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Church Times on report to Executive Council

Church Times on report to Executive Council

The Church Times has written about the report of the Standing Committee on Constitution and Canons to Executive Council. The article (now behind a pay-wall) says that the “US expresses Covenant doubts” especially around the canonical changes passage of the Covenant would require.

A TASK-FORCE set up by the Execu­tive Council of the Episcopal Church in the United States has said that the adoption of the Anglican Covenant could affect the Church’s autonomy.

The memorandum by the Angli­can Covenant task-force draws on a report of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, which focuses, in particular, on section 4 of the draft Covenant, and the weight to be accorded to the Windsor report.

It draws attention to the role of Instruments of Communion, saying: “Some students of the Covenant may be concerned that it accords the so-called ‘Instruments of Communion’ a degree of authority and responsibility arguably never historically accorded them by the collective membership of the Communion.”

The article also summarize concerns about the Covenant’s disciplinary structure and the increased power to “agencies of the Communion” which would would seek to control actions of members churches not in agreement with the rest of the Communion– the article names as “ordaining non-celibate gay people” as as example.

The report suggests that the Episcopal Church’s autonomy could be compromised if “a shared mind has not been reached” on a particular theologlical issue, and concludes that, if the Covenant was adopted, the Constitution and Canons would have to be amended “to empower the Presiding Bishop to become the Anglican Communion de facto compliance officer for the Episcopal Church”.

The Executive Council will now prepare a report for next year’s General Convention.

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