As we approach the Church of England’s General Synod vote on the Anglican Covenant scheduled for tomorrow, a number of useful links have been added to our Resources page on the No Anglican Covenant Web site.
A personal favorite of mine is Jim Naughton’s essay published on The Lead yesterday. (Its entry is here.) In “The Anglican Covenant: a tool for the strong to oppress the weak,” Naughton argues that the judgments called for in the Covenant are subjective and that a church’s doing the right or logical thing is irrelevant, only whether another church is upset by it counts. He calls this “governance by hurt feelings.”
A related objection has been made by the former Chancellor of the Anglican Church of Canada, Ronald Stevenson. In “Some comments about The Anglican Communion Covenant,” he argues that the wording of the Covenant is sloppy. Referring to the diverse terms used in the documents, he asks
Are “faith”, “historic faith”, “Christian faith”, “catholic and apostolic faith”, “common faith”, “shared faith” and “faith . . . of the Communion” all synonymous and sufficiently stated in the Nicene creed?Stevenson also has concerns about the thoroughness of the procedures set forth in Section 4. (The entry for this essay is here. The text also appeared on this blog in an earlier post.)
Another item added to our resources is the recent Anglicans Online article by Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. His essay asks if it is really wise to ostracize churches with which we disagree, as called for by the Covenant, albeit somewhat obliquely. (The entry for “Covet a Covenant?” is here.)
The Rev. Canon Mark Harris is a much-read blogger and a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. His blog Preludium has addressed the Anglican Covenant in its many incarnations a number of times, and we have added some of these posts to our list of resources. In “The RC Anglican Covenant Draft: Review of the Whole,” for example, Harris walks the reader through the Ridley Cambridge draft in an amusing, but helpful way. (The entry for this essay is here . You can find links to other Harris posts on the Resources page.)
The Rev. Dr. A Katherine Grieb, of Virginia Seminary, reported to Episcopalian bishops on her experience on the Covenant Design Group on March 19, 2007. Her somewhat lengthy observations are helpful in understanding the motivations behind the covenant idea. (The entry for “Interpreting the Proposed Anglican Covenant through the Communique [sic]”—her talk was given shortly after a meeting of the primates—can be found here.) Paul Bagshaw’s post, “The architect’s manifesto” also addresses the intent of those who have argued for a covenant. This idea predates the election of Gene Robinson. (The entry is here.)
Finally, I should mention my own blog post “What will the ‘orthodox’ do?” There does not seem to be a unified strategy among Anglican conservatives as to what to do about the Covenant. I discuss some of the things conservatives are saying. I did not mention an essay by Charles Raven, however, which is an interesting read. (The entry for “What will the ‘orthodox’ do?” is here.