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Canadians issue Covenant report

Canadians issue Covenant report

The Anglican Church of Canada Governance Working Group has issued its report Legal and Constitutional Issues Presented to the Canadian Church by the Proposed Anglican Covenant. The report comes on the same day the Episcopal News Service reported that a key TEC document on the Covenant would not be issued for now for fear it would be misunderstood.

The Executive Summary of the ACC is here.

The Canadian report, issued “for discussion”, concludes with ten questions to the church which reflect the concerns raised in the report:


1. Should the imprecision in the definitions of a number of terms used in the Covenant concern General Synod when it considers whether or not to adopt the Covenant?

2. Should the lack of natural justice and procedural fairness in section 4 concern General Synod when it considers whether or not to adopt the Covenant?

3. If the Covenant were adopted by General Synod, what wording should be included in the resolution by General Synod to ensure clarity about General Synod’s intention about whether the Covenant does or does not affect the doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada?

4. If the Covenant were adopted by General Synod, what should be the relationship between the Covenant and the Declaration of Principles and the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Canada? What wording should be included in the resolution by General Synod to achieve this?

5. What consultation with (or approval by) the Provincial and Diocesan Synods before General Synod considers a resolution to adopt the Covenant? Beyond any legal requirements, what consultation (or approval) should take place?

6. If General Synod were to adopt the Covenant, what steps would have to be taken to be able to fulfill the obligation under section 4.2.9 for there to be adequate mechanisms within the Canadian Church to ensure that all parts of the Canadian Church comply with the Covenant? What steps would need to be taken by General Synod, the Provincial Synods and the Diocesan Synods to put in place such a mechanism.

7. Is the strong synodical place of the laity in the Canadian Church sufficiently upheld in the decision-making processes in the Covenant?

8. Would there be a difference between General Synod’s passing a resolution to “adopt” the Covenant (the term used in the Covenant), “accede” to the Covenant (the term used by the Church in South-East Asia), or “subscribe” to the Covenant (the term used by the Church of Ireland)?

9. What would be the effect of a decision by General Synod not to adopt the Covenant?

10. Are there any other legal or constitutional implications or consequences which have not been identified by the GWG which would be raised by adopting the Covenant?


Alan T. Perry for a Canadian perspective.

Lionel Deimel for an American’s perspective.


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Martin Reynolds

But the substance of this report is very interesting and helpful.

In a sense it is one long series of questions ……

Dave Paisley

11. Could these question by any chance be longer and more convoluted?

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