The Church of Ireland proposes its own draft covenant

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Ireland has responded to the Anglican Draft Covenant by producing its own draft covenant. The document was prepared by a small group former and present Irish members of ACC and other church members experienced in ecumenical affairs, who hold "a wide variety of views in relation to both churchmanship and issues of human sexuality." It has been presented to both the House of Bishops and the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland, with suggestions from both bodies incorporated into the document.

In redrafting a proposed Anglican Covenant the working group wanted to express very clearly the themes of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence within the Body of Christ, to be inclusive, insofar as possible and produce an agreement which might prevent similar crises in the future. To achieve this, the working group sought to remove elements of legislative structure from any proposed Anglican covenant and emphasised provincial autonomy within the Communion.

IrishAngle reproduces the text of the draft covenant below:

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican CovenantAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland

10 Comments
Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Outstanding!
The Paddies have put their thinking caps on and come up with?
......“Bonds of Mutual Affection”
Yay for the Church of Ireland

November 29, 7:35 am | [comment link]
2. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

This is a healthy move, which makes a real contribution to the ongoing conversation. The difficulty, of course, is that the factions in Anglicanism are beginning to give up on conversation and move into direct action, while this particular conversation clearly needs to take place over a ten-year period or so, perhaps between this Lambeth meeting and the next.

On a lesser note, I perceive a weakness in the Irish document, which purports to “remove elements of legislative structure” yet adds these two elements of ill-defined legislative structure:

viii. To take heed of the Instruments of Communion in matters which may threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness of our mission.

ix. To acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfill the substance of the covenant, such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenant’s purpose


The obvious questions are, 1) what in the world does “take heed” mean as opposed to “obey” in this context; and 2) who decides when a member church has “relinquished for [it]self” the covenant if there is no legislative process?

November 29, 8:02 am | [comment link]
3. Aquila wrote:

And this proposed Covenant is different from the current state, how??

November 29, 9:03 am | [comment link]
4. Philip Snyder wrote:

Aquila - Isn’t that painfully obvious?  This is different because it has the word “Covenant” in it! 

“Here at CoI Motors, Quality isn’t just a word, it’s a covenant relationship where we say that we like quality”

“CoI - where Covenant isn’t just a word, it’s a slogan!”

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

November 29, 9:17 am | [comment link]
5. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Aquila, the “how” in this covenant would be the rephrasing of the conversation regarding the heresies of TEC. Rather than arguing about consecration of Bishops and blessing of same-sex behavior, we would be reminding one another about:

ii. ... the faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary for salvation and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith, and which is set forth in the catholic creeds;

[and]
vi. ...the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer…


There is enough heresy in TEC and ACiC to split the church over these two covenant points without ever making any mention about consecrating certain bishops or blessing certain behavior.

This will eliminate the red herrings of “inclusivity” and “baptismal covenant” that TEC is so ready to pull out of their stinking fishcans.

November 29, 9:32 am | [comment link]
6. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

I take it back. They’ll still open up the stinking fishcans.

November 29, 9:32 am | [comment link]
7. tired wrote:

Why is it that I suspect proposals from any group proclaiming to hold: “a wide variety of views?”  As a conciliar, catholic starting point - any such proposal must recognize that the presenting issue has been declared NOT to be adiaphora, and that Lambeth 1.10 is valid and accepted teaching.  Why should a covenant be designed to re-open negotiations?  “Listening” was not that kind of listening - but individual, pastoral care.

It seems to me this is simply more of the camel in the tent, and there’s not much room left in there for reasserters…

November 29, 9:57 am | [comment link]
8. Scott K wrote:

That last paragraph above doesn’t even make sense.  Part of their goal is “to express very clearly the themes of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence within the Body of Christ.”  How is this accomplished by “[seeking] to remove elements of legislative structure from any proposed Anglican covenant and [emphasizing] provincial autonomy within the Communion”?

I don’t see how removing legislative structure and and emphasizing provincial autonomy promotes interdependence and mutual responsibility.  In fact, they work in opposition to it.

November 29, 10:19 am | [comment link]
9. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Point taken, Scott. The Irish Initiative is positive not in that it proposes something we would accept, but rather lays out a position in the negotiating process. In the areas of “legislative structure” and “provincial autonomy”, the final Covenant as adopted, if it ever is, will be a compromise between parties where neither gets all that it wishes. Removing these elements is unacceptable to the reasserter side, which sees the failure of the current systems. A papal-like structure, on the other hand, is also unacceptable. The successful Covenant will be a compromise between these extremes.

...back in the Briar Patch,

November 29, 1:30 pm | [comment link]
10. Aquila wrote:

Scott wrote:

That last paragraph above doesn’t even make sense.

Sure it does.  The Anglican approach to “covenant” is:

1. You tell them anything they want to hear. 
2. Then you go do what you want to do.
3.  If anyone perceives a contradiction, then you go back to 1.

November 29, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
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