ACNS–Anglican Covenant Working Group – Names announced

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General have now announced the names of the Working Group. They are:

* The Most Revd Dr John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin (Chair);
* The Most Revd Dr John Chew, Primate of South East Asia;
* Dr Eileen Scully, Anglican Church of Canada;
* The Rt Revd Dr Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph in the Church in Wales and former Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Covenant

42 comments on “ACNS–Anglican Covenant Working Group – Names announced

  1. Sarah1 says:

    Well that sort of puts the lie to the whole notion that the ABC might appoint a solid working group to overrule, er sorry — “work on” the CDG efforts.

    Three libs.

    One moderate conservative.

    And of the three libs a really crafty, manipulative one too who continues to play both sides against one another, talking to one side, then rushing over to talk to the other side. One guess as to which one that is.

    At any rate — expected. It works in with the ABC’s very clear strategy. 1) Stand to support publicly the Covenant, while
    2) Delaying it and giving one more shot to scuttling Section 4 by putting in the key bits of the defeated first resolution into the other resolution at the ACC meeting.
    3) Send it to a lib working group.

    That way, the Covenant is delayed long enough for GC 2009 not to have to deal with it, and there’s another opportunity to — yet again — further water down Section Four.

    All the while claiming to “support the Covenant.”

    And it’s worked — it’s certainly convinced many of the ComCons in TECusa.

  2. Katherine says:

    Have to agree with Sarah. This pretty much wraps it up and puts it in the trash. I grieve for those who have put so much hope into this, and so much work.

  3. Jeff Thimsen says:

    Here’s a suggestion. Provinces and / or dioceses that are so inclined, adopt the covenant as it stands. Just side step the ACC and the working group. Agree to revist the covenant in, say, 5-10 years, to give it a fair test to see how it works in practice. I fear that to allow the current process to unfold is to effectively kill the covenant.

  4. Boring Bloke says:

    Meanwhile the Ridley Cambridge Draft text of the Covenant has been sent to Provinces seeking their comments on Section 4 of the Covenant. Responses are requested by 13th November this year. The Working Group will meet on 20 – 21 November in London and report to the Standing Committee meeting of 15 – 18 December.

    So much for any hope that the revised section 4 will have any teeth.

    Note to orthodox provinces: just pass the thing as it stands, and see what happens …

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Pull the other leg, it’s got bells on.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    What is AB Chew doing going along with this?

  7. alfonso says:

    This is a very significant nail in the coffin–the coffin of the “official” Anglican Communion’s commitment and witness to the Faith. I do not feel any desire to identify with those who trample Christ’s blood.

  8. alfonso says:

    “What is AB Chew doing going along with this? ”

    Well, if he won’t be a token traditionalist, who will?


  9. alfonso says:

    Sorry for multiple posts, but I do want to chime in that Abp Chew could still serve with integrity if he speaks clearly to his objections and doesn’t allow the impression that “majority” votes of this committee are fair or honoring to God. Otherwise any conservative minority/token presence only furthers the cause of these “small a” antichrists (per St. John).

  10. MarkP says:

    “Here’s a suggestion. Provinces and / or dioceses that are so inclined, adopt the covenant as it stands.”

    Why not wait and see what the working group produces? Haven’t many of you said in the past that the covenant process was being torpedoed by the ABC’s delays and/or machinations? And now the result of all that delaying and torpedoing is a covenant that you honor so much you are in despair that it might now be torpedoed by the ABC’s latest delays and machinations. Why not let it play through and see if you can support it?

  11. Publius says:

    [blockquote] And it’s worked—it’s certainly convinced many of the ComCons in TECusa. [/blockquote]

    Ms. Hey, Who has it convinced? Does anybody really believe Rowan’s assurances any more?

