Saturday, May 9, 2009

Covenant Postponed

May 9, 2009

The news from ACC-14 is that the proposed Anglican Covenant is not ready to be sent to the provinces for approval because the section on ‘discipline’ needs to be more fully, clearly and coherently worked out. In other words if there is to be some kind of discipline with teeth (as desired by Archbishop Carey among others—see previous post) hen we ought to know what that process looks like so that it can be manifestly an transparently ‘fair’. I suspect that the real problem is that it is hard to impossible to develop a view of discipline that is consistent with what has been taught and/or assumed with the spread of the Anglican Communion and therefore with Anglican Ecclesiology. Let’s remember that this whole business of Covenant was proposed in the Windsor Report which was about how to keep unity when some Anglicans did not like what other Anglicans were or were not doing.

I don’t like the fact that many churches do not ordain women and appear to have no interest in developing the ministries of women in any way that might threaten male hegemony. I do not like the fact that many of those who support the covenant are unwilling to contemplate the possibility that they may be wrong or perhaps have something to learn form a minority view, but a majority view within at least one province. I disagree with those who think some common intellectual assent to creedal propositions is the basis and therefore admission to the Lord’s Table. There are a host of attitudes and practices which I consider to be contrary to the gospel as I have received it within Anglicanism. That does not mean that I wish punitive discipline on anyone. I do think that those who are striving to stay ’Anglican’ at the expense of gay and lesbian Christians should be resisted in favor of a view of communion that is truly a broad church.

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