Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coalition Sees Pattern in Oxford Introduction

In the previous post, I discussed the deficiencies of “Introduction to the Anglican Covenant Debate,” a two-page document prepared for the Diocese of Oxford by Canon John Rees. The No Anglican Covenant has now issued a statement about “Introduction” and a news release discussing the statement.

The Coalition expresses disappointment with “Introduction,” but it also sees a pattern in its approach. Here is a paragraph from “Statement from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition Regarding Covenant Background Information Prepared for the Diocese of Oxford”:
The Oxford document is consistent with the general approach to promoting the Anglican Covenant in the Church of England by downplaying its significance while claiming that the survival of the Anglican Communion depends on its adoption. While the Church of England is preoccupied with issues such as women bishops, there is a serious risk that the Anglican Covenant will be adopted without adequate or informed debate about the document and the implications of its centralisation for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. The consistent and erroneous depiction of the Anglican Covenant as largely meaningless and harmless only increases this risk. Comparable tactics were on display a few months ago in the Diocese of Lichfield, where pro-Covenant presenters were given extensive time to sell the Covenant prior to a short debate with alternating pro- and anti-Covenant speakers.
Read both the statement and news release in their entirety. The statement can be found on the Resources page of the Coalition’s Web site here. The news release can be found on the same page here.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oxford Diocese Intro Downplays Covenant

The Diocese of Oxford recently placed the two-page “Introduction to the Anglican Covenant Debate” on its Web site. The document is intended to inform the discussion about the Anglican Covenant that will be held by the Diocesan Synod. (The document has been added to the Resources page of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition Web site.)

The document, written by Canon John Rees, is a great disappointment. Being as short as it is, of course, it can hardly be comprehensive. It suffers from two more significant problems, however. First, it downplays the significance of the Covenant decision, saying little about Covenant controversies or even suggesting that the decision is a momentous one. In the main discussion, the only hint that there might be reasons to reject the covenant is the observation that conservatives think the disciplinary provisions too weak and liberals find them too strong. The implication seems to be that Section 4 must be about right.

The second problem with “Introduction” is its failure to point readers to a broad selection of commentary on the Covenant. Only five references are given, most of them Church of England documents that view the Covenant as an unalloyed good. Why did Rees not reference our own Resources page? (The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.) Rees did not even reference favorable material that at least tries to come to grips with objections to the Covenant.

Read the Oxford document. What do you think?

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Episcopal Church in the Philippines Rejects Covenant

George Conger, in a story for The Church of England Newspaper, reports that the bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines have voted not to adopt the Anglican Covenant. The basis of the story appears to be the 2nd Quarter 2011 issue of The Philippine Episcopalian.

The Episcopal Church in the Philippines thus becomes the first church of the Anglican Communion to reject the Covenant outright.

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