  12. Ephraim Radner says:

    All those appointed have proven themselves engaged, knowledgeable, and constructive participants in the previous and main work of the CDG over the past two and half years. The full story on the recent ACC mess has not been told, and may not be entirely clear even to the participants. However, there is no reason to think that Gregory Cameron was engaged in a deliberate sabotage of the text — just the opposite, as his presentation demonstrated, and his own work on the Covenant’s behalf, including the Section 4 as currently drafted makes clear (at least to me). This is not to say that I have utter confidence in the outcome here as being consistent with what appears to be the hopes of the majority of the Communion. Time will tell on that one, and there are a number of scheduled events (e.g. the General Convention of TEC) that may alter the dynamics of the working group’s task. However, the schedule and brief made public thus far indicates some desire to circumscribe the “revision” on Section 4 work rather strictly, if it is done much at all. Granted the garbled outcome to ACC-14 — and there is a lot more explaining there that needs to be forthcoming in my mind — I see no reason here to throw up one’s hands in preemptive rejection. It is rather a case of making clear and continuing to make the clear the desires of the Communion in its larger character.

  13. Br. Michael says:

    True. George Custer just might be able to pull off a win. He just needs a little more time that’s all.

  14. LumenChristie says:

    Ephraim Radner # 12 said: ” The full story on the recent ACC mess has not been told, and may not be entirely clear even to the participants.”

    Ok. How about somebody tell the story? The story needs to be told clearly. All the scuttlebut of some inner circle knowing the secrets is a big part of what has been going wrong with the Communion. I am not being facetious here.

    Or even, Let’s go to the video tape. The session is on record. Why not explain what happened? Or at least try to? Please. for us folks in the hinterlands.

    The ABC and company, including the recent statement by PB Jefforts-Schori, continue to act like everything is in proper order and there is not even any controversy concerning the vote.

    I am seriously asking for a response here — not in order to cause trouble but to advance the real understanding of where we are.

    And sorry, but with all due respect to the infinite patience and forbearance of the saints of God: HOW many times did Lucy pull the football away from Charlie Brown; and, HOW many times did he actually get to kick it?

  15. Ephraim Radner says:

    Lumen: ACI has just posted portions of the ACC debate on the Covenant resolutions, in transcript, plus some analysis; a link to the full transcript is also given or will be posted soon:

  16. robroy says:

    So we can’t see fully the details of the black box of the ACC meeting. Was Rowan an idiot? Was he duplicitous? Was Ms Schori pulling his strings? Who knows?

    We do see clearly the output of the blackbox. The delay game continues. The Covenant is sent a liberal group with a token conservative. I agree with the questioning of ABp Chew. There comes a point when faithful perseverance becomes knowingly being duped and giving legitimacy to a process that should have none.

  17. badman says:

    I agree that the composition of the working group is unexpectedly liberal. But I wonder if there is a different explanation to the conspiracy theory. The covenant won’t work unless it is adopted as widely as possible. The churches of the British Isles and North America (including Canada) have major problems with section 4 and might reject section 4 if they think it is just loading the trigger of a gun that will be pulled on liberal churches by conservative churches from the Third World. If they reject it, the covenant is dead. So what we might be seeing here is an attempt to make sure that the people most likely to reject section 4 are actually forced to work on it and to “own” it.

    In this way it is similar to the appointment of Drexel Gomez, a big conservative, to Chair the original covenant drafting work. At that stage, the risk was that conservatives would not hang around for a covenant, so it was important that they were bound in to the process.

    Remember, this is not about democracy. It’s about getting agreement from the whole Anglican Communion, which requires more than a majority; it requires consensus and, ideally, unanimity. The Covenant is to be a Covenant for the whole Anglican Communion, not any geographical or doctrinal or political part of it, large or small.

  18. Ephraim Radner says:

    RobRoy: Are you suggesting that Abp. Chew is being “knowingly duped” and is deliberately giving “legitimacy to a process that should have none”? Serious, and I would say, totally unfounded charges or allusions. A more godly, self-giving, knowledgeable, acute, peceptive, and mission-minded leader in the Communion I do not know. Bar none. Yes: anything this man does represents a prima facie legitimate Christian service. People are free to say and write what they think, of course. But the mind and heart boggles at this kind of offensive name-calling.

