The three unhappy priests who couldn't keep control of the domain name of their own Web site, who offered the Anglican Communion the writings of a veterinarian as an expert on human sexuality, and who mistakenly sent their emails to all and sundry are once again drawing on their deep reservoirs of competence to tell the rest of the Anglican Communion how it must run its affairs. And this time they are joined by that shrinking violet Bishop N. T. Wright of Durham:
An Anglican church cannot simultaneously commit itself through the Anglican Covenant to shared discernment and reject that discernment; to interdependence and then act independently; to accountability and remain determined to be unaccountable. If the battle over homosexuality in The Episcopal Church is truly over, then so is the battle over the Anglican Covenant in The Episcopal Church, at least provisionally. As Christians, we live in hope that The Episcopal Church will at some future General Convention reverse the course to which it has committed itself, but we acknowledge the decisions that already have been taken. These decisions and actions run counter to the shared discernment of the Communion and the recommendations of the Instruments of Communion implementing this discernment. They are, therefore, also incompatible with the express substance, meaning, and committed direction of the first three Sections of the proposed Anglican Covenant. As a consequence, only a formal overturning by The Episcopal Church of these decision and actions could place the church in a position capable of truly assuming the Covenant’s already articulated commitments. Until such time, The Episcopal Church has rejected the Covenant commitments openly and concretely, and her members and other Anglican churches within the Communion must take this into account. This conclusion is reached not on the basis of animus or prejudice, but on a straightforward and careful reading of the Covenant’s language and its meaning within the history of the Anglican Communion’s well-articulated life.
It is of course impossible to believe that anything these guys write is not motivated by animus of prejudice toward the Episcopal Church and its leadership. (If you doubt that have a look at the rantings of Christopher Seitz about Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in those errant emails.) But it is their presumptuousness here--in attempting to dictate to the Communion who can sign the covenant--that would be astonishing were it not predictable.
The document represents an effort here to do with the Covenant what was done with the Windsor Report. In the way the Wright set himself up as the sole surviving member of the panel that drafted the former document, the priests are trying to set Ephraim Radner up as the only drafter of the covenant to survive the great fire that swept through their meeting room just as the final gathering adjourned.
If, someday, the first things unchurched people think of when they hear the word Anglican is homophobe, Rowan Williams and these fellows will be the reason why. Their efforts to make the Communion safe for the most vicious sort of anti-gay bigots, and unwelcoming to those who make even timid moves toward full inclusion of GLBT Christians may be clumsy and transparently self-aggrandizing, but that doesn't mean they may not succeed.
For more on some of the mishaps the ACI has endured in its campaign to keep the Communion safe of homophobes, visit this item and scroll past the video.
h/t Grandmere Mimi at Wounded Bird