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 powerLike:
Whereas the Anglican Communion Covenant provides no right of appeal to the judgement of the newly empowered Standing Committee of the Anglican CommunionLike:
. . . creating a Church of full members, second class members and former membersLike:
. . . the Anglican Communion Covenant asks that we submit our processes of discernment to the will of an ill-defined body without checks and balancesAll 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.