  19. Jeffersonian says:

    [i] Comment deleted by elf. [/i]

  20. Already left says:

    So what is the difference in reality if it had passed including #4 or not. Conservatives have been holding their breath at multiple times for the past 6 years (or more) every time there is a new covenant or statement or whatever. NONE OF THEM HAVE TEETH. Had they all been passed – so what? Nothing will ever derail the train that is on the track and has not taken a side rail or deverted its destination since 2003!!!

  21. Ian Montgomery says:

    The composition of the group gives me little reason for hope. I too admire Archbishop Chew. I do not trust the others at all frankly. My conversations recently with an attendee in Jamaica tell me of shenanigans, lies and devious tactics on the part of the controlling minority (I cannot go into detail as I promised not to, but sufficient is public anyway). Sufficient that I do not believe that the AAC is an instrument of unity. This is colonial paternalism at its worst. The team appointments might have been an opportunity for Williams to redeem his egregious behavior in Jamaica. He has blown it again. I cannot see any in the Global South giving credence to this group and any conclusions that it might make. None the less I hope for these things:
    1. Miracles to happen – this is what God does.
    2. Abp. Chew makes a minority report.
    3. The provinces, especially those absent from Jamaica make strong representation to the group for a stronger section 4 and make these very public.
    4. Indeed consider approving the Covenant as per the Ridley draft.
    5. Bring together the inside and outside strategists to pray their way forward.

  22. jamesw says:

    robroy: If I recall, I heard Abp. Orombi say two weekends back that Abp. Chew is very committed to the current Covenant process, but that if it fails, he will be ready to take more drastic action. So it is entirely within reason that Chew would make one last effort for a viable Covenant to get passed. I doubt that Chew is being tricked or is selling out or any such thing. Rather he is demonstrating his solid commitment to the one last hope he has for a united Communion. And who can fault him for that?

    Dr. Radner is wise to point out that GC’09 will take place prior to the CWG’s tinkering with Part IV. The political landscape of Fall 2009 is unlikely to be the same as it is right now.

    The questions will come if TEC takes a major step forward in its sexuality agenda, and if the CWG neuters Part IV even beyond its current state, and if the JSC puts forth a worthless piece of paper forward as the “Covenant”. What will Chew do then?

    As I see it, TEC is moving ever-increasingly leftward, and it is becoming ever clear that it desires to move beyond the acceptable bounds of Anglicanism. It may just be that the lack of a current Covenant “on the table” will work to our clarifying advantage. It tends to undercut the institutionalist-liberal argument by removing a natural brake from GC.

    The ridiculous line that has been pedaled by the ABC and JSC over the last two years that TEC is basically adhering to the Windsor moratoria is a fig leaf that is being stretched ever thinner. Soon it will tear apart. GC’09 just might be the event which tears the fig leaf. And if it is, then there is no more room to hide.

    Clearly, the ABC’s major goal at GC’09 is to protect that fig-leaf. He does that by trying to preserve the appearance that B033 remains TEC policy, and by forestalling any official approval of SSB or SSB liturgies. Failing either of these, there will be a whole new game in town. If this happens, the Covenant will no longer be about “will TEC agree to continue to live within the Covenant” (whether or not you think it is, that is the current fiction within high Anglican circles), but rather will be about “given that TEC has chosen NOT to live within Anglican norms, will the Covenant be intended to address that?” And I think that the ABC realizes that then his old game of “kick the can down the road” will be seriously threatened.

  23. tjmcmahon says:

    21- You forgot point #6- Whatever bit of section 4 survives then goes to KJS for approval in the JSC over which she exercises virtually complete control.

  24. Randy Muller says:

    Dr. Radner: Thank you for your encouraging, hopeful and pastoral words. It is often difficult to see God’s work in the midst of the chaos of this world.

  25. Jeff Thimsen says:

    Robroy: How can you be “knowingly duped”? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  26. Lumen Christie says:

    Thank you, Ephraim and company for the posting above on this blog giving the complete transcript and video of the ACC meeting. As I read it, it can be summarized as follows:

    To the best of my ability to understand, there was some discussion of whether to vote on Resolution A, B or C — some of which overlapped. It was pointed out by Abp. Rowan that if they got Res A out of the way, then they could the move on to vote on B and/or C instead. Res A was then voted down by a substantial majority.

