Church News Ireland takes stock of the Anglican Covenant and where it stands as of today:
Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas, (and member of the ACC) chair of the Episcopal Church’s World Mission Committee, commented following the vote that the resolutions are “a genuine pastoral response because we are not of one mind, and to push a decision at this time would cause hurt and alienation in our church on both sides and instead we chose to stay in the conversation.”
That said, it is difficult to disagree with the assessment of “No Anglican Covenant” Moderator, the Rev. Malcolm French, that the USA resolution is little more than an abstention. Furthermore the same General Convention in a budget trimming exercise phased out funding for the Episcopal Church staff position for Anglican Communion affairs.
Throughout the Anglican Communion, seven provinces have approved or subscribed to the Anglican Covenant. They are Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, Southern Cone of America, and the West Indies.
Two provinces – the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – have voted against adopting the covenant. The bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines also have rejected the covenant.
In March, it became clear that the Church of England could not adopt the covenant in its current form when a majority of its dioceses voted the document down.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has adopted the document pending ratification at its next synod meeting later this year.
The Church in Wales last April gave the covenant “an amber light, rather than a green light.” The church’s governing body said it feared the recent rejection of the covenant by the Church of England jeopardised its future and clarifications about that were now needed before a decision could be made. It sent questions on the matter to the Anglican Consultative Council, which meets in Auckland, New Zealand, in the autumn.
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