Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anglican Covenant – Perhaps I was Wrong

I have been trying valiantly (IMHO) to understand what the Anglican Covenant is FOR. You wouldn’t think that would be a troublesome task, but it really has been a problem. I thought that the Archbishop Rowan would spend a lot of time giving us the answers to some simple questions during his Presidential Address:
  1. What is the Covenant FOR?
  2. What alternatives have been considered?
  3. What are the downsides?
  4. How will this be managed?
  5. What review processes will occur?
  6. What if it doesn’t achieve the aims?
I listened intently to the Presidential Address, and was disappointed once again to hear loads of things that the Covenant is NOT:
  • the first time we have discussed the Covenant in Synod or in the Church of England
  • a tool of exclusion and tyranny
  • possible that we can carry on as usual
  • possible for the Church of England to derail the process
  • tying our hands
When I had the radio debate with Bishop Gregory Cameron, Inclusive Church and Modern Church were accused of scaremongering, so I felt a bit cross that a lot of the focus of the Presidential Address seemed to be about DANGER (and some of that felt nationalistic too):
  • the piece-by-piece dissolution of the Communion
  • new structures in which relation to the Church of England and the See of Canterbury are likely not to figure significantly
  • risk and reality of rupture is already there, make no mistake
  • historic allegiances cannot be taken for granted
But finally we got onto what the Covenant IS:
  • a voluntary promise to consult
  • about loyalty
  • about catholicity
You see, I thought the Covenant was about unity, and that made no sense because we do all agree that the Covenant will produce a two-tier Anglican Communion. But perhaps the Covenant has nothing to do with unity – it is about Orthodoxy – about making sure everyone has common sets of beliefs, about a Narrowing of Anglicanism. For a wonderful reflection on this see Paul Bagshaw’s post.

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