Sparked by a discussion at Thinking Anglicans...
I think it very important, if (as it appears) we are discussing some kind of trans-provincial Covenant, that we understand the difference between voluntary commitment and legal sanction. The Anglican Communion Covenant describes itself (and is described by others) along the former lines, though it has some clear hints of the latter still, even after the fourth section has been slightly watered-down. Some have suggested that signing the Covenant binds a signatory never to do anything others might find objectionable. This is clearly specious as the Covenant itself includes procedures for dealing with just such an eventuality. And in this touchy time, who knows what oxes yet unborn may one day be gored.
For me the question is simple: Shall we have a new body of Anglican Law, or a Charter of Good Intentions? For the sake of clarity I would prefer the former, though I also do not think we are ready for that. At this point I still am torn between ignoring the Covenant on one hand, or killing it with kindness on the other, by encouraging everyone to sign on. As I have noted before, not signing, and signing and then being disfellowshiped for purported offenses, both leave us more or less in the same place.
From the beginning, the Windsor and Covenant processes have been redolent of the mindset of the schoolyard, of hurt feelings and violated affection. It represents not interdependence but codependency, a situation I would not want to see played out in a parish, let alone throughout the Communion.
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG