In an earlier post I pointed out that there was a difference between what the GAFCON webpage said was in the GAFCON Primates' Communique and what was reported by Religious Intelligence.
The Primates' statement, on the GAFCON webpages says,
"(iv) "While we support the concept of an Anglican Covenant, we understand that its adequacy depends on the willingness to address the crisis that has “torn the fabric” of the Communion. We welcome the Ridley Cambridge Draft Covenant and call for principled response from the Provinces."
"There is an odd addendum to this in the report on Religious Intelligence, written by Nick Mackenzie. He drops the "We welcome the Ridley Cambridge Draft..." and replaced it with, "If those who have left the standards of the Bible are able to enter the Covenant with a good conscience, it seems to be of little use.” Perhaps this was the language in an earlier version of the text prior to release."
Now Bishop David Anderson has reported on the American Anglican Council website, with a form of the Primates' Communique that says, as did Mackenzie,
"It is too soon for us to comment at depth on the latest version of the Covenant. While we support the concept of an Anglican Covenant, we understand that its adequacy depends on the willingness to address the crisis that has "torn the fabric" of the Communion. If those who have left the standards of the Bible are able to enter the covenant with a good conscience, it seems to be of little use. This is one of the questions to be resolved. It is also important to recognize the reality that the success of a covenant is related to genuine accountability."
It turns out that The Church Times also quotes this version. So the GAFCON web pages have one version, and people are quoting another.
The two statements are very different - the one fairly conciliatory and uncritical of Archbishop Gomez and his group, the Covenant Design Group. The other suggests that if the Covenant is such that we, "who have left the standards of the Bible" could sign it it is a bad covenant indeed.
So which is it? It would appear that the Anderson version is the earlier version and that someone did some editorial work after at least Anderson left the meeting with his hot copy in hand. But who knows.
As to why we should care, if the ACNA and FOCA folk are convinced the Covenant is "of little use," then why should we spend much time trying to perfect it? Or, alternately, maybe we should perfect it, sign it, and simply leave FOCA out of the covenant altogether. At least that would settle the fact that they have left the field.