November 17, 2010

Which Way Did They Go, Graham

Bishop Graham Kings, of the aptly named Fulcrum, is attempting to hoist the Sisyphian Boulder of the Anglican Covenant uphill against growing opposition, calling it "the only way forward." He likens the new model to a family. Yes, the one where the old patriarch constantly threatens to invoke "relational consequences" and change his will, or it is seen as a good idea for siblings to solve disagreements by not speaking to each other. No thanks.

But before becoming entangled in unpersuasive family imagery, the bishop begins by quoting the inimitable Yeats on how things fall apart and centers don't hold. So true: things do fall apart, however much we try to maintain them. "Tower and temple fall to dust," as another poet observed. Centers do not hold, or not for long. And it hardly seems a persuasive reason to create yet another Tower (whether of Babel or not remains to be seen) or Temple (to the God of Unity, instead of the Unity of God in whom we live and move and exist), or yet another Center with strings attached but little hope of permanence or much in the way of tensile strength.

The Anglican Covenant seems to be all of these, and less, and far from preventing division, by its own language (read carefully as the Canon of UFO suggests) outlines a process for consequences to the relationships we have enjoyed, in all their messy complexity and variability, for years. The Covenant will provide a way, not to avoid divisions, but to formalise them. Some shall hang together, and others be hanged separately, after due deliberation by the Standing Committee and action on its recommendations by the ironically named Instruments of Communion.

The Covenant is a way forward — in the wrong direction.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Thinking Anglicans

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