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Anglican Communion Office puts “happy face” on Covenant adoption

Anglican Communion Office puts “happy face” on Covenant adoption

The roundup of news from the Anglican Consultative Council 15, meeting in Auckland, Aoteara New Zealand includes an update on the Anglican Covenant. Putting the best possible face on essentially a rejection of the Covenant by most Provinces, the ACC placed the voting into 3 categories. Episcopal News Service reports:

…While the ACC is not due to discuss the current status of the Anglican Covenant until Oct. 31, a document handed out today shows that nine provinces (Category A, ed.note) have made a final decision on the covenant with one (the Scottish Episcopal Church, ed.note) rejecting the covenant, six accepting it as is and two making modifications as part of their acceptance.

…Category B, which is described as including provinces that have made “partial decisions” about the covenant.

At the General Convention in July, the Episcopal Church, via Resolution B005, “declined to take a position” on the covenant.

The other provinces in Category B (and a summary of their actions) are Australia (sent to dioceses for study), Canada (sent to dioceses for study, also seeking theological, ecclesiastical, legal and constitutional implications of action to adopt or not), England (majority of its dioceses voted covenant down, possible consideration of “following motions”), Korea (acknowledged sections 1-3 as “excellent and useful” with decision postponed for further consideration of Section 4), Melanesia (reports having no difficulties with first three sections, consideration deferred until 2014 General Synod), Southern Africa (adopted pending ratification at next synod meeting later this year), and Wales (requested clarification from ACC15 on covenant status and process in light of England’s position).

There is one province assigned to Category C — the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. The summary document notes that the Anglican Communion Office “is seeking clarification” of a report in the “Philippine Episcopalian” newsletter that said the province’s Council of Bishops had rejected the covenant.

More from ACC 15 here.


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Rod Gillis

I had to smile at this line in the above report, “Canada (sent to dioceses for study, also seeking theological, ecclesiastical, legal and constitutional implications of action to adopt or not)…”

Here in the Canadian Diocese of Nova Scotia( and Prince Edward Island), there has been no significant push to “study” the Covenant that I am aware of, other than on-line links made available.

The Canadian House of Bishops will likely be in the driver’s seat in determining whatever it is that our General Synod decides about this. The “house” functions largely as a kind of “senate”. I suspect that the ballooning operating deficit of the National Office is a much bigger concern than a Covenant, as the latter promises the Canadian church only controversy within an already delicate structural ecosystem.

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