    Resolution B was then discussed and ammended. Ammendments were offered as clauses a, b, c, d, e, & f (apparently?) Each of these was offered for vote. The ammendments were accepted by vote to be included in Res B. However Res B as such — with ammendments—was not actually ever voted on. As pointed out, it is true that voting to accept the insertion of ammendments into a resolution does not mean that the newly ammended resolution has been accepted in its new, final form. No vote was taken to accept or defeat the final form of Res B at 4 o’clock before the adjournment, and no vote was taken on the new form of Resolution B after reconvening at 5 o’clock. (The world does stop for Tea in Jolly Olde England and her Colonies)

    Also, Bp Anis made the point that the new form of Resolution B was substantively the same as Resolution A, which had been defeated. The answer was given that Res. A was voted down only in view that Res B would be voted on in its place. However, Bp Anis was trying to point out that the newly inserted ammendments changed Res B so that it was now substantively different from its original form but was substantively the same as the defeated Res A. This seems to me to be a proper argument. Under the rules of order, Res B was now actually out of order. However, before Bp Anis could finish his argument, someone else was called upon to speak to the good purposes of the ammendments (which I would have to say was also out of order, since the ammendments had already been voted on at that point)

    But on the bottom line, they never actaually voted on Res B at all. So the point is moot. The ACC never properly voted to refer Section 4 to committee. Yet, that is the official version of what happened, and that is how it is being presented to the rest of the Communion.

    So, does that seem to be a proper rendering of the sequence of events?

    It is nicely said that the time frame for which the committee charged with tinkering with Section 4 is tight— their final report must be in by December 2009. However, the really important point remains that Gen Con TEC is THIS July and the next Gen Con TEC is not until summer 2012. The adament position of the PB and Deputies’ President Anderson is that ONLY Gen Con can commit TEC to anything. So the action of the ACC effectively means that TEC and the Anglican Communion remain in a holding pattern for at least the next three years. I think that making the Ridley-Cambridge Text unavailble for this TEC Gen Con cycle was at least a part of the real strategy here.

    The youth member, Sarah, brought up a true point. “None of you [older folks] will still be around to work all this out.” [paraphrase slightly.]


  27. robroy says:

    [blockquote] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.[/blockquote]
    How can this not be more obvious? It is well past time to stop participating in Delphi technique driven discussions: Lambeth, then the Alexandria primates meetings, then the recent ACC meeting – all farces.

    I stand by my assertion that such participation gives legitimacy where none is deserved.

    Whether Rowan was incredibly incompetent or duplicitous, after the goings on in Jamaica, the orthodox need to politely turn down his requests for more “processing”. (The “being wise as serpents” part.)

    No one has pointed out that we have, as Sarah states, Rowan appointing three from the liberal north, one token from the Global South, but THE ENTIRE CONTINENT OF AFRICA IS NOT REPRESENTED. This is so utterly offensive. It stinks of colonialism.

    Should ABp Chew participate in the further travesty? Of course he shouldn’t! He should state that he won’t participate until there are three from the Global South and one from the liberal north.

    P.S. to Jeff (#25): Yes, an intentional oxymoron that describes playing in a game which you know is rigged against you and that you won’t win. Just say no.

  28. MarkP says:

    “Bp Anis made the point that the new form of Resolution B was substantively the same as Resolution A, which had been defeated. The answer was given that Res. A was voted down only in view that Res B would be voted on in its place. However, Bp Anis was trying to point out that the newly inserted ammendments changed Res B so that it was now substantively different from its original form but was substantively the same as the defeated Res A. This seems to me to be a proper argument.”

    It may be proper in terms of formal process, but there’s no doubt that the way it unfolded was as the ABC said — Res A was voted down after everyone had been assured (by the ABC) that they would have a chance to vote on Res B as amended to look like Res C. If, after the ABC’s intervention in the process during the vote on Res A, the delegates had not been allowed to consider Res C (as +Anis argued), that would clearly have been unjust. Now, it may be that the ABC was wrong when he intervened during the vote on Res A to assure the delegates they would get to consider Res C, but he traditionally has a good deal of latitude in these things.

