The Rev. Geoffrey Hoare heard Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, defend the proposed Anglican Covenant last week in terms that directly contradict the archbishop's own convictions about maintaining relationships:
Among other things, he spoke of relationship, and how relationship is not best handled as a juridical matter. I wasn’t sure I had heard correctly as I had shared from the pulpit on the previous Sunday my concern that the last section of the proposed Anglican Covenant was exactly that: a juridical or disciplinary way to handle anxiety in relationship. Others heard the same thing that I did. While he was addressing international relationships that make for justice in the world, he must have realized the connection with what he was saying and tensions in the Communion. His preferred process for dealing with those tensions is currently all about stopping The Episcopal Church moving forward with the confirmation of the election of Mary Glasspool as a Suffragan Bishop for Los Angeles. The fourth section of the proposed Covenant outlines the discipline and consequence for provinces of the church who act in ways of which others do not approve. However much he wishes that this was not ‘juridical’, and however much he recognizes that juridical solutions to tension in relationship are not the way to go, he must also recognize that is exactly what he is proposing and exactly how the fourth section will be used in the name of ‘unity’, however much handwringing and expressions of regret go along with it.