BBC Radio's "Sunday" program this week offered an extensive hashing-out of the Anglican Covenant by a number of individuals.
Thinking Anglicans has it:
First, Stephen Bates of the Guardian gave a brief outline of the significance of the GAFCON announcement. This is 6 minutes into the programme, and lasts for about 4 minutes.
Noted and quoted in the Bates interview:
For [GAFCON primates] to turn round and say, "Sorry, it's not appropriate, it's not acceptable to us," is really at best, I think, discourteous, and at worst positively malign....
I think they'd reached [this] conclusion a long time ago... One is left wondering what, exactly, their game is and why they should adopt these tactics at this stage.
[S]tarting at about 33.5 minutes in, and running to the end of the programme, i.e. for about 10 minutes, there is a longer discussion about this. It features in turn the retired archbishop Lord Carey, then Bishop Martyn Minns of ACNA and GAFCON, and then Bishop Graham Kings of the Church of England.
This should be listened to in full.
Bear in mind that ACNA is not a member of the Anglican Communion although it is a member of GAFCON.
Graham Kings noted that GAFCON is not the same as the Global South Anglican movement, and at least three GSA primates (Chew of SE Asia, Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Ernest of the Indian Ocean) are themselves moderates in favour of the Covenant. He also argued that the GAFCON primates cannot speak for their provinces until their provinces have actually considered the Covenant themselves.
It also appeared from what he said that the Sudan province, whose primate was a member of the GAFCON council (is he still?), has already voted at least once, if not yet definitively, in favour of the Covenant.
Confused yet? You should be.
As to the issue of the poor timing of those issuing the statement (or thoughtless timing, or malevolent timing, or whatever it is) here's Minns:
The decision [to release the statement] was simply frankly providential. There was no attempt to time it. We've tried to work hard to make sure that with documents of this sort, that everyone who's name is listed, has had time to reflect, take advice, and to agree to the wording - and every time that happens, it's complicated and long. It just so happens it was done on the day; there was no planning, coordinating that at all.... I think most [signers] had no idea Synod was even meeting.
Tosh, you say? Yeah, well, probably. If you had a chance to divert a conversation in a relevant matter, and you could do that at the closest possible minute to a decision being made, wouldn't you do it?