Church of Canada releases theology report on Anglican Covenant


The Rev. Alan Perry, Executive Archdeacon in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada comments on the recently released theological analysis of the Anglican Covenant:

… The report begins by saying, perhaps by way of excuse, that the anonymous group of authors “found it impossible to achieve consensus on what [the implications of adoption or non-adoption] might be.” They go on to say that “this is not a matter of interpreting the document itself differently, but rather due to the divergent perceptions of the context in which the text of the Covenant came to exist and is now being read.”

So, if I understand correctly, the committee had no trouble interpreting the text of the Covenant, and in fact agreed on that interpretation. But they couldn’t agree on what it means due to “divergent contexts”. Huh?

The bottom line seems to be that after a two and a half year wait for a serious theological analysis of the Anglican Covenant, in order to come to some kind of informed decision as to its adoption, we have been presented with a slap-dash all-nighter reflecting the most superficial reading of the Covenant, virtually no engagement with or quotation of the actual text, and nothing that looks like theology to me in the whole document. We really do have some theologians in the Anglican Church of Canada, but you’d never guess that from this document. No wonder the authors left their names off it.

So, we are left with six months before the General Synod meets. We have a very fine study guide from the Canadian Church (which was produced in time to allow it actually to be used), and we have an equally fine legal analysis (also provided with plenty of lead time). Theological analysis? Not so much. But we can only work with what we have and what we have suggests, albeit without stating it in those terms, that we shouldn’t touch the Covenant with a barge pole.

General Synod will meet in July, presumably to make a decision on the proposed Covenant, without the benefit of the theological analysis it asked for. But the legal analysis should be enough to decide that the only rational vote on the Covenant will be “no.”

The report is found beginning on page 11 of this document

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Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis

Well, it looks like Episcopal Cafe has scooped the Anglcian Journal (The offical ACofC National Newspaper) on this story. The report from "Faith, Worship, Ministry" Committee has been very much under the radar. In fact, the Covenant itself has been very much under the radar in Canada throughout. Many of us, study guide notwithstnading, have heard little or nothing about it.

Alan Perry's concerns, about an anonymous group not providing the the theological reflection they were asked to, are well placed.

It vey much looks like the General Synod 2013 will be asked to contend with the Covenant wihout any real theological reflection having been accomplsihed beforehad.

But it gets worse. The allocation of time for major decsions has now become controvesial as well--something you can indeed read about in the "Anglcian Journal".

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