Thursday, 18 September 2008

Anglican Communion Institute calls for Covenant to have 'teeth'

The Episcopal Church and the Proposed Anglican Covenant: A Case of Aggressive Disproportion

It is no secret that the bishops who assembled at Lambeth were asked to complete a survey soliciting their views on the proposed Anglican Covenant. It is now no secret, based upon public statements made by TEC Bishops, that, while most American bishops may favor some version of the first two sections of the proposed covenant, they oppose the third section and the appendix. Here are outlined the likely consequences should a Province exceed the limits of diversity generally accepted by the Communion as a whole. Opposition to the appendix indicates that the Episcopal Church (TEC) espouses a minimalist view of the requirements of communion—one that emphasizes relations of hospitality and mutual aid but down plays or utterly avoids issues of common belief and practice.

The future of Anglicanism as a communion of churches that holds in tension both Catholic and Protestant concerns will be determined by the sort of covenant that in the end will be ratified. Considerable pressure is being exerted on the Covenant Design Group (scheduled to meet at the end of this week) to produce a covenant proposal that says little or nothing about the consequences of going beyond the accepted views of the Communion about the limits of diversity. If the Covenant Design Group accedes to these pressures, it is our belief that Anglicanism will cease to exist as a credible form of Catholic Christianity and will become little more than a Federation of utterly independent churches. Read more
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