The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has issued a polite, but firm, rejection of the Anglican Covenant.
"We cannot endorse a covenant that, for the first time in the history of The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion, will pave the way toward emphasizing perceived negative differences instead of our continuing positive and abundant commonality," states the response, signed jointly by the diocese’s bishops and General Convention deputation.
To read the news release and full statement, click HERE.
The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has requested that all dioceses weigh in on the Anglican Covenant by April 24th... which incidentally is Easter. I am thrilled, but not surprised, that Los Angeles has sent word back across the pond that they are not interested in furthering the self-inflicted wounds from writhing that have some in the Communion demanding that we must have a Covenant.
In looking over their statement, the Los Angles Diocese reached many of the same conclusions that I and others in the No Anglican Covenant Coalition have said repeatedly. Sections One and Two of the Covenant go over all the wonderful stuff about our life in Communion and mutual bonds of affection and are not offensive. But Section Three is the start of the turn away from our rather diverse in opinion and appearance Communion to wanting something that is boxed-in and begins to resemble a corporation, not a church and certainly not a Communion. Suddenly, the laity (who... if we're going to be corporate... are the stock holders) have been cut out of the picture. And then there's Section Four which, despite protestations to the contrary, contains language that will allow any Church in another part of the Communion to cry "foul" if a Covenant/Communion partner does something that might be deemed as problematic (like, oh... I dunno... ordain and consecrate openly-gay and partnered people to the episcopate??)
As Los Angeles, which has a lesbian Bishop Suffragan, notes the document is geared toward perceived and potential wrong-doing rather than rejoicing in our supposed bonds of affection. It's as if the Archbishop of Canterbury is standing there, ruler in hand, just waiting to wrap us on the knuckles.
So, this is LA's response. I have yet to see or hear what the response is from the Diocese of Florida to the Covenant.