Here it is: The Report of the Covenant Design Group.

Just in: The Report of the Covenant Design Group Lot's to read, and more to go this Morning, now later afternoon in Dar Es Salaam.... Peace be to everybody.

More later.


  1. It looks alright. 6.6 seems to apply to TEC, but seems reasonable and proper considering the level of controversy.

  2. I regret that I am a bit of a literalist so I am hopeful some of you can enlighten me on the real meaning here. I am wondering about the paragraph that references "Each Church commits itself" 3. the terms: "essential concern", "consistent with Scriptures" Common Standards of faith" and "the canon law of the churches" Although no "legal" authority seems to be afforded the instruments of communion, a "moral" authority seems to be implied and if a church chooses not to be led by this "moral authority", I am unclear of the results other than it has broken communion and will require permission for readmission? Two other interesting thoughts: The Archbishop of Canterbury appears to be returned to a position of "instrument" of communion from "focus" of the communion viz. Dromantine and the primates appear to be the first group of decision makers in determining whether or not a practice, theological position etc. is determined to be correct. for example, in regard to any of the of the concerns in 3. (ie. "essential concern, consistent with Scriptures etc.") I have a couple of real concerns here. What if 52% of the primates decide that something is or is not kosher? Will input from the other "instruments" be requested? Is there potential here for the possibility of tyranny by the majority? At what point the involvement of other instruments of the Communion be addressed? Second, the primates is is a body that has no lay participation. This appears to me akin to policy making by the the Roman Catholic magisterium.

  3. christopher+19/2/07 1:04 PM

    On the whole, a good draft and a solid foundation for discussion over the next years in the Provincial synods. The document commits appropriately to "different contexts" of ministry and to the present and future lack of juridical and executive authority of the Instruments of Communion in the individual Provinces. It does not yet, however, adequately answer questions about how disagreements are to be resolved.

    The Primates' Meeting, for example, seems to have been afforded a new central role, raising rather critical questions about what constitutes a "common mind" in the life of the Communion - e.g., is this just a majority vote of Primates? - as well as the real (as opposed to the intended) impact of their future "guidance and direction" within the Provinces.

    One key question remains whether women would ever have been ordained if such a covenant had been in place in the 1970s. If not, then there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed with regard to acceptable limits of disagreement within our common life.

    Nonetheless, there will be plenty of time to discuss all of this in synod over the next years, and there is every reason for the Provinces to continue this conversation together. Recent suggestions for Communion-wide dialogue on biblical hermeneutics are also very helpful as we look ahead to the shared future of our worldwide fellowship.

  4. My concerns are around the seeming elevation of the Primates to first place. The rest of it seems very Chicago/Lambeth Quad.

  5. It's very English in its understanding of what found us? I'm sure the Scots will object.

  6. No, there is a difference from Lambeth-Chicago: "biblical morality" is not the same thing as sufficient in all things for salvation. The one is about our actions, the other is about God's actions for us.

  7. christopher+19/2/07 5:59 PM

    Christopher is right. This would need to be examined closely.

    At the same time, biblical morality as regards love of neighbor would, for example, forbid ++Akinola's active support for Nigerian laws meant to oppress and denigrate gay people. This covenant might yet prove helpful to the cause of the oppressed.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.