Canterbury concedes Anglican Communion has become "corrupted"

Dec 6, 2012 by

By George Conger, Anglican Ink The Archbishop of Canterbury has conceded defeat in the battle over the Anglican Covenant. In a 2 Dec 2012 Advent letter to the primates, Dr. Rowan Williams said the Anglican Communion had become “corrupted” and could no longer be considered a communion of churches but a “community of communities.” Dr. Williams’ somber appreciation of the state of the communion today, contrasts with his past letters to the leaders of the Communions 38 provinces. Nothing now bound the church together apart from good will. In 2009 Dr. Williams rejected calls from the Episcopal Church to reorder the Anglican Communion as a federation of churches. “As Anglicans, our membership of the communion is an important part of our identity. However, some see this as best expressed in a more federalist and pluralist way. They would see this as the only appropriate language for a modern or indeed postmodern global fellowship of believers in which levels of diversity are bound to be high and the risks of centralisation and authoritarianism are the most worrying.” “There is nothing foolish or incoherent about this approach,” Dr. Williams wrote in a letter published on 27 July 2009, “but it is not the approach that has generally shaped the self-understanding of our communion.” Read...

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A rebellion we do not need – Andrew Carey

Jun 28, 2012 by

Church of England Newspaper July 1 What are we to make of the latest Episcopal acts of rebellion in recent weeks? First, we have the Diocesan Bishop of Salisbury, Nick Holtam and the suffragan Bishops of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, and Grantham, Tim Ellis, publicly disagreeing with the Church’s opposition against same-sex marriage. Second we have the widespread defeat of the Covenant by a number of bishops in their diocesan synods. And finally, the motions at Worcester and Salisbury Synods publicly disputing the House of Bishops’ amendments to the women bishops’ legislation. It goes without saying that it is the first act of rebellion that is most serious. The distinguished German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg wrote a number of years ago that ‘gay marriage’ was a firstorder issue. “Here lies the boundary of a Christian church that knows itself to be bound by the authority of Scripture. Those who urge the church to change the norm of its teaching on this matter must know that they are promoting schism. If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” Against this background, it might be said that the vocal opposition against the Covenant and the bishops’ amendments, though ill-mannered and obtuse, are hardly matters of fundamental importance. Yet this is to underestimate what they represent. The only thing that the Covenant will help us to do as Anglicans is to give some kind of structural mechanism for jointly recognising first-order issues. By rejecting the Covenant and falsely misrepresenting it as an instrument of coercion, we discover how badly liberal Anglicans are estranged from us. They first seek to prevent discernment and then they act dishonestly — is there any way to bridge the gap between us? Recent moves by the Bishop of Salisbury in his diocesan Synod to reject amendments by the very House of Bishops of which he is a member, are also a neat illustration of how badly things have gone wrong. To lose the debate in the House of Bishops and to continue to protest is one thing, but then to enlist your diocesan synod to undermine the Episcopal college of which you are a part is a step too far. The broken collegiality of the bishops has one good result. We can no longer pretend that all is well in the Church of England by ignoring the signs of the times. This open rebellion forces us to recognise that battle is being waged by liberal Anglicans for the very soul of our Church. The choice we face is to insist upon the Gospel, or to surrender and cease to be a part of the...

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Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod votes against adoption of the Anglican Covenant

Jun 8, 2012 by

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church today voted against the adoption of the Anglican Covenant. Following a variety of views expressed by members of General Synod, the Motion that Synod agree in principle to adopt the Anglican Covenant was put to vote – 112 votes against; 6 votes in favour; 13 abstentions. The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane then presented a resolution on the Anglican Communionin support of Motion 27, saying “The Anglican Communion matters deeply to us in the Scottish Episcopal Church. We invoke the history of Samuel Seabury, consecrated in 1784 by the Scottish bishops as the first bishop of the church in the United States of America. We want to be part of the re-founding – the bringing to birth of a new phase of Communion life.” Read...

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No deadline for adoption of Covenant

Jun 8, 2012 by

From Church Times NO TIMESCALE is to be put on the adoption of the Anglican Covenant, the Standing Committee of the An­gli­can Communion (SCAC) agreed last week. The Covenant was discussed on the first of the three days of the committee’s talks — attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury and elected members of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ standing committee. A statement released afterwards said: “The Standing Committee re­ceived an update on the progress of the Anglican Communion Covenant. It was noted that eight provinces had endorsed the covenant to date, in some cases with a degree of qualifica­tion. They were the only responses received so far by the secretary general.” The Church of England, which rejected the Covenant when a majori­ty of dioceses voted against it in March, was not included in the responses received, suggesting that no formal response has yet been submit­ted to the Anglican Communion office. Read...

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Scottish Episcopal Church lines up principles debate

Jun 6, 2012 by

From The Scotsman THE General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church opens in Edinburgh tomorrow, with the future of the worldwide Anglican communion on the agenda. The annual three-day gathering, presided over by the Primus, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, will be asked to vote on whether to back the controversial Anglican Covenant, a set of principles drawn up after the rows over gay priests. Liberal critics say the proposed dispute resolution procedure amounts to an instrument of control, while many conservatives argue it does not go far enough in bringing churches into line. A majority of dioceses in the Church of England have already rejected the Covenant, but on Friday the synod will debate a motion that it agrees in principle to adopt it. Read here...

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Canada: What would happen if we say ‘no’ to the Anglican Covenant?

May 30, 2012 by

by Marites N Sison, Anglican Journal The Anglican Church of Canada needs more clarity around what the “relational consequences” would be for not adopting the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant. This is one of the key messages that Council of General Synod (CoGS) members said the church must convey when the 15th Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meets in New Zealand Oct. 27-Nov. 7. All member provinces of the Anglican Communion have been asked to report on progress made in response to the covenant, which has been recommended as a way of healing divisions triggered by debates over the issue of sexuality. At their spring meeting May 24-27, CoGS members were asked to weigh in on what the report should contain. Bishops were asked for input at their spring meeting, noted Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Emerging from small group discussions, some CoGs members said there’s a lot of uncertainty around what happens when a province decides to adopt or not adopt the covenant. Critics of the covenant have long warned that adopting it could result in a two-tier Communion. Although a comprehensive study guide on the covenant was prepared and recommended for Canadian Anglicans, “there’s not much interest in discussing it,” reported members of one CoGS discussion group. “We’re not sure why,” they added. Read...

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