Monday, May 22, 2006

Towards an Anglican Covenant

[From the Anglican News Service]

At their meeting in March 2006, the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Primates' Meeting considered how the proposal in §117-120 of the Windsor Report for an Anglican Covenant could be carried forward. They commended the paper "Towards an Anglican Covenant", which had been presented to them as basis for discussion and reflection in the Communion, and requested that the Secretary General, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, should move to the appointment of a Task Group to work on the proposal.

The paper "Towards an Anglican Covenant" is therefore available on this site, and Provinces, Anglican Communion commissions and networks, theological institutions and all who are interested are invited to respond to the questions set out in the paper in preparation for the
work of the Task Group. The Anglican Communion Office is aware that several groups around the Communion are already looking at this question, and particularly invite the participation of our groups who have already developed material to contribute.

Responses to the paper should be submitted in electronic format (preferably in Word) to this address:

The paper can be found here


Pisco Sours said...

Oy vey. No. No no no, a million times no. And I find it quite ironic that Anglican traditionalists want to add a covenant to our understanding of what it means to be Anglican when the Quadrilateral has said it all for a century.

I was baptized into the Communion last month precisely because of its inclusivity and freedom of conscience and tolerance for conservative and liberal viewpoints. I'm starting to feel like the welcome mat is being pulled out from under me while I'm stepping on it, though.

Catherine + said...

Dear Pisco,

Welcome to the Episcopal Church! You are welcome by the majority of Episcopalians who do believe in including all, who do believe that we can have our own viewpoints but still love and live the message of Christ's love and grace so freely given to us. We will hold the mat firmly, and not allow it to be pulled out from under you or anyone else.

Pisco Sours said...

Thanks, Catherine, and intellectually I know that, although the loudest 5% of voices seem to hit 95% of the sour notes sometimes. *grin* But I've recognized impatience with people I disagree with as one of my (many) besetting sins, so with Christ's help I will try to calm down a bit.

Catherine + said...

You are welcome, Pisco, just know you have support and are not alone in any way. We are all struggling to understand and make peace as best we can as frail humans, even for us seasoned folk. Hanging in is the toughest part but if we hang together we can weather the winds.

Jeff Martinhauk said...

I've read most, but not all of the report.

The interesting thing to me is that, while I've read the reports that say that the Covenant will be used to "fast track" the conservatives into the covenant and "slow track" the rest of us by leaving us be, I essentially agree with most of what the document says.

It says essentially we should agree to live together, define some rules for how we live together as autonomous provinces, and not do that by defining doctrine together.

At least that was my 30 second scan of it.

I was thinking how interesting it would be if the covenant were defined so that it was the other way around -- those who want to "fast track" would be those who want to live together in open, honest dialogue and fast track into a place of diversity, and those who want to achieve that diversity could feel free not to consent to the covenant and "slow track" it. Don't think that'll happen, but might be interesting.

Catherine + said...

Personally, I like the second option your propose, Jeff. Why should the progressives always be the ones having to wait for everyone else. That is my personal view. Professionally, whatever gets us "There" is worth, to some extent, being in the back seat...again, in the middle, on hump, generally uncomforable and not getting a window seat. I am willing to work with both sides, mine and theirs along with the rest of us who are trying to find a way along the "Way".

Jake said...

The development of such a Covenant is described in this paper as taking 6 to 9 years. To get to implementation will take 4 to 6 years. We've got time to reflect on this.

Also, note that there will be no requirement to sign such a document once it is developed. Over time (10 years? 20 years?) those who choose not to sign may find themselves more on the fringe of things (as in second-class Anglicans), but could still claim the label "Anglican."

Lots of time to work this thing out, with no rush to respond at all at the moment.

However, the Special Commission has already proposed a resolution for GC that will respond to the Covenant idea. It's resolution A166.

obadiahslope said...

The fast and slow track metaphor comes from the European community. there the fast track countries sign up to more binding treaties (such as a common currency, the maastrict treaty on human rights etc)than the slow track ones. So in this picture those who sign onto a covenant are the fast track. I think part of our difficulty with the terms is that we are conditioned to think that the fast track is necessarily better that a slow track. Now, what would the desert fathers say to that?

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The desert fathers" were neo-platonists, Obadiah, not Christians.

You won't find a single biblical quote in all of them!

Same goes for all the Summas of the scholastics...