Comments: articles about the Covenant

There is a need to plan two moves ahead. If the so called covenant is adopted, a fall back position will be required, the development of a "no covenant-covenant" a kind of Zen covenant if you will--a banding together that will allow us to continue within the Anglican tradition as liberal catholics who continue to say no covenant except the baptismal covenant with its demand to respect the dignity of every human being.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 12:59am GMT

Someone needs to explain to the Telegraph that St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, not the Church of England. The Church in Wales threw off foreign control less than a century ago.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 1:48am GMT

"he said the two groups had “turned themselves into the nearest to an ecclesiastical BNP that I have encountered”."

Whatever +Cameron is smoking . . . perhaps it's time to cut back? O_o

Posted by JCF at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 2:19am GMT

Isn't it ironic that, in making these statements, Cameron hopes to tell a lie big enough to be believed?

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 4:12am GMT

What a state the Anglican Communion is in. First the ordinariates emerge as the way back to Rome. The the Covenant ends up being in the eyes of some a new form of Rome by the back door. Will the Communion continue to stagger along or will it dissolve into its constituent parts? Well, here's a note of pragmatism. The Anglican Communion makes it members part of a large international group of Christians and gives them a platform from which to address world issues. Without it the various independent churches become minority denominations in their various countries (with the CofE being the notable exception). Therefore if we think Anglicanism has something important to say, that it has a unique perspective on world events and the message of Christ, then we have a pressing duty to keep going together. Will the Covenant make that task easier or harder? I honestly don't know. But here's an interesting point: When Hooker wrote his Ecclesiastical Polity, he wrote at a time when there was a strong external authority to enforce Church discipline - the Crown. Times have changed and the Anglican ideal has spread its wings and flown far from home. Perhaps we do need an external authority to keep us on track ... and perhaps Hooker would have approved.

Posted by Levi at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 10:52am GMT

"When Hooker wrote his Ecclesiastical Polity, he wrote at a time when there was a strong external authority to enforce Church discipline - the Crown."

Levi, the Crown was not (and is not) an external authority. It was and is an integral part of the governance of the Church of England.

The Covenant purports not to interfere with autonomy, but it does hold out the threat of "relational consequences". In other words, go ahead and exercise your autonomy all you want, but if someone else complains about the way in which you have exercised it you might find yourself disinvited from Lambeth. Like a parent telling a child, you can choose not to eat your broccoli, but if you make that choice there will be no pudding.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 1:06pm GMT

Nom de Plume:

Ah, but broccoli is sooooo good for you!

Integral yes - but I would suggest that unless the CofE is to be considered the Ministry of Religion, then I would say that Crown Governance must in its essence be regarded as an external control of the Ecclesiastical Body - but perhaps we'll just have to agree to differ on that point.

Posted by Levi at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:14am GMT

" Therefore if we think Anglicanism has something important to say, that it has a unique perspective on world events and the message of Christ, then we have a pressing duty to keep going together."

That presupposes that "keeping going together" will not destroy what of value Anglicanism has to offer.

For myself, I think Christianity has something to offer, and am not at all ashamed to say that I do *not* consider the "orthodox" allegedly-anglican to be Christian at all. I'm tired of apologizing for calling evil evil.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 4:23am GMT


As it happens I enjoy broccoli. I usually eat it a few times per week.

Whether Establishment is a Good Thing is certainly open to debate. But it is undeniably a reality, and thus the Crown, for good or ill, cannot be described as external. The General Synod is also, of course, one of the three legislative bodies of the UK government, so it works both ways.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:57pm GMT

Richard Hooker might be turning in his grave - at the thought of a magisterial covenant mentality, overturning his eirenic opening to a broad Church atmosphere within Anglicanism. He would certainly not have agreed to a re-emphasis on an out-dated Sola Scriptura basis for any covenant relationship.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:30pm GMT

“Crucify him!”

In some Christian services in the week before Easter, worshippers join in the shout of the crowd when Jesus was condemned to death. It is a sobering reminder of how easily people can join in victimising minorities, or in other ways becoming accomplices to cruelty and sometimes murder, whether or not we are Christians or otherwise religious. Evil - the destructive and death-dealing impulse - can be seductive, especially when it is cloaked in the guise of righteousness."

- By Savi Hensman - 3 Nov 2010 -

We all know for a fact now, especially in the case of Uganda's proposed legislation against gays in that country, that an attitude of self-assumed *righteousness* can lead to injustice - and, in some cases instituional death sentences.

It is all too easy for the 'righteous' to judge others as sinful and worthy only of exclusion or excommunication. But is thise not a position contrary to the living Gospel? Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners, we are told in the scriptures, and yet there are people in our world who, though affecting to be influenced by the scriptures, allow themselves the right to be the judge of other people, whose way of life is somehow different from their own.

The Body of Christ was meant to include sinners, not to revile them. Today's Gospel story about Zacchaeus is a case in point, where little Zachy the tax-gather, a pariah in the community, is greeted by Jesus, who tells him he wants to share a meal with him in his home. The bystanders, who apparently were 'good' people, questioned the wisdom of this; while Jesus announced that Zachy was a true 'son of Abraham' - of the Promise of God - whose response to the hospitality of Jesus was more generous than that of any of his critics in the crowd.

The breaking up of the fellowship of the Body of Christ - on the explicit grounds of the supposed sinfulness of other members of the body - is not the way to unity. Nor will the restrictions & axclusions of Section 4 of the Covenant Document bring new life to the Church of God.

We have all to learn to live with our differences rather than seek to form a sodality of the self-righteous. The Church is a hosptial for sinners, not a mausoleum for perfect specimens.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 7 November 2010 at 9:32am GMT
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.