Saturday, 19 April 2008

Church Times: Covenant will protect male power, says critic

A MEMBER of the Lambeth Commission that first proposed an Anglican Covenant has changed her mind.

Speaking at a conference in New York last week, the Dean of St John’s College, in Auckland, New Zealand, Dr Jenny Plane Te Paa, said that events since the launch of the commission’s report had “caused me to reconsider my initial support for the development of covenant”.

Among the events she cited was the behaviour at the Primates’ Meetings, which had gone from being a gathering for “leisurely thought [and] prayer” to being a “quasi-governance body universally perceived as inappropriate, unbidden, and unhelpful”.

Covenant drafts served to “protect and enhance . . . dominant male leadership, privilege, and power”, she said. In her view, the “fussing with and about one another” needed to stop, in order to reaffirm the bonds that already exist within the Communion.

By contrast, the proposed Covenant was defended by the Archishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez. “If we can covenant with our ecumenical partners . . . it seems to me to be a pretty pass indeed if we Anglicans decide we cannot covenant with each other.” Read more
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