Friday, October 29, 2010

That would be a good thing wouldn't it?

Rapidly earning a gold medal for consistency, Thinking Anglicans once again brings us an anti-Covenant post. This time it is news of two groups in England combining as one in opposition to the Covenant. What I quite like about their announcement is the wonderful clarity and simplicity they bring to the explanation of their opposition:

"Each of the 38 Provinces in the Anglican Communion is being asked to sign it. By signing, it undertakes not to introduce any new development if another Anglican province anywhere in the world opposes it – unless granted prior permission from a new international body, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion."

Their actual case, to be advertised in the Church Times and Church of England Newspaper, is larger and longer and can be accessed here.

But let's focus here on the above two sentences, the first of which is unobjectionable. I leave it to others to say whether or not the second sentence is entirely accurate about the way the Covenant works (as currently circulated in its latest and supposedly final form). Suppose for now this is what will happen. It would be a good thing, would it not, to find that a proposal for a 'new development' needed not so much universal approval as no specific disapproval from one or more members of the Communion. That would mean that we would develop as a Communion in ways which fostered unity rather than division. There is quite a bit to like about that possibility.

Further, the process of development would have some benefit from a committee of the Communion contributing to the approval process. One stroppy member vetoing a proposal could be over-ridden by the Standing Committee (if I understand things correctly).

All in all, we may be grateful to the latest opponents of the Covenant for highlighting what will be brilliant about it. Cheers!


Andrew Reid said...

The Covenant genuinely would be a good idea if:
- The horse hadn't already bolted (Provinces weren't already undertaking innovations left, right and centre).
- We could unite around a common gospel, rather than have 2 different gospels fighting for supremacy.
- The proposed standing committee had a scrap of credibility.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Andrew for responding to this post. I thought it was quite important in the great scheme of Anglican (r)evolution! But no one else seems to agree ...

I agree that one way to read the situation is that it is as you say, so the Covenant is past-its-sell-by-date before more than a couple of customers (actually, just one, Mexico) have bought it.

I remain naively and irrationally hopeful that your three points can be met; but I concede that even I will be agreeing with you by February 2011 if the Primates Meeting is a failure, let alone a fiasco!