I have been thinking about how the “final draft covenant” might make the communion look if approved. It is an interesting if not pretty picture. Consider if you will.
- England if it makes the blunder its leaders want and signs the covenant will be in full communion with Mexico. It will be in something less with TEC and AC Canada which might be described as the second tier.
- Some of GafCon's ten churches will be in the second tier too because of “incursions.” Southern Cone already is.
- Now a problem arises in that they refuse to be in anything with TEC. So they will have to be in a different second tier which of course makes no sense. Call the North American tier 2a and part of GafCon 2b.
- But wait! AC-NA is in GafCon but not the Anglican Communion. It cannot by rule sign the covenant. So it is not able to be in tier 2b, presumably it is now tier 3.
- The balance of GafCon can be in another tier two because it cannot be tier one with Mexico and England. We can call that 2c.
- If New Zealand does nothing further its endorsement of only part of the covenant means it is another separate tier, in full communion with TEC and Canada, but not signed like England or Mexico. So it gets tier 4.
- The two provinces in India are combined churches with non-Anglican memberships. That makes the covenant impossible for them, yet they are in full communion as far as I know with everyone. That is tier 5.
Five tiers: day one and the juridical mechanics of the covenant have not even begun to throw out the bad folks. TEC's complaints against various incurssion minded churches have not been filed, Canada has not finished its new marriage canon, nor has TEC. Sydney has not begun lay consecration of Eucharist. Forward in Faith has not yet stalked out of Church of England to avoid girl cooties. Five tiers on DAY ONE!
Imagine the fun the communion protocolists will have arraigning seating at the next Lambeth conference or setting up all the meeting rooms for the Primate's meeting! Imagine the fun journalists can experience asking the archbishop about his stated fear that the communion might become a group of separated clusters without the covenant! Imagine if you dare the obtuse prose he will use to call this "unity."
I wonder what if we all tried to simply pray together and work out joint missions where they make sense? What if we all agreed that because we share the heritage of the Book of Common Prayer, we won't try to harm each other but will try to get along? I bet that covenant could be written on a single sheet. of paper.