  29. Dale Rye says:

    Re Lumen: I have commented on the parliamentary quagmire under the posting containing links to the transcript. I don’t think that it is clear that Resolution B was never adopted. The Chair, the President, and the Legal Adviser (at least two of whom are supporters of a strong Covenant) all agreed that it did pass.

    Re Robroy: Have you considered that there may not have been anybody from Africa (at least no one who supports all the moratoria on unilateral actions) who was willing to serve?

  30. robroy says:

    Dale, in case you hadn’t heard, cross border interventions are ceasing on June 22-25. (They were always meant to be a temporary measure.) So ABp Orombi, Akinola,… can heartily recommend all three moratoria (and also the fourth, too). Rowan can’t find anyone from Africa??? Please.

  31. MarkP says:

    Following up on my #28, here’s the section from the transcript:

    Archbishop of Canterbury, England
    Thank you Chairman, I was. It does seem to me that procedurally the simple, huh, simple way of dealing with this – having seen C, what we’ve seen is effectively two possible amendments to B – two additions to B. Having seen that I think we should vote on A, and then move to B and the extra material in C is moved as an amendment to B. [murmurs of hear hear]
    There seems to be a good deal of assent being murmured to the Archbishop’s suggestion. I think that we should take the advice of our President and move in that direction. So we should resume our discussion on Resolution A and move to see whether Resolution A stands or falls.
    So this will become Question 12? Question 12, are people clear what I am now asking you to vote on? Question 12 is simply: Do you agree with Resolution A?
    Are you for or against Resolution A, that we spent some time this morning debating?
    Are we clear? Does everyone need clarification? OK? Thank you.
    Question 13 [calls of 12] ..sorry, I am confusing myself, thank you. Question 12: Are we in favor of Resolution A or are we against Resolution A?
    [voting papers being collected]

  32. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #29 Dale Rye
    Re: “I don’t think that it is clear that Resolution B was never adopted. The Chair, the President, and the Legal Adviser (at least two of whom are supporters of a strong Covenant) all agreed that it did pass.”

    How then do you explain the Chairman’s decision that the two clauses imported into Resolution B were to be voted on after tea?
    [Someone approaches Chairman from right again crossing the right screen – same
    person as at 00:59:20:00 above]
    Members of the Council – I have been asked to clarify the status of where we have
    got to and I think it is fair to say that the vote on the amendment to include those two
    clauses was carried but we still need to commit those clauses to a vote. And I
    apologize for misleading you on that matter.
    I have called the adjournment and so I think we have to stay with that. I think we
    might have to recommit those two clauses – not to recommit just to vote on those two
    clauses when we reassemble at the plenary at 5.
    Video 2 Tape 1 Part 2 ends

    More here:

  33. Jill Woodliff says:

    I have wondered for some time if the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bp Gregory Cameron, and Canon Kenneth Kearon are not intentionally trying to provoke Africa to walk out. These appointments do nothing to contradict this theory.

  34. tjmcmahon says:

    Dr. Radner,
    I have tried to write something that might be charitable, although not positive. I apologize for my #23, which was a cheap shot, although I think it substantially true. However, I find myself virtually unable to see any light in this. Whatever emerges out of the JSC (currently completely in control of TEC) in 6 months or 6 years is not relevant to anyone in the US- since if it has meaning, TEC will never sign it (and the canon is currently being written to be overwhelmingly adopted at GC that will depose any bishop who signs on separately from TEC) and ACNA will not be allowed to sign it for decades, if ever.

  35. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Thanks to Dr. Radner for entering the fray here and adding his important perspective as a member of the CDG. I particularly value his ringing endorsement of ++John Chew’s integrity.

    But at the same time, I have to agree with the fundamental take of Sarah (#1), Katherine (#2), robroy (#16, 27, 30), Br. Michael (#13), etc. They aren’t being gloomy pessimists; just realists. The Covenant is as good as dead.

