Alyson Barnett-Cowan asks for a Fair Reading of the Anglican Covenant

Many things have already been said in the public arena about the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant. As Provinces around the world continue to discuss this important document I think it worth clarifying some points about it. I am not arguing here for or against the Covenant, merely pointing out that it should be debated fairly, with an accurate reading of the text….

The point of the processes outlined in the Covenant is precisely to encourage one part of the Communion, when seeking to respond responsibly in its own context in mission, to consider how that will affect other parts of the Communion It is not that one Province would exercise a veto over another, but that there would be collaborative discernment. In a globalised world, it is no longer possible (if it ever was) for one church to act entirely for itself; decisions have ramifications, and the intention is for these to be explored together.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Ecclesiology, Theology

3 comments on “Alyson Barnett-Cowan asks for a Fair Reading of the Anglican Covenant

  1. robroy says:

    [blockquote] Having done that, let me then clear up some misconceptions that some people have about the document. The Standing Committee is not new; it is made up of elected Primates and elected members from the Anglican Consultative Council and it co-ordinates work in the Communion. [/blockquote]
    Bull hockey. The standing committee of the ACC is not new. The standing committee of the Primates is not new. The joint Standing Committee is not new. But “The Standing Committee” is most definitely new and a creation of a stealth ACC constitution. It has two members that are clear violators of the moratoria (Schori and Douglas) and the placement of Janet Trisk was underhanded.

    What are the qualifications for “Director for Unity, Faith and Order at the Anglican Communion Office”? Can I apply for that gig?

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    As someone who is generally supportive of a Covenant, I have very mixed feelings about this. CAPA, the Global South Conference, not to mention GAFCON have all made representations to Rowan Williams…which he has ignored, most blatently by inviting +KJS to Dublin. Their points still stand, and the form of the Covenant and in particular the role of the discredited “Standing Committee” has not been resolved, and the Covenant and the equally important arrangements on which it stands is not in a form in which people can make an informed decision to sign up.

    Now at the eleventh hour, just before the CofE Synod, we are finally seeing some activity from Lambeth Palace and its friends. Canon Cowan does not really address the issues, as Peter Carrell astutely points out. Moreover it is risible to suggest that the Standing Committee under its new ACC constitution [if indeed it is in fact in force rather than the old one] is just the same as the JSC.

    Meanwhile considerable opposition is coming from the United States, and its satellite publicity office in St Albans in an attempt to sway Synod.

    We can expect, if he can summon up the energy, and collect his thoughts a defense of the Covenant from the Archbishop and our senior bishops. Usually, Synod will be swayed by this, and I would expect the same to apply this time, although I am not as confident as I would have been last year, when a coalition of people including those who are normally supportive of the ABC came together to defeat the ABC’s and ABY’s eleventh hour [again] attempt to secure some provision for women bishop dissenters.

    For anyone interested in following our Synod next week there are some details and links below which I found. It promises to be an interesting week.
    General Synod sits next week on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th November. Papers are available on the side bars here:
    The Agenda with timings is here [pdf]:

    Anglican Covenant: Main item at 9:30 am on Wednesday 24th is the Covenant and getting the CofE to sign on, well strictly:
    [blockquote]504 ‘That the draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant be considered.’[/blockquote]
    [Bishop of Bristol, Mike King is proposing]
    There will be a Presidential address at General Synod from the ABC on Tuesday afternoon.

    GS MISC 966 ‘The Faith and Order Commission: The Anglican Covenant: a briefing paper’ [from CofE HOB]

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Also worth mentioning that the stakes are very high. While the CofE agreeing to sign on to the Covenant would not necessarily ensure its success, if it did not it is highly likely that it would be D.O.A.

    That is why there is such effort coming from TEC and its footsoldiers to try to influence our Synod, some of it quite alarmist, not to say having tenuous connection with any concept of truth. Andrew Goddard took some of it to task, and just up is a defence of the Covenant from Bishop Graham Kings in The Guardian today.

    So next week will be an important one, for us, and the future of the Communion, and quite possibly for the ABC himself.