11/20/2010

Church of Ireland Gazette Editorial on the Anglican Covenant: natural caution about centralised ecclesiastical power..

The Church of Ireland Gazette posted an editorial on the Anglican Covenant that is very much worth the read. Here is its closing paragraph:

"The Covenant has already been through a considerable ‘mill’ in the Church of Ireland, with the Archbishop of Dublin having been drafted in last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Canon Kearon to help sort out its contentious Section 4, which includes ‘dispute resolution’. However, despite this, will the No Anglican Covenant campaign take root in Irish soil and threaten an easy passage for the Covenant when it next comes before our General Synod? It is, indeed, quite possible that the campaign will find a certain resonance within the Church of Ireland because, while there undoubtedly is a widespread concern in our ranks about the extent to which diversity of teaching in the Communion is acceptable, there is also a natural caution about centralised ecclesiastical power and just where it can lead."

"...widespread concern in our ranks about the extent to which diversity of teaching in the Communion is acceptable, there is also a natural caution about centralised ecclesiastical power and just where it can lead."  This is precisely the concern voiced almost everywhere in the Communion where discussion of the Covenant is taking place.

When the Church of England Synod discusses this question later this month we can hope that they too will have this concern and at the very least set the matter of accepting the Anglican Covenant on hold pending further discussion of precisely these concerns.  Too much remains unclear concerning the "relational consequences" alluded to in section four of the Anglican Covenant.  At the same time the scheme outlined in the Anglican Covenant for accepting the Covenant makes it too clear that doing so is a means of separating the sheep from the goats. 

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