    But then there never really was any chance that it would work, so the failure of the whole Covenant process is probably a blessing in disguise. It will accelerate the convergence of the FCA/non-FCA portions of the orthodox Anglican world.

    But I would particularly commend the typically astute observations of jamesw (#22). I agree wholeheartedly with him. I expect that GenCon in July will further demonstrate that the deluded leaders of TEC are fully determined to press ahead with their pro-gay and relativist agenda. It’s becoming ever clearer that TEC’s spiritually blind leaders are not just going to “walk apart,” they are eager to “run” a different direction than most of the AC, or to “skip” along their merry way like children at play, heedless of the havoc they are wrecking.

    And like jamesw, I immediately thought of ++Henry Oromobi’s comments about his conversation with ++John Chew concerning the Covenant. As I recall from the Anglican TV clip, ++Orombi mentioned that ++Chew is coming under considerable pressure back hom in Singapore from those who see his involvement in the Covenant process as a fruitless waste of time and effort. And yes, ++Orombi reported Chew saying that if the Covenant project fails, then he’s through with attempting to work with the current Instruments. To which I would say, “Well, it’s about time.”

    A couple more comments. Jill (#33), you’ve put your finger on a potential danger that’s very real. Whether or not ++RW really intends to encourage the FCA Africans to just leave the AC (something I very much doubt despite my cynicism about the ABoC), it’s entirely plausible that the devious Canon Kearon and his ilk might entertain such hopes. But even if NO ONE has been covertly and intentionally seeking such an outcome, it’s alas all too possible that such a tragic outcome could occur.

    And that’s sad, for it would amount to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, as I see it. The future belongs to the Global South and the orthodox Anglicans in the Global North. We will continue to grow and thrive; the heretical portions of the AC will continue to wither and die.

    Finally, let me address a point raised by badman (#17). He argues, “The Covenant is to be a Covenant for the whole Anglican Communion, not any geographical or doctrinal or political part of it, large or small.” Well, that’s the dream of some, all right, but I regard it as utter nonsense. And dangerous nonsense at that.

    As I never tire of insisting, the Covenant would only provide the APPEARANCE of unity, not real unity. What we need is not merely a superficial, institutional unity based on polity structures remaining intact, but genuine unity that based on real agreement on the essentials of faith and order. And the plain fact is that large portions of TEC, and the ACoC, and other provinces in the Global North, have abandoned those essentials and perverted the Christian faith and life in an intolerable way.

    The problem isn’t just the condoning of homosexual behavior; its the whole underlying worldview of relativism that’s the real problem. The Windsor Report and the later Covenant refused to take the bull by the horns and insist on calling heresy heresy. That simply won’t do. Heresy must be explicitly named and condemned. The only Covenant worth having is one that explicitly condemns the whole underlying relativistic worldview that makes the toleration of homosexual behavior even thinkable and rules it out for anyone wanting to be an Anglican. In other words, to my way of thinking, the only Covenant that’s of any use or value whatsoever, would be one that would in fact represent just one doctrinal part of the current AC, the orthodox part.

    Badman’s hope is that the AC can somehow be preserved intact. That’s folly. It’s an understandable wish, but it’s both hopeless and in fact not even desirable, without the necessary repentance and conversion of the apostate portions of the current AC first.

    “A house divided against itslef cannot stand.” That is the bottom line. Two religions, one true and one false, cannot peacefully co-exist under one roof or within one ecclesial structure, nor should they. Oil and water simply don’t mix. They will inevitably separate.

    And “it is meet and right” for them so to do.

    David Handy+

  36. dumb sheep says:

    The current issue of The Living Church has an essay by a TEC priest on the Covenant. The way it read to me, he seemed to be saying
    1) The Covenant is being made by the other provinces with TEC,
    2) those who make the covenant agree to accept TEC’s “Baptismal Covenant”.
    This strikes me as hubris.
    Dumb Sheep.
    PS: I have not reread the essay. The first time filled me with uncharity. God got me for that. I’ve had the flu.

  37. An Anxious Anglican says:

    #35 wrote “In other words, to my way of thinking, the only Covenant that’s of any use or value whatsoever, would be one that would in fact represent just one doctrinal part of the current AC, the orthodox part.”

