"In his opening remarks last evening, Charles Waldegrave reflected on peace as a theological concept.
Peace, he said, flowed from the notion of covenant, and from right relationships. Abuse, he added, was “non-peace”, and a violent relationship with a partner or child was an assault on the fundamental covenant between people and God.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, chaired last evening’s presentation, and in his concluding remarks he reflected further on the problem, and on ways the Communion was dealing with it.
Yesterday's Safe Church resolution was part of the answer, he said. And further reflection on the nature of covenant would also be helpful.
Covenant, he said, involves “the self-restraint of power. The parties to covenant agree to be for one another, and not for themselves.“We have to get away from the idea that the essential human action is control, rather than response.” "
So, once again, ACC-15, tackling an important human issue and agreeing wholeheartedly on the significance of the issue and on the Christian response to it, is faced with the importance of "covenant." Covenant contributes to human shalom, to setting forth the fundamental terms of justice in respect of relationships and to constraining human wickedness. What is not to like?
What might Covenant do for the Anglican Communion? To paraphrase Charles Waldegrave and ++Rowan Williams, Peace for our Communion will flow from right relationships undergirded by the Anglican Covenant which itself in its substance mirrors the fundamental covenant between people and God. The Anglican Covenant (despite contrary claims) involves the self-restraint of power because the parties to the Covenant agree to be for one another and not for themselves.
So, ironically, the ACC which appears likely not to give any particular boost to the progress of the Covenant keeps finding itself either making covenants (cf the charter of the other day) or being taught that covenant is key to social progress.
Are any of the members of the ACC able to see irony bars when they are being waved in front of them?
I have my doubts.
By the way, despite much vitriol being poured on David Virtue, he provides a great news service. Go here for a catch up on key moments in ACC-15 to date.