Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pledge to implement the Covenant at ACC

Anglicans worldwide have voted unanimously to call on their churches to adopt and implement a Covenant protecting Anglican theology.
More than 80 members of the Anglican Consultative Council last night committed themselves to promoting the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all their national and regional churches.
Meeting in Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral, they passed a resolution calling on their churches “to adopt and implement the Covenant within the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and report to the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to steps taken to adopt and implement the Covenant.”
Kiwi Peter Carrell, convener of the Communion’s Let's Get Cracking on the Covenant Network that proposed the resolution, said, “We are enormously pleased by the unanimous approval, but even adoption of the Covenant will not be effective unless it’s implemented."
Oh, wait. That is not true at all. The ACC unanimously approved another Covenant-like document. Read about it here
Apparently Anglicans do believe in a quasi-governing role for ACC and even in Covenant-like documents, so long as they apply to ideas that no one could possibly have any disagreement with at all. 
Is the ACC in danger of becoming absurd and irrelevant?

POSTSCRIPT: The ACC could avoid that danger by taking up the positive support for the Covenant which Bishop Victoria gives here.


Michael Reddell said...

Totally agree with the gist of what you are saying. However, when you commented that no one could possibly have any disagreement with the material in this resolution, I was struck by this item:

Culture of safety

5. We will promote a culture of safety in parishes and church organisations by education and training to help clergy, other church personnel and participants prevent the occurrence of abuse.

I know what it is saying, and bottom line should be uncontentious (preventing abuse) but the promotion of a "culture of safety" brings to mind C S Lewis on Aslan: "he's not safe but he is good". The gospel of Christ isn't supposed to be safe, discipleship is surely something costing not less than everything. That is a hard teaching for many of us - "safety" is so much easier, than the call to come, follow, and risk.

Father Ron Smith said...

Sorry for your obvious, understood disappointment, Peter, that ACC15 did not go along specifically with your motion to agree to the extant conditions of the original Anglican Covenant.

However, I suspect that the ready agreement that has been reached by the 80 people at ACC15 - on the protection and safety to be given by Provinces signing up to this agreement - may not be found acceptable by some Provinces - like, for instance, Uganda or the Province (represented second-hand by Bp.Julina Dobbs of CANA) of Nigeria.

One wonders whether, given their assent to the practice of active persecution of Gays in their own countries, they could agree to the following, final. clause of the agreed document:

" 5. We will promote a culture of safety in parishes and church organisations by education and training to help clergy, other church personnel and participants prevent the occurrence of abuse."

My instinct tells me that they will be as little enthusiastic about this new 'covenant' as they are with the old one.

Bryden Black said...

I realize Peter the time honoured use of satire in especially the political domain. But I have to say two things of this post.

In parts of say the US and Ireland, clergy abuse and its ‘management’ have been horrendous. I know well and personally of one person’s story in Australia too. True; I might be referring to the RCC in the first instance, but Anglicans have not got off scott free. So; I applaud this Charter.

Then secondly, where I applaud too your satirical take is when we note the flip-said, as it were, of this Charter. If we take up such a cause so readily, so expeditiously, then where IS our sense of real Christian priorities? If abuse is so “horrendous” - and it is - then the sorts of ‘abuse’ dealt to the Body of Christ among the AC these past few years must surely be exponentially more horrid still. And so ...?!

Father Ron Smith said...

On the issue of the Anglican Covenant there is already an alternative offered by GAFCON Provinces. It is known as 'The Jerusalem Statement'. That would appear to be a separate 'Covenant' from the Anglican one.

Perhaps if the Anglican Covenant' were re-drafted to accommodate the fact that GAFCON has its own ethos, there may be no need of Section 4 to cover the Rest of Us..

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I need to warn you that your friend David Virtue - at the site virtueonline - seems to have taken you seriously about your blog-post headed "Pledge to implement the C17 roptovenant at ACC"

He even uses this headline:

"AUCKLAND: Pledge to implement the Covenant at ACC-15

By Peter Carrell

Now I'm sure you wouldn't want the whole Anglican blogosphere to think that you were trying to assert the
unreality of any action by ACC15 to have affirmed the Anglican Covenant. I think VoL misread you!

It may be that Mr.Virtue has taken you more seriously than he ought?

Peter Carrell said...

I am trusting that Mr Virtue is as adept at spotting satire as Dr Swift.

Peter Carrell said...

PS Ron,

So few people take me seriously that I am always most pleased when any bothers. Thank you, David Virtue!