Ruth Gledhill interviewed Bishop Gregory Cameron about the Anglican Covenant. He reiterates that the Covenant is for Anglican Consultative Council members only. In a separate story, we learn that some English evangelicals would love for the Church of England recognize ACNA separately from the Instruments of Unity.
(Cameron says:) “There were two concerns in Jamaica. The first was about the meaning of the word, church. There is always a worry about what Anglicans mean when they say, church. Is there an Anglican Church at a universal level? Archbishop Rowan does use the term ‘the Anglican Church’ as a universal reality. But I would say there is not such a single entity. I think there is a family of churchettes which are provinces.” It had to be clarified because of concerns that anyone — the Recife diocese, ACNA — could claim to be an Anglican church and then sign up to the Covenant, in effect opting themselves into the Communion. Bishop Gregory said: “We have made it absolutely clear that the Anglican Communion is a family of national and regional Churches, so the Covenant is not talking about dioceses, but provinces.” Provinces and national Churches will be invited to join by one of the instruments of communion, so the only way ACNA could sign up would be to be invited, and for that to happen, ACNA will have to apply for membership of the Anglican Consultative Council.
But some evangelicals in the Church of England would like to pressure the Church of England into recognizing ACNA by way of a “private members resolution” to be present at the next General Synod meeting. Gledhill writes in the Times:
The General Synod will debate a private member’s motion next month calling for the Church of England to declare itself “in communion” with the Anglican Church in North America, formed in opposition to the pro-gay liberals in the official Anglican body in North America.
The synod, dominated by evangelicals, could pass the motion by a 50 per cent majority, adding to the pressure on the primates and bishops to recognise the new church.
Scott Gunn over at Seven Whole Days says ‘not so fast.’
Should the PMM get to the floor of Synod, I see little chance of its passage. At some level, people in the C of E are finally beginning to understand that if they encourage secessionists outside England, their own turf is likely to be invaded. While many in the C of E are in denial, there is no doubt that many of the the Akinolites would love to set up shop with their own cathedral in the shadow of St. Paul’s.
It is also hard to imagine that the same Synod that approved women bishops and directed the Bishops not to water down their authority will also vote to be in communion with ACNA. And if they should state their preference to be in communion (the resolution itself would not make it happen), it would not bring ACNA any closer to being a part of the Anglican Communion.
Giles Fraser, founder of the pro-gay Inclusive Church and Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s, said: “I’m happy to be in communion with them. The question is, are they happy to be in communion with me?”
For the latest on the Anglican soup, er soap opera, read the rest of Scott Gunn’s post here.