Andrew Goddard—The Anglican Communion Covenant and the C of E: Ramifications

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The rejection of the covenant by the Archbishop’s own province and the continued disregard for the moratoria in North America creates a new and very serious situation. It means that the Anglican via media advocated by Rowan Williams – creating a framework to enable conversation and communion within agreed boundaries almost universally accepted across the Communion - looks like it has become a cul-de-sac.

The "holding together and keep talking while upholding Windsor and I.10 and covenant" approach that Archbishop Rowan fought so hard for is in need of major restructuring if it is to survive now that the covenant has been defeated in the Church of England. He, in his final months in office, or his successor on taking office, need to find a way forward given key elements of this vision of the Communion have been rejected by the Church of England....

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Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. c.r.seitz wrote:

The “Down Under’ blogger Peter Carrell also has a good analysis, with an eye as well toward the London gathering next month. ‘GS’ and ‘Gafcon’ are meeting, as are representatives from 30 provinces. He uses the language of ‘Association’ and ‘Communion’ to describe the TEC driven vision and the older consensus position, moving from Virginia Report, to Windsor, to Covenant. Carrell is surely correct that the main engine of Communion life thinks in terms of the latter. The live question, one supposes, is whether the covenant serves to atriculate this vision in some form, or another way is found that can bring the widest Communion provinical expression to unity.

March 26, 8:49 am | [comment link]
2. Brian from T19 wrote:

It would appear that PATH B is inevitable.

March 26, 10:27 am | [comment link]
3. cseitz wrote:

#2—why is that so? Did you read the Carrell piece? His view is shared by Goddard, though with more emphasis on Path A via covenant adoption. Path B—is this something you actually want?

March 26, 11:13 am | [comment link]
4. Brian from T19 wrote:

#3 - I did read the Carrell piece.  It is irrelevant what I or others want, what is relevant is what is and what will be.  Right now we are not just heading towards PATH B, we are hurtling towards it.  Neither Goddard or Carrell denies this.  PATH A is truly not a realistic goal except with an actual breaking of the Communion into CoE, TEC, AoC and others and another group going its own way.

March 26, 11:56 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

See—recognizing that I’m exchanging views with a lib—I still don’t think that those who believe the Gospel will accept a formal Path B.  So “association” just isn’t ultimately going to happen.

I’ve always said there’ll end up being three entities: The libs, the moderates, and the conservatives, with those in the second group wringing their hands and hanging out alternately with both sides.

But neither of the first and third groups will ultimately allow “association” or “Path B”—the first group is pretending as if it will, of course, for now, and the third knows it won’t allow it.

I just think the Association thingy—the Path B—is no path at all but merely an intermediate distraction from the end point.

March 26, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
6. cseitz wrote:

Sarah—I agree that Path B will be what MacCulloch really means when he speaks of his exciting new ‘starting afresh’ fantasy: 15-20% of the present AC sharing the TEC-driven vision, an ‘association’ of the like-minded (deliberating rites for SSM and whether CWOB is a good idea). Path A, as Carrell properly sees, will constitute the main corridors within which Anglicanism extends itself, either via a covenant or by some other means.

March 26, 2:42 pm | [comment link]
7. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Would you define “relevant” for me, please?

March 26, 4:33 pm | [comment link]
8. Brian from T19 wrote:

Sure Rob+

pertinent; germane; applicable to the situation

March 26, 10:36 pm | [comment link]
9. robroy wrote:

blah, blah, blah. beating a dead horse. Rowan ‘s manipulation is a failure. I remember the aci-ers trying to hang on to the dead DES agreement after Rowan had killed it, wanting Rowan to appoint his delegate to the committee. they are doing the same with the dead covenant.

the Anglican communion doesn’t need a phony covenant promising phony unity which was sums up the final “Rowan covenant”.

“but twelve provinces have already approved it!”

does that mean anything? southern cone and the TEC lackey province of Mexico still believe in incompatible Gospels (or Gospel and gospel). southeast Asia signed on with a big asterisk.there is no more unity in these provinces then before signing on to the fatally flawed document. the orthodox have opened themselves up to revisionist dominated standing committee manipulation.

March 26, 11:23 pm | [comment link]
10. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Well, okay, Brian, but reading your comment #4 it sounded like your use of the word relevant was synonymous with some term of subjectivism.  Well, no, maybe determinism, or worse, fatalism.
Unless, of course, you were using “it” as an impersonal pronoun for God.
Otherwise, you would agree, I think, that “it is what it is” is not the same as “I am who I am.”
If the former, then there is no need or benefit to prayer, in fellowship with God.  Why listen?  Why ask?
My request and comments have to do with what alarmed me as a cavalier theological and ecclesiological philosophy on how the Body of Christ exists.  Rubbed me the wrong way.  Hope you can clear that up for me if I over-reacted.

March 27, 4:14 am | [comment link]
11. c.r.seitz wrote:

Our response to Williams’ announcement, an earlier version of which awaited publication in The Anglican Planet.

March 27, 9:35 am | [comment link]
12. pendennis88 wrote:

I tend to think the facts on the ground, primarily driven by the many in the global south, have been outpacing the legal constructs drafted by the few for some time.  The movement of the global south (as well as the ACNA as a province in formation) has been to actually act like they are in communion with, well, the provinces that are actually in communion with each other, and to spend less time battling with revisionist provinces such as TEC and Canada (TEC, recall, having early on declared itself out of communion with provinces such as Uganda by deposing priests requesting a transfer on the grounds of “abandonment of communion”).  One of Williams’ many failures (many of which are well recounted in the ACI statement) was to fail to recognize that, as he prevented one after the other of the misnamed Instruments of Communion from enabling this, the desire for communion amidst orthodoxy by the global south and now the ACNA would simply find its own way forward.  That is, roughly, the Path B of Goddard’s article, and it is the default course we have been set well upon by William’s own choices, and was predictable and predicted.

To my way of thinking, the covenant failed largely because it did not recognise this.  Now, the covenant might in theory be a way forward, but significant reservations remain to be addressed - not least whether the disciplinary provision will be wielded to punish the orthodox or the revisionist, and whether these new structures will be representative of the communion or be captured by an unrepresentative group of TEC and its allies, as with the current instruments.

March 27, 10:44 am | [comment link]
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