Monday, February 28, 2011

A Fair Debate

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, an international group of bloggers including yours truly, is calling on the leadership in the Anglican Communion to play fair and allow for an honest debate on a document that will greatly change the way Churches in the Communion go forward with living into their call to serve Christ in all persons. You can read the whole release HERE on the No Anglican Covenant Coalition website. Some might think we're being unreasonable in saying that the process has not been "fair" or "honest", but consider the following timeline:

• November 2010 — When the Church of England debated the Anglican Covenant, official materials prepared for General Synod members made no reference to the concerns of critics or to the case against the Covenant. This was in marked contrast to what happened in 2007, when the House of Bishops agreed that an additional briefing document presenting opposing arguments should be circulated to all General Synod members in advance of the debate.

• November 2010 — When Modern Church and Inclusive Church placed advertisements critical of the proposed Covenant in the church press, and when the No Anglican Covenant Coalition was launched, Covenant sceptics were criticized by senior church officials for going public and “campaigning” instead of remaining silent.

• December 2010 — When the draft Covenant was formally referred to English dioceses, the referral document provided a random list of quotations from the last General Synod debate, with pro‐ and anti‐Covenant remarks mixed up together, followed by a purely pro‐Covenant presentation.

• January 2011 — A request by Covenant opponents to the Business Committee of General Synod to circulate material setting out the case against the Covenant was rejected.

• February 2011 — The Anglican Communion Office issued an official study guide and list of questions and answers for international use that neither provide a balanced look at the issues nor fairly represent the views of those critical of the Covenant.

This last bit about the study guide is a real kick in the pants. One of our Coalition members, Rev. Alan Perry of the Anglican Church of Canada, has an excellent post on the proposed study guide being pushed for Lenten reflection this year. I will not be joining the Anglican Communion Office in this practice especially since it's skewed toward us "rejoicing" in the proposed covenant.

Now, what was it I was just saying about the Church's ability to find ways to block the sun from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

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