Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ooops! An Apology

In addition to this blog which is dedicated to a very specific topic, I like most of the other members of the Coalition, operate my own blog. Because I do some of the maintenance on this blog, mine is close to this one.

Inadvertently, I posted here a comment on American politics that is rather far from the topic of the Covenant. I have taken down that post but I did not notice right away and it lived in cyberspace long enough to proliferate.

If you saw it, and felt it did not fit, you were correct and I deeply apologize. The post actually makes some sense on my personal blog and I will re-post it there soon. In the meaintime I apologize and hope you will accept my assurance that this was an error and neither I nor any member of the coalition speaks for its members on secular political subjects.

J. A. (Jim) Beyer

Friday, July 22, 2011

Easier-to-read Covenant Introduction

When the No Anglican Covenant Coalition developed “A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant,” we worked hard to fit everything onto one page. (See “Coalition Publishes One-Page Covenant Introduction.”) The objective was not only to create a more balanced introduction than was available from official sources, but to produce a convenient handout for groups discussing the Covenant. That the resulting documents were less than elegant was the price that had to be paid for fitting everything on one page.

In response to complaints that “A Short Introduction” could benefit from being more attractive, we decided to offer the same text as a prettier and more readable two-page document. Such a document can still be distributed as a one-sheet handout, of course, if the text is printed on both sides of the paper.

The two-page version of “A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant” is available as a PDF file formatted for A4 or letter-size paper.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coalition Publishes One-Page Covenant Introduction

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has today published a one-page handout titled “A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant.” The document is intended to provide a brief but useful view of the Covenant for those unfamiliar with it. It describes the Covenant, explains where it came from, and offers an evaluation of its possible effect. Anglicans around the world are encouraged to download “A Short Introduction” and to use it to educate their fellow Anglicans.

A news release about the new handout can be found here. A letter-size version of “A Short Introduction” is available here and an A4 version is available here.

A Short Introduction to the Anglican Covenant

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Where are the best arguments for the Anglican Covenant?

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has built a large collection of material about the Anglican Covenant. The largest segment of this compilation is of essays opposing adoption of the pact. In fact, there seems to be a dearth of argumentation on the other side, and much of what there is comes from Lambeth Palace, the Anglican Communion Office, or people who have had a direct role in producing the Covenant text.

Although there have been many reasons advanced for scrapping the Covenant, reasons that have been carefully laid out and fully explored, arguments for the Covenant seem to rely on the notion that no one can think of anything else—the Covenant is the only way forward we are told—or on what can only be called naïve hopefulness.

Perhaps Covenant opponents are missing something. Perhaps there are compelling arguments in favor of Covenant adoption that have received little publicity or are hiding in obscure corners of the World Wide Web.

So here is a challenge, one tossed out to Covenant supporters and detractors alike: What do you think are the strongest arguments in favor of the Covenant, and where can the best articulation of those arguments be found?

We will even offer a prize for the best entry. For the person identifying the most compelling defense of the Covenant, we will give you one day to write anything you want concerning the Covenant on this blog (consistent with good taste) and reference your material on Facebook as well.

Please answer in a comment, and include appropriate links.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A really good post on Autonomy

Here is a very well done post on the history and value of provincial autonomy. This will probably be added to our website too. You will want to read and comment on it I think.


Note: The article by the Rev. Canon Alan T. Perry has now been added to the No Anglican Covenant Web site’s Resources page. You can find it here.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cross Posted From OCICW

Accompanied by this brilliant cartoon he drew for it, MadPriest published this as a guest post a few days ago.  I hope you find it interesting.


After the debacle in Vietnam, Bill Moyers wrote an interesting and introspective analysis of the White House decision-making culture. The need to be in the group, to be a part of the culture and not be a problem for it, overrode judgement. Even though White House staff individually knew the bombing campaign against North Vietnam simply was not working, the need to be part of the inner circle led to recommendations for more bombs. The ongoing deaths of US military personnel and Vietnamese civilians did not move them to change tactics.

