The ABC wants you to support the proposed Anglican Covenant

There is no clearer sign that the proposed Anglican Covenant is in some trouble than the fact that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, feels the need to release a video in an attempt to enlist support.

Comments (16)

The ABC seems a bit angry in the video. If he is, I can understand why with the votes in the Church of England not going quite the way he may have expected.

June Butler

Oh dear, he looks dreadfully tired and weary, even sad.

Sneering is what I see - curled lip when talking about those who oppose him. And the big guilt trip about "isolated" Christians - as though a piece of paper will make them feel less isolated-- how about more companion relationships?

My response: "Thanks, but no thanks,"

The full court press is on. "This is vital! But it's only a recommendation..." I've responded at length at my blog, link at my name...

Ugh, I go between being pissed at him and feeling bad for him. I think there's still a sense of loss of the early hope and excitement I felt for his ministry and that there's still that person (from my own imagination and about my own previous expectations, to be sure,) trapped somewhere under the fear.

"The ABC wants you to support the proposed Anglican Covenant." I want the ABC to support the Anglican Communion.

If the only purpose of the Covenant is to foster dialog on controversial issues without relational consequences that could have happened long before matters got to this sorry mess. Fact is, those who had a bone to pick with TEC did NOT want to talk about the issues, only to demote or dismiss those with whom they disagreed. Instead of talking, the ones upset simply left. A Covenant will not change that one bit.

Sarah Flynn

Yawn.

Has the ABC not noticed that the "spirit" of those provinces that "acceded" or "subscribed" to this covenant are assuming the document is what Rowan claims it is not: a punitive document? Maybe he needs to go back and read the South East Asian province explanation for saying yes to it, or the comments about unruly sister churches comment from the Southern Cone....

Eric

I like the whole "engage them in conversation," argument. We need a covenant to engage in dialogue?

As to the bit about the fourth section not being about discipline, if one has to argue that to be the case, then one wonders why the section isn't written so as to make that clear.

I wish the ABC would wander off and do something useful. Maybe a nice long stint in some quiet corner of Scotland would work well--where the ABC can reflect on the Scottish non-juring bishop's role in maintaining apostolic succession in TEC. ;-)

Eric Bonetti

I like the whole "engage them in conversation," argument. We need a covenant to engage in dialogue?

As to the bit about the fourth section not being about discipline, if one has to argue that to be the case, then one wonders why the section isn't written so as to make that clear.

I wish the ABC would wander off and do something useful. Maybe a nice long stint in some quiet corner of Scotland would work well--where the ABC can reflect on the Scottish non-juring bishops' role in maintaining apostolic succession in TEC. ;-)

Eric Bonetti

Although I've been a supporter of the Covenant, it may be that the way it is going to be helpful for us right now is by inviting us into a conversation about what we understand about our own place in the body--about whether we truly wish, as the Archbishop says, "to accept that in the body of Christ we are all obliged to one another. We’re all responsible to, and for, and with one another."

I'm often curious about people who say that they are fine living together, and "who needs the piece of paper?" Maybe so.

Nonetheless, perhaps in not endorsing the Covenant we will be invited meaningfully to ask deeper questions about our sustaining ecclesiology.

If not Covenant, then what?

I'm reminded that at the end of the first chapter of the Rule St. Benedict has a worried word about those monks who "live in twos or threes, or even singly, without a shepherd, in their own sheepfolds and not in the Lord's. Their law is the desire for self-gratification; whatever enters their mind or appeals to them, that they call holy; what they dislike they regard as unlawful."

It is important, in any case, I think, to ask the question about mutual accountability. Perhaps the Covenant will not be the instrument by which we will be able to accomplish that. The following question would need to be, "what instead?"

Bruce Robison
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Fr. Robinson, for me the difference is between mutual accountability and mutual love. Accountability operates from a negative pole, a pole of critique and fault, and seeks the submission of one criticized to the one making the critique. Love, on the other hand, puts up with the other no matter what, bears all things, does not find fault -- or if it finds a fault, accepts it as part of who the other beloved is. We see both strands in the Pauline Corpus, but it seems to me that the "better way" is that described in 1 Cor 13.

There has to be more to the Communion than "dispute resolution" and "fault-finding" -- towards which, in Section 4, the present Covenant is explicitly geared. Many of us who do not accept it -- and many in the "broad consultation" to which the Archbishop refers, but whose input was essentially ignored on this essential problem -- would be perfectly happy with the Covenant sans section 4, or at least the most problematical bits of it.

The real issue is that the consultation was not complete prior to sending this out for a vote.

It is important, in any case, I think, to ask the question about mutual accountability. Perhaps the Covenant will not be the instrument by which we will be able to accomplish that. The following question would need to be, "what instead?"

What about Indaba? At least Indaba involves study and communicating directly with those who you may not agree with. To me that seems more likely to have the Holy Spirit present than a written document.

Eric

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