    Father Handy: In your assessment, does the ACNA Constitution truly provide the substitute covenant that you are describing? If not, to what doctrinal source do you turn? Do you exclude the high- or low-church dwellers, or both? Some stand by the Articles, others by the Quad, while others invoke the BCP/Ordianal/Articles combo (which did not stop the evolution of 20th century Anglican liberalism, by the way). IMHO, one of the virtues of the Covenant as currently proposed is that it does focus on structure with integrity rather than defining the “right answer” for every doctrinal dispute that has occured over the last 500 years within Anglicanism. Thus the fight over part four, the enforcement mechanism, and why it is so important.

  38. New Reformation Advocate says:

    An Anxious Anglican (#37),

    Thanks for asking me to clarify an important point in my #35. And a brief answer to your question would start with pointing to the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration as an initial, preliminary statement of some of those essential matters of faith and order that must be re-asserted and defended and insisted upon in our time. I expect it will need further elaboration and clarification in the future, but it could prove a useful starting point. I don’t expect that non-FCA bishops and provinces to simply adopt the current Jerusalem Declaration as is. It may well go through successive drafts, just as the Covenant has done.

    Naturally, I don’t wish to exclude anyone based on churchmanship issues, within the rather wide parameters set by the implicit boundaries marked out by the BCP and the patristic liturgical and creedal heritage that stands behind it. Personally, I’d like to see a new version of the 39 Articles adopted, suitably modified for out own time with the particular heresies we face today being clearly and explicitly identified and condemned. And of course, the 39 Articles, as the fruit of what Newman called “an uncatholic age” (an understatement if there ever was one) are FAR too one-sidedly Protestant to function as an adequate doctrinal statement for worldwide Anglicanism today.

    To state my own position or claims more precisely, I think our vexed crisis within Anglicanism is proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the language of the Lambeth Quadrilateral is misleading and should be revised. As you may recall, the second side of the Quadrilateral concerns the ancient ecumenical creeds, and declares that the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are “the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.” Which begs the question, “sufficient” for what??

    Alas, I think it’s indisputable that those two venerable creeds, even together with the so-called Athanasian Creed as well, are NOT sufficient in fact for dealing with the heresies now rampant in so much of Global North Anglicanism. And that’s because far too many Anglican leaders, especially clergy, are able to say the creeds with their fingers crossed behind their backs each Sunday.

    As Dr. Philip Turner of the ACI has so aptly pointed out, the “working theology” of so many TEC leaders is utterly incompatible with those ancient creeds, so a merely formal adherence to those creeds in liturgical use is manifestly insufficient for dealing with the theological error that’s reached epidemic levels in western Anglicanism. Rather, as I said above, the moral relativism that underlies the acceptance of homosexual behavior must be directly and emphatically identified and firmly denounced and unambiguously rejected in Christ’s name. And then those who persist in following the prevailing cultural currents into heresy must be resolutely excommunicated and publicly shunned, in love and in Christ’s name.

    This does NOT amount to trying to define “the right answer” to every doctrinal dispute that’s ever arisen in Anglican history. That’s a red herring, Anxious Anglican. But it does mean that we MUST put “the Doctrine” and “the Discipline” back in “the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship” of Anglicanism. Simply maintaining our polity structures intact, or preserving the BCP tradition within reasonable bounds, is NOT sufficient for REAL unity.

    To sum it up in a nutshell, Doctrine trumps Polity. Not vice versa. Let me say that again: Doctrine trumps Polity, and not vice versa.

    The FCA/GAFCON leaders understand that fundamental principle. There is a good reason why Doctrine comes first and foremost in the traditional triad of Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship.

    For far too long, we’ve been far too tolerant of an undisciplined doctrinal confusion that has grown worse and worse. It’s time to crack down on heresy within Anglicanism, and to crack down hard! And without a central magisterium, that means that it’s up to the world’s Anglican bishops to take the weighty responsibility that is rightly theirs as successors of the apostles and do whatever it takes to restore orthodox doctrine and catholic order within Anglicaanism, even if that means that literally hundreds of thousands of liberal Anglican heads must roll, and many thousands of liberal Anglican clergy’s careers are abruptly brought to an end as they are forcibly deposed and excommunicated.

