Friday, April 27, 2012

Turning Attention to Indianapolis

Now that the majority of the Church of England dioceses have rejected the so-called Anglican Communion Covenant, those of us with a passion for preserving the Communion are putting our collective minds toward seeing the Covenant defeated at the Episcopal Church's General Convention 2012 in Indianapolis this summer.

One might think this shouldn't be too tough to sell the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, the two governing bodies, on the wisdom of rejecting a document that couldn't even hold up in its home base of the Church of England.  But this is the United States.  These are our bishops, clergy and laity. And we have certainly seen bizarre and unimaginable things happen when you put a question up for a vote in this country! 

The members of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, especially the ones with working knowledge of how to draft resolutions and exactly how to wordsmith these things, are making a modest proposal for the delegates to GC2012 to consider.  Please feel free to share this post  with delegates from your own diocese or go to the NACC blog and find the resolution in Word document and PDF form.  Our hope is that many delegates to the Episcopal Church's GC2012 will consider our position, and vote a simple, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Anglican Covenant so we can get on with the business of the Church's mission of sharing Love with the world.  Perhaps when all this covenant business is behind us, we might start to see each other again as brothers and sisters in Christ and not brutal enemies that must be destroyed.

Title: Relation to the Anglican Communion

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention give thanks to all who have worked to increase understanding and strengthen relationships among the churches of the Anglican Communion, and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention reaffirm the commitment of this church to the fellowship of autonomous national and regional churches that is the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention believe that sister churches of the Anglican Communion are properly drawn together by bonds of affection, by participation in the common mission of the gospel, and by consultation without coercion or intimidation; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention, having prayerfully considered the merits of the Anglican Communion Covenant and believing said agreement to be contrary to Anglican ecclesiology and tradition and to the best interests of the Anglican Communion, respectfully decline to adopt the same; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention call upon the leaders of The Episcopal Church at every level to seek opportunities to reach out to strengthen and restore relationships between this church and sister churches of the Communion.

Explanation: Churches of the Anglican Communion have been asked to adopt the so-called Anglican Communion Covenant. The suggestion for such an agreement was made in the 2004 Windsor Report, which proposed “the adoption by the churches of the Communion of a common Anglican Covenant which would make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection which govern the relationships between the churches of the Communion.”

The Windsor Report was produced at the request of Primates upset with the impending consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire and the promulgation of a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions by the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Archbishop Drexel Gomez, of the Anglican Province of the West Indies, was entrusted with leading the development of the first draft of a covenant. This same Archbishop Gomez was one of the editors of To Mend the Net, a collection of essays dating from 2001 and advocating enhancing the power of the Anglican Primates to deter, inter alia, the ordination of women and “active homosexuals,” as well as the blessing of same-sex unions. Archbishop Gomez’s punitive agenda remains evident in the final draft of the proposed Covenant.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the Anglican Communion Covenant attempts to create a centralized authority that would constrain the self-governance of The Episcopal Church and other churches of the Communion. This unacceptably inhibits Communion churches from pursuing the gospel mission as they discern it.

The Church of England has already declined to adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines has indicated that they will not support the Covenant, and the rejection of the Covenant by the Tikanga Maori of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia renders it virtually certain that those churches will also reject the Covenant. A number of Global South churches have indicated that they will decline to adopt the Covenant.

The deficiencies of the Covenant are legion, and the Anglican Communion faces the prospect of becoming a fellowship not united but divided by the Covenant. It is essential to reject the Anglican Communion Covenant in order to avoid the Communion’s permanent, institutionalized division.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do not adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant. Period.