November 10, 2010

School for Scandal

The chief problem with the proposed Anglican Covenant still lies in Section Four. Based as it is toeing the line and taking offense, it fails to structure the Communion as a school of charity and instead encourages it to become a coterie of busybodies. It is a school for scandal, where far from bearing one another's burdens, members will be encouraged to find fault, complain, and enforce conformity by means of the withdrawal of affection, or exclusion from the inner circle. WWJD? Not this.

It describes not a church, but a clique of self-satisfied judges of each other, busy at the work of pruning and weeding which ought to be left to God and the angels, and even then at the end of time.

Jerusalem will not be builded here or anywhere by such a regime of cornerstone rejection.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Leonard said...

Exactly. Imagine the wasteful ¨footprint¨ this Anglican Covenant has left already--nothing but costly, money and emotion, striving for ¨acceptable appearing¨ rejecting and punishing--a political movement at various provinces that ought be met with flat out rejection. There is nothing ¨loving¨ about rewarding abuse.

Deacon Charlie Perrin said...

The "Anglican" Covenant is the perfect document for nurturing the co-dependency of our dysfunctional Anglican family.

It is so important that we do all we can to keep dad from drinking, because we all know that dad's drinking is our fault. We must be on our best behavior all the time. Dad will not love us otherwise.

June Butler said...

Another play? More casting? Who's wants to try out for role of a tattler?

A good many of us who don't see the need for a covenant at all would be willing to live with the first 3 sections. In Section 4, tattlers rule. Do we want to live our lives together in the Anglican Communion under the rule of tattlers?

I've played the role of a parent trying to arbitrate between my children and their tattle tales. Who's at fault? What is justice in this situation? Most often, I'd come to a point of exasperation and say, "I don't want to hear any more tales. Work it out amongst yourselves."

What I could not say to my children is, "You are no longer part of the family."

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

I was reading through the Damn Thing once more today, continuing to be baffled by its incoherence -- especially in section 4. Is this for the Anglican Communion, or any church who wants to sign up? And in signing up they aren't necessarily part of the Instruments (4.1.4-5), and those Anglicans who don't sign up or who leave are not necessarily hit with "automatic" disengagement by or through the Instruments? (4.3)

It struck me, however, that the Introduction -- which is defined as an essential addition though not a part of the Covenant, might do on its own if we jettison the rest! If it is in fact the lens through which the Covenant is to be understood, (4.4.1) then let it be the Covenant. It actually sounds more like one than the rest.

WSJM said...

Tobias, your comments on the Covenant get better and better. Leonardo, Charlie, and Mimi are right on target too.

Particularly while the Church of England is working her way through her present massive dysfunctionality on a number of levels, I think any Covenant, even a passably decent one, should be put on the back burner for a decade or two.

June Butler said...

It struck me, however, that the Introduction -- which is defined as an essential addition though not a part of the Covenant, might do on its own if we jettison the rest!

Tobias, I just reread the introduction, and I believe your idea is brilliant. Let the introduction be the covenant!

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Amen, Bill. The last thing I'd advise an engaged couple going through difficulties to do is get married "so as to work the problems out."

Mimi, I think I'll promote this idea; with your approval I realize I'm not totally out of my mind!

WSJM said...

Tobias, thank you for reprinting the Introduction. (I have the text on my computer somewhere, but hadn't reread it for awhile until just now. I think you're quite right -- "Let the Introduction be the Covenant"!

"We recognise the wonder, beauty and challenge of maintaining communion in this family of churches" -- Yes!

Paul (A.) said...

I see problems also with Section 3's legitimization of the "Four Instruments" as being anything other than manifestations deriving from the Anglican Communion rather than (as the Vinginia and Windsor Reports claim) constitutive of the Communion.

It has been pointed out (I don't recall where) that the Primates' Meeting is more an Instrument of Disunity than one of either Unity or Communion.