Breaking: Scotland says NO to Covenant

The Scottish Episcopal Church has vote no on adopting the proposed Anglican Covenant.

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church today voted against the adoption of the Anglican Covenant. Following a variety of views expressed by members of General Synod, the Motion that Synod agree in principle to adopt the Anglican Covenant was put to vote - 112 votes against; 6 votes in favour; 13 abstentions. The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane then presented a resolution on the Anglican Communionin support of Motion 27, saying “The Anglican Communion matters deeply to us in the Scottish Episcopal Church. We invoke the history of Samuel Seabury, consecrated in 1784 by the Scottish bishops as the first bishop of the church in the United States of America. We want to be part of the re-founding - the bringing to birth of a new phase of Communion life.”

The Primus’ full speech on the Anglican Communion is available as a PDF document.
On Thursday the Primus wrote:
My key focus is of course on the Anglican Covenant debate. We are slightly taken aback because our mood seemed to be that we were prepared to stand fairly alone in our lack of enthusiasm for it. And now the Church of England has got their before us. That wasn’t in the plan. But it seems to me that, whatever our feelings about the Covenant, we defer to no one in our enthusiasm for the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Communion News Service reports here.

From The Scotsman

THE Scottish Episcopal Church has rejected an agreement backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury that could have seen sanctions imposed on them if they diverged from the Anglican Communion’s rulings on issues such as the ordination of gay bishops and same-sex unions.

The church’s General Synod, currently meeting in Edinburgh, overwhelmingly rejected the covenant, stating that it threatened its independence and went against the spirit of the communion.

Comments (9)

The Scots are in a mood to disagree with England on so much else, and talk is always in the air about breaking the Act of Union between the two countries. No wonder the Primus finds himself rather surprised to be in agreement with the Sassenachs for once!

One wishes that this same kind of clarity and decisive leadership existed here in the Anglican Church of Canada, instead of the hand wringing over "relational consequences" that marked the most recent conversations at CoGS (Canada's National Executive Council).

The Primus addressed the legacy colonialism in his speech. The Canadian Church is still haunted by its "Loyalist" past and the concern over offending authority figures. However, I think if we can get an open up and down vote at the next General Synod, The Canadian Church will vote against the Covenant. The question is whether the House of Bishops will be brave enough to allow that to happen.

The entire speech by the Primus is very insightful and moving. Thanks for the PDF link.

The Anglican Convenant is imbecilic, it was provoked and is still being kept alive by the irrational fear of homosexuality. Everyone knows that there have always been gay and lesbian people in the church, it was and it still is reluctant to acknowledge this fact publicly. By doing so, the church denies an essential part of its creativity, because the closet is also a prison cell for spiritual creativity.

I understand the Primus will be with us at General Convention this summer. I hope we will be able to join him in solidarity with his province in rejecting the "bad idea poorly executed" that is the Proposed Anglican Covenant.

Yes, at this point I'm inclined to go with the Executive Council's resolution -- thanks for the work, we're committed to the Communion, we cannot accept it at this time. That's basically what the C of E said (through her people). Let our "Yes" be "Yes" and our "No" be "No." If there is another attempt at something better in the future we can give that the same kind of careful look we gave to this proposal.

I loved the Primus' speech, and I'm so pleased that he will be present at GC.

June Butler

So, now I'm confused. With his own province voting against the covenant, Rowan still supports and backs it. Does that mean is the majority of provinces vote for it it's okay with him that England and Scotland become second tier? Whatever that means? Where's Tim Sedgwick and our class in Anglican Identity when we need him?

The Executive Council resolution gives away too much. We need to make it clear that we support an Anglican Communion—we need to be careful about what sort of Anglican Communion that might be—and we need to say a firm NO to the Covenant. We shouldn’t be making gratuitous concessions. (See my analysis of the submitted resolutions so far here.)

You canna fool a canny Scot!


JC Fisher

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space