Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

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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Blogger Malcolm+ said...

Well, in addition to "There is no alternative" (also known as TINA), we have been treated to a couple of truly offensive arguments.

There was the Bishop of St. Asaph's Godwinian argument that anyone opposed to the Covenant was a fascist - always an argument for the desperate and intellectually suspect.

Then, of course, we have the truly offensive emotional blackmail argument that anyone who opposes the Covenant is disloyal to poor Rowan.

I think that some (though not all) of the writers at Covenant-Communion have actually done a reasonably good job of creating a pro-Covenant narrative which, however much I disagree with it, has stayed clear of the Godwinesque and the codependent.

July 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Chris Epting said...

Well, as one who was initially supportive of an Anglican Covenant along the lines of ecumenical covenants we have signed with Old Catholics, the Church of South India, the Philippine Independent Church, and the ELCA, I was hoping that a Covenant:

1. Would provide a cogent answer to ecumenical partners who wonder "just what is the Anglican Communion?" If it is the third largest Christian Communion in the world, who speaks for Anglicans?
2. Would give some shape and definition to the four "Instruments of Communion" which, whether we like it or not, have come into being over the last decades and are functioning without much agreement as to their form and function.
3. Would provide a process to discuss and discern together matters which affect the entire Communion.

Unfortunately, Section Four remains problematical and there does not appear to be any real desire on the Left (TEC) or the Right (GAFCON) to sign on to the proposed Covenant, so the effort is lost.

July 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Alan T Perry said...

No takers?

July 16, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger JimB said...

Alan, Nope not really. The argument for a different covenant, if it included a sharp reduction and limitation of what the archbishop may do on his own, I might think has some legs. But we are confronted with this document and even its friends seem to be unhappy with it.


July 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM  

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