    And I do mean that literally.

    David Handy+

  39. Grant LeMarquand says:

    David – I hope you don’t mean ‘heads must roll’ literally…

  40. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Prof. LeMarquand (#39),

    LOL. Thanks for giving me the chance to clarify myself. You’re right, of course. It was the last part of that vehement statement that I meant literally, about deposing and excommunicating thousands of heretical clergy, not the earlier metaphorical part about heads rolling.

    The New Reformation is not a new edition of the Spanish Inquisition, much less a revival of the French Revolution’s use of the guillotine. Though my ferocious rhetoric may sound ominously similar to some of our theological enemies.

    BTW, congratulations on being selected by the new archbishop elect of Nairobi to preach at his installation as the new Kenyan primate. That +Wabukala chose you to preach the gospel on that grand and promising occasion is quite an honor.

    David Handy+

  41. rob k says:

    Anzious Anglican – Don’t expect there to be much of a place for believing Catholics in the new Anglicanism envisioned by most supporters of the Covenant who comment on this site. The 39 Articles will be assigned an even more Protestant spin than they receive now. We Catholics would be a barely tolerated minority (not to say that that isn’t the case now in some areas of Anglicanism).

  42. Sarah1 says:


    RE: “Ms. Hey, Who has it convinced? Does anybody really believe Rowan’s assurances any more?”

    Er . . . the ACI team, Publius. They are entirely convinced that Rowan Williams — the smartest man in the world I am assured — was completely muddled and confused at the ACC meeting and was terribly duped, rather than manipulatively and traitorously accomplishing what he set out to do in the first place which was 1) stand to publicly support the Covenant, 2) shuffle off the offending Section 4 to a little group of libs and apparatchiks [save one] in order to [i]yet further[/i] water it down, and 3) delay any need for TECusa to have to deal with the Covenant at its GC 2009.

    So I think we can safely say that — in light of the *transcript* of the proceedings — that there is absolutely nothing that will convince some people of Rowan Williams’s corruption and manipulative behavior. Nothing.

    Moving on from that recognition, I don’t see anyone at all throwing “up one’s hands in preemptive rejection.” There are plenty of things to be done, as many others have pointed out, other than the ACI’s strategy of “putting facts on the ground” by having all the GS provinces “accept” the Ridley draft, while at the same time crying out that nobody should do crazy things like put facts on the ground and unite to create a real Covenant with real consequences and a real adjudicatory group rather than the laughably revisionist-serving Joint Standing Committee.

    All people are doing is pointing out that — when others said “oh let’s wait and see who Rowan Williams appoints for the small ‘working group'” — that now we all see who Rowan Williams appointed for the small working group. A Grima, two boilerplate revisionists, and one moderate conservative.

    Kenneth Kearon’s qualifications as Grima are well known — one has only to look through the sorry trail of his actions and rhetoric of the past five years, along with his most recent charming performance at the press conference post-ACC-duplicity to discern that.

    And in case anyone says “oh no, we never implied that it was important to see who will be on the working group” here are a couple of quotes, and there are, of course, more:

    [blockquote]The steps left for reviewing Section 4 are not entirely laid out yet (who will be on the committee, etc). In theory, Section 4 could be left alone. In the meantime, Bishop Mouneer is counseling that provinces go ahead and move forward, citing the ABC’s language from his final speech (and his own sense of the ACC meeting on the ground).[/blockquote]

    [blockquote]If +RDW made a mistake, and he was not manipulating an outcome in some very arch way, then of course the covenant could remain as it is, and a working commitee could simply say that, and +Orombi and the JSC could assure that.[/blockquote]

    Of course, RDW did not “make a mistake” at all, and the “working committee” will not say “let’s let Section 4 remain as it is.”

    But the fact that that won’t happen will, I recognize, do nothing to convince those who are confident of Rowan William’s honor of his dishonor. That’s, as I said, a given.