Friday, July 5, 2013

Joint Assembly - Day Four

The innocuous resolution on the Anglican Covenant (deferring any decision until 2016) passed, as expected. The Synod resolved into Committee of the Whole to allow for a broader discussion of the Covenant rather than a narrow discussion of the resolution. While I did put forward the mischievous suggestion of defeating the motion (which would have meant we would not be obliged to discuss in in 2016) there was no real pick up.

There is clearly no appetite in Canada for the Covenant. Even the most overtly pro-Covenant speaker essentially conceded it was unlikely ever to pass. Indeed, there was not one speaker prepared to deliver a fulsome defence of Rowan's folly, which was something of a surprise. The only real argument against an immediate "no" seems to be a fear that rejecting the Covenant would somehow remove us from the conversation - even though both Scotland and Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia are fully at the table for every conversation that matters.

Several speakers, while not expressly anti-Covenant, focussed on the various initiatives that actually are mending relationships across the Communion: the Dialogue of North American and African bishops; the Continuing Indaba; Companion Diocese relationships. I closed the debate by emphasizing that the Covenant is a distraction from these real, meaningful and effective programs. 

While HMS COVENANT is still afloat, she is clearly holed below the waterline and dead in the water. I have it from reliable sources that even the man who originally conceived the idea has now concluded it was a serious error and a distraction from the real business of strengthening the Anglican Communion. All in all, a good day's work.

1 comment:

Lay Anglicana said...

Such an encouraging post. And your last paragraph is the image that we have all been praying into existence. Thank-you, Malcolm, Canada, and a hat tip perhaps to the Almighty. :)