March 10, 2012

Essential Fault

The most significant failing in the current rash of pro-Proposed Anglican Covenant propaganda is the disingenuous assertion that this proposed document is crucial or definitional for the future of Anglicanism and the Communion. This is false for two primary reasons.

First, the PAC may well determine the future shape of the Communion, if it is adopted, but only for those who adopt it, as even its supporters assert. If everyone signed on — which may have been the hope at its inception — things would be different. But in practice it seems that the Covenant will become the determiner of a very different Communion from the one we have known until now. As the Archbishop of Canterbury and others admit, there will be "tiers" or "tracks" — though these are nowhere referenced in the document itself. The reality is that the PAC will not save or preserve the Anglican Communion, it will fundamentally change it in ways that introduce (or confirm) division between some of the Communion's current members.

Second, though pitched to the Communion in some of its language, the text itself provides for inviting non-Anglicans to adopt it (4.1.5), and affirms that any church that withdraws from the Covenant is not thereby withdrawing from the Instruments of Communion or repudiating its Anglican character. (4.3) By its own text, therefore, the Covenant cannot be understood as fundamentally or uniquely Anglican.

Which indicates that this half-baked document needs to go back into the oven prior to a second serving. There is no rush, and many of us aren't that hungry.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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