Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TEC on path to isolation?

TEC's Executive Council will propose to GC 2012 that TEC does not adopt the Covenant. Read Mark Harris here at Preludium.


carl jacobs said...

How do you see this as leading to TECs isolation?

1. The Covenant is going to fail so it will never come into force.

2. RW has spent the last five years personally interceding to protect TEC from the consequences of its actions.

3. The Instruments of Unity that might enforce discipline against TEC (Primates meeting and Lambeth) have been castrated by deliberate intent. See point 2.

4. The other Instruments are under the effective control of TEC. See point 2 once again.

TEC could not be in less danger of isolation. They hold a dominant position in the formal structures of the Communion. That's why we are seeing alternate Conservative structures emerge as Conservatives give up on the old instruments. They have no choice since the old instruments have been thoroughly co-opted. If what you hypothesized was true, we would be seeing alternate liberal structures emerging.


Peter Carrell said...

If (1) turns out to be true then TEC will be no more or less isolated than most other member churches of the Communion.

Father Ron Smith said...

TEC's action on the Covenant process was inevitable. No Fudge, Just NO!

This is the irony of being part of the Anglican Communion - which did not welcome the American Province into being in the first place. Those who know the history will remember that it was dependent upon the Scottish Episcopal Church for its very first Bishop, as the Church of England would not perform the task! No wonder TEC is not too concerned about avoiding a threat of further indignities from the disciplinary application of the contentious 'Section 4:2'.

I believe TEC does value its place in an eirenically inclusive Anglican Communion. However, It is not ready to kow-tow to foreign intervention in its internal affairs - even if that means it gets cut off from the Communion Instruments - something that other, conservative, provinces have done for themselves by their non-appearance at Lambeth and other meetings of the Primates.

TEC wears is Gospel Heart on its sleeve. It cannot be intimidated by attempts to water down the mission of the Gospel - as it sees the demands of women and the LGBT community being denied in other parts of the Church. Deo gratias!

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
In some ways I am pleased at this news. It's not because I want the Covenant to fail, but because I feared TEC would sign the Covenant and continue their efforts to make their beliefs become accepted as mainstream within the Communion. I feared they would sign up to it, and ensure they did not face its consequences by ensuring the ACC continued to be ineffective, and in fact use the Covenant to threaten other provinces who weren't aligned with their beliefs.

As it turns out, they have taken a more principled position, where they acknowledge that they don't want to participate in mutual accountability and can't adopt the Covenant.

The key question now is if TEC officially reject the covenant at General Convention as expected, will ACNA be offered the opportunity to sign the Covenant? I don't know whether they would want to, but shouldn't another US Anglican province be given the opportunity to adopt the Covenant if TEC declines?

And now, all eyes turn to the CofE...

Suem said...

We are not expected to be surprised are we? I believe there have been calls from some not to allow TEC the option of the Covenant anyhow. Fulcrum in March 2010 declared that TEC were "incapable" of signing it!
I quote:
"The first and most obvious consequence of this development (Glasspool) is that TEC as a body has revealed it is incapable of signing the Anglican covenant. This is not simply because they have once again categorically rejected the pattern of life together that it articulates and the shared discernment it presupposes. The more serious and deep-rooted problem is TEC’s particular polity (which allows for confusion and assertion in the place of coherent policy and practice) and their understanding of how the Spirit leads them. These make TEC as a province incapable of making meaningful or credible commitments to the Communion about their future conduct."

So, as Andrew Reid says, maybe it is just as well that their actions in this are at least consistent with their convictions and their understanding of what the Covenant is? Did you expect them to do differently? What would you be saying if they had decided to sign?

Father Ron Smith said...

Surely ACNA, on it's own principles, could never sign the covenant. It has already opted out of the Communion by severing itself from the local Anglican Church in TEC? NO. I think it;s rightful home is with GAFCON, and, possibly, AMiE, with which is has to most clear affinity. Not that AMiE has any chance of being accepted in the U.K.

Peter Carrell said...

It would be adroit, Andrew and Ron, of ++Bob Duncan to signal clearly and immediately that ACNA would like to adopt the Covenant and to play a full role in the Communion as a Covenanted member. That would place the Communion in the position of needing to work through why it would not offer Covenanted membership to a group of Anglicans willing to adopt the Covenant while retaining membership of TEC (should it follow through at GC and determine not to adopt the Covenant). It would be interesting to hear the Communion's reasoning at that point!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Suem,
Being the liberal and open-minded person that I am, I have not (or have tried to not) prejudge what TEC's response would be.

However it now becomes almost unthinkable that GC will not follow through on the direction its Executive is giving.

What would I have said it the signal was to adopt? "Fantastic". As a Covenant supporter I look forward to all signs of support of the Covenant. Of course it would then be very interesting where TEC's relationship as a Covenanted member of the Communion would go. Now we may never know!

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter. I cannot see the ACO inviting ACNA - a schismatic body - into a Covenant relationship, that the largest Anglican Church in the U.S.A. (TEC) has declined to join. I don't think the ABC and the ACO are that stupid!

And, anyway, why would ACNA want to bond with the Anglican Communion when it's closest relationship is to GAFCON, which has already seen fit to spurn Lambeth - in their efforts to spawn an alternative Communion. Surely ACNA's future is with GAFCON, not The Communion?

Suem said...

I think you might have said (or implied) "Fantastic, now they have signed the Covenant, they will have to backtrack on their position and practice regarding the ordination of gay people and the blessing of same sex relationships." Or would you have been happy for them to sign and proceed upon the path on which they are embarked and which (rightly or wrongly) TEC feels is the just and Christian course?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Suem and Ron
Second-guessing what might happen if ACNA chose to offer to sign the Covenent, or if TEC were to choose to adopt the Covenant is not very profitable. Quite a lot of misguided opposition to the Covenant has arisen because of 'second-guessing' the future.

Suem said...

If you are going to sign something, you have to second guess what the consequences will be, Peter! That is only reasonable.

Father Ron Smith said...

My (second?) guess, is that the Covenant will either disappear without trace, or, alternatively, re-orient itself towards the inclusion of all Anglican Churches that do not wish to be associated with misogyny and homophobia - which leaves ACNA and GAFCON to pursue their own quasi-Anglican future. Now that would be something worth contemplating.

hogster said...

Father Ron Smith said...
My (second?) guess, is that the Covenant will either disappear without trace, or, alternatively, re-orient itself towards the inclusion of all Anglican Churches that do not wish to be associated with misogyny and homophobia ...

Are you saying that I am a misogynist or homophobic simply because I would be willing to support our Diocese accepting the covenant.

Forgive me but I am a little tired of what, it seems to me is inflammatory, and at heart derogatory language.

Is it not something of an irony when one person springs to the defense of another, all be it in the believed interests of justice and intrinsic human value, something I also with all my heart and soul believe in, but it is done by labeling and name calling?

Forgive me for being so blunt but if I am not a misogynist or homophobic then to infer I am is unjust.

blessings on you.

Father Ron Smith said...

Hogster, I am not targetting you - or anyone else who wants to sign on the the Covenant - as either homophobic or misogynist. What I DID infer was that, IN MY OPINION, in order to survive, the Covenant would need to accept Women and the LGBT community as part of the Communion Churches! In other words - get rid of Section 4:2.


hogster said...

Re Father Ron as above:

Thank -you