(Telegraph) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Likely faces defeat on Anglican Covenant

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has given his backing to a deal intended to prevent a split between the Church’s traditionalist and liberal wings, by effectively preventing openly gay clergy from becoming bishops.

However, last night the proposed Anglican Covenant stood on the brink of failure, after worshippers and clergy rejected it in votes up and down England. Two bishops voted against it.

Supporters of Dr Williams said that a defeat would be a “devastating” blow to him after he staked so much of his authority on the Covenant.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

7 comments on “(Telegraph) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams Likely faces defeat on Anglican Covenant

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    And the band played on…

  2. David Hein says:

    This whole Covenant thing has been a bridge too far. I’m not sure that anyone even knows what a yes or no vote really means anymore. More indications that clear archiepiscopal leadership, decision-making, and administrative finesse from the start–or at least by the time of Lambeth 2008–would have helped.

  3. Milton says:

    The Archdruid squandered any authority he may have once held. After gutting the Covenant of any effect or authority it could have had at Jamaica and afterward, now he mourns its failure? Rank hypocrisy. Rowan, the vultures have come home to roost, and feed on the rotting corpse of the COE, after having ravaged TEC.

  4. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Of course. Just like accomodation for female clergy and just like the TEc playbook by which Rowan has lived. Precisely on schedule.

  5. MichaelA says:

    “…a deal intended to prevent a split between the Church’s traditionalist and liberal wings, by effectively preventing openly gay clergy from becoming bishops.”

    This seems to imply that the covenant would have acted like UK accession to European laws, some sort of all-powerful principle which would override English ecclesiastical law. I rather doubt that.

    “When Dr Williams unveiled the document in 2010, he urged the church to endorse it or risk seeing the “piece-by-piece dissolution” of the Anglican Communion.”

    Funny, I would have thought that the most likely cause of dissolution of the Anglican Communion (if it occurs) would be because different elements of the Communion hold beliefs that are fundamentally incompatible.

    And “piece-by-piece”? Is that really what ++Williams was concerned about, or did he really fear dissolution into just TWO pieces, one large and one small? And that the larger piece would then promote parallel jurisdictions within the various provinces constituting the smaller piece, eventually leading to the eclipse of the smaller piece (the one he has always supported)?

    “The Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Rev Dr Graham Kings, warned that rejection of the Covenant would cause the worldwide church to “disintegrate”…”

    As Jack Nicholson might have said, ‘Do we LOOK like we’re disintegrating?’ I would have thought if anything it was CofE that is in danger of disintegrating… :o)

    “Rowan Williams has put his whole weight behind this … For anyone in his position it would be devastating [if it failed].”

    Meh. In 2008 Rowan Williams put his whole weight behind trying to persuade K J Schori and her bishops not to drive out dissident bishops from TEC (because he could see the disaster it would lead to). He failed, and Schori et al went ahead and caused the creation of ACNA by their foolishness. But hey, ++Williams is still here. He is a survivor and he will survive the rejection of the covenant. Whether he can personally stomach the current trend is another matter…

    “Conservative clergy, including Anglican leaders in Africa, protested against the move, leading Dr Williams to set up a commission to find ways to heal the divisions. The 2004 Windsor Report recommended that ties between Anglican churches around the world should be made “explicit and forceful”.”

    Oh, please! ++Wiliams set up the Windsor Commission as an obfuscatory measure, nothing more. If he had really wanted to heal the divisions he would have actively supported the Windsor moratoriums. “Explicit and forceful” speaking by Williams himself would have been enough to heal most of the divisions. But all he did was convince orthodox believers that he covertly supported the liberal agenda. As Milton points out at #3, Jamaica and similar episodes are not forgotten.

    “Dr Kings said: “If we don’t pass the Covenant we will disintegrate into a vortex of more splits and more fragmentation. It’s between increasing fragmentation or intensifying our relationships – that’s the choice.”

    Anglicans across the world have been intensifying their relationships; Just not with the CofE, TEC or ACoC.

    “The ridiculous situation we could be in if it doesn’t go through the dioceses is that the Communion could agree to the Covenant while the Church of England doesn’t.””

    Indeed, and a large part of the rest of the Communion could decide that they don’t need the Archbishop of Canterbury as primus inter pares anymore, and elect a “Primate of the Anglican Communion” from among themselves every five years. Or whatever. All sorts of things are possible.

    “Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the Church at Oxford University, described the Covenant as a “witch hunt” against the US and Canadian Churches.”

    Ummm no, in fairness to Rowan Williams it was his genuine attempt to forestall such a ‘witch hunt’. But hey Sir Diarmaid, if you don’t want it, then suit yourself…

  6. Cennydd13 says:

    I don’t see it as a “witch hunt” at all, but a formal effort at telling TEC and Friends to stop taking actions which adversely affect the rest of the Communion. They’ve refused to stop, and if anyone has caused the split, it is them and them alone. The blame is squarely on them.

  7. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    He tossed the authority he had when he chose to invite Robinson’s consecrators to Lambeth and dissed African primates so they would stay home from the last meeting in Ireland. Why doesn’t he just come out of the closet and state outright that he approves of the liberal direction the AC is moving in and really could care less about provisions for traditionals? This is what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum and can’t keep order in your own backyard. Not to mention the footsie re: the hobbling of the Covenant in Jamaica, keeping TECers on primate and Lambeth Steering committees, and stating you’re going to keep said Windsor Report violators out of ecumenical dialogues, but then an American priest/academic is found on one, attempting to bill himself as “British” when he’s still canonically resident in DioChicago, a paragon of traditionalism(?).

    Come on–no sympathy for Williams and all his sicko sleight-of-hand; that, in reality, is clear as glass.

    And meanwhile, relations with the RC’s and EO’s flap in the breeze. YUCK