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?