Thus the proposed Covenant’s pedigree is in fact an attempt in our days to begin to answer the questions posed by the Virginia Report. The mostly tacit koinonia that had kept the Communion together had begun to crumble, due to the centrifugal forces that began pulling at the Communion since the 1960s (remembering that the Communion doubled in size since “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence” in 1963). These have only gotten stronger with the passage of time. It is worth noting that the Covenant does not try to define how the four Instruments should interact. It only pushes back to them a perceived threat to the integrity of the Covenant, not the Communion, from among the signatory churches.
A classic Anglican formulary, to which all Anglicans pay homage, is the Sixth of the Thirty-nine Articles, that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, though it does not spell out what those necessary things are. Similarly, this Covenant tries to define a “containment area” in which decisions on the Virginia questions can be made, without spelling out the particulars. Having made this Covenant, in other words, Anglicans could then work toward defining structures and procedures for a global communion of churches.
Two more undiscussed aspects are the blessing of same-sex unions and ordination of people in them, and the incursions by other provinces into The Episcopal Church. Furthermore, a new group has come into being, the Anglican Church of North America, competing with The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. In March 2009, the Church of Nigeria recognized it, and a few days ago a group of Primates (the “Global Anglican Future Conference Primates”) meeting in London did so as well. The ACNA claims to unite under one jurisdiction a disparate cluster of churches, missions of other provinces, and dioceses calling themselves Anglican.
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