Sunday, February 6, 2011

Small victories

Despite the odds, the quixotic little band that decided to stand up against the proposed Anglican Covenant had two small victories in the past couple of days.

Admittedly, the setbacks still hold the higher tally, with three provinces having approved the Covenant (Mexico, Myanmar and West Indies).

And then there was the background document produced by the Church of England - a purely one sided puff piece that would have put Pravda or Izhvestia to shame. I'm advised that background material on controversial issues has always included a balance of material and a reasonable presentation of the case for each side. However, Dr. Williams believes that such institutional integrity and fairness no longer has a place in Anglicanism.

Nonetheless, two little victories this week.

First, in the Diocese of Oxford (CofE). Details are a bit sketchy, and I can find nothing on the diocesan website. Yet I am advised that, while the Bishop of Oxford asked the diocesan synod to pass the Covenant, the synod chose instead to refer it for further discussion to the deanery synods.

More substantively, perhaps, was the discussion in the Diocese of East Carolina (TEC), which passed a fairly comprehensive resolution which not only did not approve the Covenant, but expressly and specifically rejected it in its present form. Indeed, the final clause of the resolution refers to:

. . . our desire that any future Covenant presented to the Episcopal Church represent more truly, with greater clarity and full recognition of voices of laity and clergy, our Anglican tradition and Christian faith.

But it's the whereas clauses that make me smile most of all, with their incisive deconstruction of the power grab inbuilt in this curializing Covenant.


Whereas we believe the Anglican Communion Covenant raises the four "Instruments of Unity" to the status of governing bodies with unprecedented power

Whereas the Anglican Communion Covenant provides no right of appeal to the judgement of the newly empowered Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion


. . . creating a Church of full members, second class members and former members

. . . the Anglican Communion Covenant asks that we submit our processes of discernment to the will of an ill-defined body without checks and balances

All in all, a pretty good summary of why this proposed Anglican Covenant is an incredibly bad idea that deserves to be tossed on the trash heap of history.
I'm just waiting for the Bishop of St. Asaph to go all Godwin on them.


SCG said...

And what I enjoy about this news from North Carolina... it was the *East* Carolina diocese that went this way. This isn't a "liberal" part of the state (Wilmington, Fayetteville). If they can see the problems, perhaps others in TEC will also.

Lesley said...

Wonderful post, thank-you. Lifted my spirits.

Leonard said...

Thanks, me too--¨lifted my spirits¨ as I´m fully disenchanted with the force feeding technique of The Anglican Covenant that Archbishop Rowan has ramroded at the C of E to date - truly there are many serious, honest and important questions to be answered regarding the Covenant (and if there are secret reasons, well, all the better that they be revealed before anyone signs this blank check--this blank check with insufficient funds).

I was told, maybe just a rumor, that Mexico endorsed the ¨covenant¨ due to some translation weaknesses that didn´t sort out the possible ¨difficulties¨ properly.

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