Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Moderator Malcolm French's speaking notes - TEC Committee Hearing re: Anglican Covenant

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I’m Malcolm French, a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

The Anglican Communion is a family of churches.  Our “bonds of affection” are a shared history and a desire to be in relationship.  As Archbishop Tutu said, “we meet.”  The reality is, though, that if we are prepared to meet and to worship together, no Covenant is necessary.  If we are not, no Covenant will suffice.

Despite its now global presence, Anglicanism was born in the rejection of centralized authority.  National churches were to direct their own mission, faithful to their own context.  “Foreign prelates” had no place tinkering in the internal affairs of national churches. 

When I was at College, there was a nice little old Chinese lady who often came to chapel.  Florence Li Tim-Oi was the first woman priest in the Anglican Communion.  I consider the progress towards women’s ordination.  Could women’s ordination have happened with an Anglican Covenant?  I look at the current spasms of the Church of England and I find it strains credulity.

Notionally, I could see a risk if the Episcopal Church were the first Province to say “no.”  But that point is now moot.  Scotland has said “no” – clearly and unequivocally.  Events in the Philippines and in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia suggest that a further pair of “noes” are inevitable.  England, despite a full court press by those in authority, has effectively said no.

So I say to my friends in the Episcopal Church, “let your yes be yes and your no, no.”  Whether you propose a resolution accepting or rejecting the Covenant, make it a clear resolution to be carried or defeated.  There are times for Anglican fudge.  This is not one of them.


Blogger SCG said...

Well done, Malcolm. Many thanks!

July 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger JimB said...

I think you and Lionel did us proud. Well said both of you!


July 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger June Butler said...

Excellent, Malcolm. Thank you.

July 7, 2012 at 5:02 PM  

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