We launched the No Anglican Covenant Coalition just over two weeks ago. About ten days earlier, two progressive Church of England organizations, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, had run ads (warning - .pdf) in English church media decrying the Covenant.
Since then, it has been a flurry of activity - including some frankly bizarre antics from a handful of Covenant supporters. They should perhaps consider that namecalling is not the best way to persuade people.
Whatever else may be said, at least now the Covenant is being discussed and debated - although the satirical Mr. Catolick (see below) suggests that putting a complicated piece of business before a newly elected session of the Church of England General Synod is both unprecedented and manipulative.
This week, The Guardian is running a series of articles on the question Should the General Synod sign up to a document that might change forever the Church of England? Today's provocative piece by Simon Sarmiento suggests that is a waste of time and money since it won't accomplish any of the things it is supposed to accomplish. He also mentions something quite disturbing - that some bishops have been advised that bucking Lambeth on the Covenant will "harm their promotion chances." Coalition members have heard of similar dire advice (warnings? threats?) to ordinary clergy who have questioned the value of the Covenant.
To date, I have neglected to mention that the Coalition has also established a blog, in addition to our website. In the most recent entry, my fellow Canadian, Canon Alan Perry, takes on the assurance offered by the Lambeth establishment that section 4.1.3 of the Covenant protects the autonomy of the members churches of the Communion. Canon Perry - who has actually studied canon law - suggests that this is pure bunkum.
A month ago, it appeared that the Anglican Covenant would go through on a nod and a whisper - exactly the way Lambeth Palace wanted. Thanks to a band of obstreperous skeptics, the Covenant is now being discussed, debated and dissected. That can only be a good thing.
Now, as promised, we have Mr. Catolick.