days of Modernity, with its Confessions, Covenants, Diets and other rational instruments of theological consensus.

. . .

[T]he richness of our cultural and hermeneutical diversity . . . always creates the challenge of positive tension for us, which [is] experienced in the exercise of dispersed and shared authority. We can not, however, allow it to be replaced by a legal, circumstantial instrument of political control.

. . .

[T]he Covenant is not an essential element to maintain or strengthen our Communion; on the contrary, it risks defacing it.

Further to this wonderful news, I've also had the pleasure of listening to Canon Jenny Plane Te Paa of New Zealand. Canon Plane Te Paa was a member of the commission which originally proposed an Anglican Covenant as a means out of our current situation. In her presentation (available in .pdf format here, and in .mp3 here), she explains why she has changed her mind and now opposes a Covenant.

What a glorious day to be an Anglican. Plus, if I declare myself part of Brazil, my heating bill should go down.

2 comments:

Xico said...

I would like to express our gratitude for the magnificent reception on the Brazilian response to the St Andrews Draft.
In a midst of many rational and political conflicts within the Communion is so comfortable hear some heartful readings and agreements in the Spirit beyond letters.
God bless us all!

Francisco

Malcolm+ said...

I must find out how to install those systems which track the number and location of visitors.

And I am very flattered to have had a visitor and comment from Brazil.