11/09/2011

Fulcrum and the English Problem

Fulcrum has written an interesting piece on the Anglican Covenant, "A Churchgoer's Guide to the Anglican Communion Covenant"

The authors give their best shot as to why people, particularly members of the Church of England, ought to support the Covenant. It does not convince this reader.

Among other things, Fulcrum observes:
 
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been among the strongest advocates for adoption of the Anglican Covenant. 

The first and the last of the "Ten Reasons to Support the Anglican Communion Covenant."

1.     It has been consistently supported by the Church of England which significantly shaped its content through the years of its development and so we should not now reverse our positive and constructive response. 

10.  The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked the Church of England to support him and the other Instruments in working for the widest possible acceptance of the covenant within the Communion. 

The upshot is that the Archbishop of Canterbury wants it, and that is why the Church of England needs to say "yes" to accepting it.

It is a matter of loyalty.

This sort of argument for the adopting of the Covenant is bad indeed.  It is too bad, in fact, for some of Fulcrum's other arguments for the Covenant make some sense. But for this to become a loyalty test is really uncalled for.

The Archbishop is for it. True. The CofE has been supportive, at least by support of the Archbishop of Canterbury. And the ABC has asked for support. (OK, I don't know that as a fact, but I am sure it is true.)

The thing is, that is not accepting the Covenant on its merits, that is accepting it because of who is offering it. It may be polite to eat whatever is put before us, but it is sometimes unwise.  

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Seems Canon Dr Sugden & Co have realized that the rank & file of the Church of England are sensing that the Covenant may not be a good idea. Citing womens' ordination as the prime instance of the N American churches' abandonment of "longstanding Anglican principles of consultation and interdependence" is not, on the evidence of currently ongoing C of E diocesan voting on women bishops, going to strengthen their hand much.

    Poor Rowan Williams. Loyalty to him relegated to last place in Funcrum's ten arguments. In a
    recent online post
    , Alan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham, remarked (ht Grandmère Mimi)that "as a bishop who has taken an oath of canonical obedience in all things lawful and honest, I have to say I think it’s bizarre to think this commits me to blind obedience to any notion the Archbishop may adopt. I think it is a higher and more positive form of obedience to be more honest, and had some of my colleagues had the spine to advise him earlier about their real feelings about some of the drawbacks in this particular scheme [the Covenant] it would have been an act of loyalty, not disloyalty."

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  3. There has to be a worse reason for supporting the Covenant than loyalty to the archbishop, but I cannot imagine what it is. The simple fact is that he was ill-served by the committee that drafted the thing, it is a bad job, even if as I do not, you think there could be a good one.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  4. First of all, No. 1 is not true. Two dioceses voted the covenant down.

    But we all agree that to vote to adopt the covenant out of loyalty to the ABC is, indeed, the lamest of lame excuses.

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  5. So, it boils down to, "Come on! Be a sport!"

    What a corrupted view, both of loyalty and Christian fellowship.

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  6. “It has been consistently supported by the Church of England.”

    Who, exactly, is the Church of England? When the Covenant is put to a vote in dioceses in which both sides of the argument are allowed to be made—CofE leaders have a tendency not to let this happen—the support is thin indeed. See this post on Thinking Anglicans.

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  7. Right on! Adopt it, or defeat it, based on its merits and its merits alone. To vote for or against the Covenant for any other reason makes no sense.

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