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Ireland acts on Anglican Covenant

Ireland acts on Anglican Covenant

Yesterday the Church of Ireland voted to “subscribe” to the Anglican Covenant. Earlier this week, as already noted, the Province of South East Asia acceded to the Covenant. Both seem to be taking to the Covenant on their on terms.

The Anglican Communion News Service has the details on the Church of Ireland action:

“The General Synod of the Church of Ireland meeting today in Armagh voted in favour of the following Motion on the Anglican Covenant: ‘Seeing that the Anglican Covenant is consonant with the doctrines and formularies of the Church of Ireland, the General Synod hereby subscribes the Covenant.’ The vote was passed by a large majority of the House of Representatives. The House of Bishops also voted as a separate House, approving the motion, also by a large majority”

There’s been some discussion among the Café’s newsteam about the language chosen in both instances. Rather than adopt, Ireland decides to “subscribe”. South East Asia “accedes”. Perhaps the point is to make clear that in Ireland, the Covenant is something that can be unsubscribed. Certainly that’s the implication in South East Asia where the accession is stipulated as being dependent on other provinces agreeing to full throated support of Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10. The implication is that if the Episcopal Church were to sign on, then South East Asia would no longer accede…

Interesting that Provinces are attempting to find wiggle room in their relationship to the Covenant isn’t it? I would just how much wiggle room is acceptable to the rest? How much room does the Episcopal Church have if it comes to that?

(ENS notices the language used in South East Asia and Ireland too.)


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Michael, we will have to discuss it at 2012, if only because we committed ourselves to review and respond in 2009.

I was pretty comfortable about the GAFCON folks not signing, especially because of the comments of the Nigerian bishop in the papers offered in England – until Southeast Asia signed it, with an interpretative “signing statement.” Even if Nigeria and Uganda refuse to sign, if enough of the GAFCON folks decide to follow Southeast Asia’s model, I’m less sanguine about the future of the Covenant, and how it will affect the future of the Communion.

Bishop Epting, I agree that some other signatories to the Covenant would dislike responding separately to each section, and rejecting Section 4. I think they’ll that dislike Aotearoa/New Zealand/Polynesia has done that; but surely it’s no more bizarre than Southeast Asia’s “signing statement,” dependent as it is on matters not stated in the draft text itself.

On the other hand, we could argue that it expressed commitment to living in Communion, and willingness to continue considering the Covenant, even if the process takes longer. I have also suggested elsewhere that we could in fact consider it longer. There is, in fact, no window limiting our consideration. We have no accountability to and also no authority within the Covenanting Community (to distinguish it from the Communion per se) unless and until we sign; but there’s nothing else to prevent us considering it for another three years, and also watching how others live into it. Like so many others, we want to have this over with, and we seem to think acting in 2012 will accomplish that. Perhaps we need to slow down, and take the risk that another three years of consideration will help us more than hurt us.

Marshall Scott

Michael Russell

How can we sign on to a Covenant that demotes two sources of revelation: Reason and Nature? Sections 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 Put all evaluation under the aegis of Scripture and Tradition, though with a nod to moral and theological reasoning.

This is just the Frankenstienian sewing together of Scriptural and Curial Fundamentalism and an abandonment of The Laws of Reason and Nature.

As a deputy I would vote no on the Covenant because of these two sections alone. I do, however, thing section three gives TEC plenty of ground to use section 4 to file complaints against Nigeria, Southern Cone, Southeast asia and the like for violating our autonomy.

Of course since the GafCon folks will not sign on to the Covenant at all, it becomes irrelevant to complain about them since they will de facto be second tier provinces.

This is all so laughable. Any time at 2012 spent discussing this is a waste.

Chris Epting

Yes, I hear some talk about us signing on to sections 1-3, but not section 4. Doubt that would be “acceptable” to the rest of the Communion. But then, how acceptable are these various ways of accepting it, GAFCON’s rejection of it, Japan’s mixed review and Korea’s suspicion of it? What a mess.

Rod Gillis

“Wiggle Room”. Look for lots of that when the Anglican Church of Canada likely adopts the Covenant in 2012. I must say, opposition to the Covenant is very mute here. It will be interesting to see if things change when the very pro-covenant study materials from National hit the ground in the coming fall.

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