When anyone finally broke ranks, resigned and said what everyone else knew, that the bombing was not working, the members of the group found it easier to attack that person than to face the facts.

Which leads me to think of two groups. One group is very small and prophetic; the other is steadfastly loyal to the inner circle.

Two English bishops have become Episcopal Patrons of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, placing themselves outside the circle of institutional Covenant supporters. (See link.) Bishops Saxbee and Selby are now at risk of being slurred and isolated. Their action took courage. We also know that several of our brave clerics have given up any hope of advancement to the House of Bishops by being in the Coalition.

Groupthink mentality is very hard to escape. Moyers is a powerful intellect, and even he was not able to do so for quite a while. So the persistence of other group, the Lambeth staff, English House of Bishops, and the lay leadership that continues to promote the Covenant, is hardly surprising. We hear that there are members who know the Covenant is a multi-dimensional failure. They know it won't be universally adopted and will not therefore bring the Communion together, let alone keep it together. The covenanted Church will become hugely litigious. But they do not speak up; they do not resign. They stay in the inner circle. It is safer there. The group thinks well of them.

Jesus was not an insider. He did not take the safe path. He demanded justice from the powerful. Likewise, Nathan demanded justice from David. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, it is those who demanded justice who are remembered as prophets, those who spoke for God. When Jesus is recognized as a prophet in the Gospels, it is because he calls for justice and does not bow to mere rulers. Do I think I know two prophetic bishops? Yes. Do I know some prophetic priests? Yes.

It is difficult to fault those who stay in the circle of power. After all, they are doing their jobs and supporting their archbishops. But it is relevant to note that history has sided against every single point made by those who called the first Lambeth Conference intending to rebuke a prophetic bishop. History largely forgets those who play it safe. For those in the inner circle, for the archbishops who demand yes men and women, that is something to think about.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coalition Appoints Episcopal Patrons

JULY 6, 2011


LONDON – The Right Reverend Dr John Saxbee and the Right Reverend Dr Peter Selby have been appointed Episcopal Patrons of the international No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

“The Anglican Communion doesn’t need a Covenant because Anglicanism is a Covenant, predicated on grace and goodwill,” Dr Saxbee said. “If there is grace and goodwill, a Covenant is unnecessary. If there is no grace or goodwill, a Covenant will be unavailing.” Dr Saxbee was Bishop of Lincoln from 2001 until his retirement in January of this year.

Dr Selby, Bishop of Worcester from 1997 to 2007, has been a supporter of the Coalition since its launch last November. “This proposed Covenant is not the solution to the tensions in the Anglican Communion,” he said. “It will inevitably create a litigious Communion where every serious disagreement will become a possible occasion to seek a province’s exclusion.”

“More and more questions are being raised about the potential pitfalls of the proposed Anglican Covenant,” said the Reverend Dr Lesley Fellows, Moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition. “We have consistently seen that support for the Covenant tends to collapse in the face of full and fair discussion and analysis. We are very pleased to welcome Bishops Selby and Saxbee as our first Episcopal Patrons. They are well respected in the Church of England and throughout the Anglican Communion. We expect that their views on the Covenant will persuade many more people to take a harder look at the risks inherent in this radical proposal.”


A PDF version of the above announcement can be found here.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blame Canada?

On his very good blog site, Coalition member The Rev'd Canon Alan Perry has written a response to The Rev'd Canon Dr. Barnett-Cowan's Living Church article. It is very much worthy of your time.

The Rev'd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, has written a defence of the proposed Anglican Covenant. If I am reading her correctly, she is suggesting that this document is just a natural development in a series of events that began nearly a century and a half ago at the instigation of the Canadian Church.

Read it all here: Canon Alan's Blog


Monday, July 4, 2011

Another Voice Heard From

"Integrity President Caro Hall reflects on Independence Day 2011"

... I think The Episcopal Church (TEC) has been in a similar state of ambivalence when it comes to the Anglican Covenant. But the recently published report of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons (SCCC) has changed the whole picture...

Read it all at: walking with integrity