The Anglican Covenant is out there as a document to be adopted or not, signed or not. So, who has 'signed on' or it must be passed twice, have passed on it once?
This last week there was a great drum-roll by the Anglican Communion News Service: "Southern Africa: Major step in adopting Covenant," that makes it sound as if the Province of Southern Africa (ACSA) has adopted or signed on. The headline might better have read, "Southern Africa: Major step towards adopting Covenant." But we got the idea - The Provincial Synod passed a resolution to adapt on its first reading. It has to come back for a second, but at least it got through the first.
Every church handles these matters in different ways, but apparently the Synod feels the matter is sufficiently important that it requires two reading to finally become a reality. This hikes the matter beyond that of say, changing a canon on extension of widow's benefits to include health insurance to something more substantive to the basic life of the church. In The Episcopal Church a "double" reading and passage of a resolution is needed when it is one affecting not the canons but the constitution of TEC. For those who want the Anglican Covenant to become a reality for the churches of the Communion, the vote in Southern Africa is mixed news - on the one hand it trumpets the positive - The Synod says yes. But it mutes the news that ACSA considers this a vote of extraordinary importance requiring a second confirming vote.
The Episcopal Church has yet to decide if a vote adopting the Anglican Covenant is a matter requiring either Constitutional or Canonical changes. If it is determined that no constitutional issue is engaged then it can vote in one meeting of General Convention to adapt or not. The vote in ACSA might add some support for the position that the Covenant, depending on why it was felt that two votes in successive Synods was required.
How many other Provincial Synods have voted yes or no to the Covenant?
I know that Mexico has adopted the Covenant as of June 30 2010.
New Zealand has affirmed the first three sections of the Covenant, and provided there are no canonical implications, will vote on the whole in 2012.
Perhaps readers will know of other actions taken - not by spokespersons for a Province, but by the synods of a province - and hopefully with share what they know.