Saturday, November 26, 2011


Recently, I read three excellent posts on the Anglican Covenant, which I believe warrant wide coverage. As many of you know, I am a member of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, and I make no effort to provide balanced coverage, since I hope very much that many churches in the Anglican Communion vote against adopting the covenant.

Canon Alan Perry of the Anglican Church of Canada says in his post titled 'Logs and Specks':
The proposed Covenant is about logs and specks. It's about being empowered, and possibly even obligated, to look for the specks in others' eyes, which will inevitably give rise to others pointing to logs in one's own eyes. The trouble, as Jesus suggests, is that it is often much more interesting to look for specks than to deal with one's own logs, and in fact it's human nature to be in denial about one's own logs.
I can see already the long procession of people claiming to see specks in the eyes of other churches in the communion. What are the rules for presenting claims against other churches (or your own church, for that matter!), and which bureaucracy will winnow the complaints and decide which warrant further investigation by the newly-endowed-with-great-powers Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion? Many questions; few answers.

Next up is a post by Paul Bagshaw, a priest in the Church of England, titled 'Seven constitutional questions on the Covenant'. Paul's post references constitutional questions that may arise in the Church of England if General Synod votes to adopt the covenant. Since a number of people from England read my blog, I link to Paul's post mainly for their benefit, but those of us from other churches should be mindful that the adoption of the covenant may pose constitutional questions for our own churches.

Paul says:
Now it may be that someone somewhere has drafted answers to all these questions and more. In which case it would be useful to have the proposals public so voters can see some of the ramifications of the options before they make their decision. But if no-one has addressed the constitutional implications then I'm even more worried.
Let's face it. The covenant is being rushed through General Synod of the Church of England in the hope of a vote in favor before too many people have an opportunity to take a close look at the document and consider the consequences for the church. It appears to me that those who are so very intent on pushing the covenant may not themselves have considered the consequences. If they have, then they're being very quiet about their deliberations.

At Lesley's Blog is the address by Perran Gay, Canon Precentor of Truro Cathedral, to the Diocese of Truro Synod titled 'The presentation against the Covenant in Truro'
Dreadful though all of this is, it might almost be worth putting up with it if there were any real indication that the covenant would work. But of course it won’t: although it is offered as a mechanism to achieve unity, its immediate effect is to create divisions. Churches that cannot or will not accept the Covenant automatically become second-class members of the Communion. The Orwellian implications of Section 4 will likely further distinguish between full and ‘less-than-full’ members of the Communion, making it harder to have the kind of discussions that family members ought to have together. And as we know, the more conservative Anglican churches who most want this kind of arrangement in place, who subscribe to a notion of a clear Anglican doctrinal identity that has never existed, have already started to boycott Anglican Communion affairs in any case, staying away from the Lambeth Conference, setting up a rival bishops’ meeting and working towards an alternative global fellowship. Even if adopted, the Covenant is set to fail.
I had a difficult time extracting a quote from Canon Perran Gay's address because of its excellence in its entirety. In the end, the Anglican Diocese of Truro voted against the adoption of the covenant.

Please, if you are at all interested or concerned about the Anglican Covenant, get a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a glass of wine, or a good stiff drink, make yourself comfortable, and read the posts to which I've linked. C'mon. Just do it.


  1. Thanks for these links and comments, Mimi. To my mind, this dog not only won't hunt, but has a hard time finding its...

    wv, appropriately enough = dumkxzyf

  2. I learned last week that my "No Anglican Covenant" tile on the side bar of the Dance Party has pushed me over to the Controversial Side, and that's why I can't find a gig. I was surprised, because I didn't think such a sentiment would be considered controversial in El Camino Real. Sheesh!

  3. Tobias, the covenant is like our dog, Diana, named after the goddess of the hunt in great hope by the hunters in the family...hopes dashed because that dog don't hunt.

    Padre Mickey, I'm surprised, too. I would not have thought the plaque so controversial as to make it difficult for you to find a job.

  4. I'm really sorry to hear that you are having difficulty, Mickey. Fwiw, I have found a new gig in Edmonton. So there is hope.

    Thanks, Mimi, for your kind words!

  5. Alan, I am not being kind. I'm simply telling the truth about what you've written. :-)

  6. Tell it loud and clear and then tell it again!

  7. "Sir", I will. I can't help myself.


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