Friday, 8 June 2012

Covenant? What Covenant?

I am a bit bemused by some of the Anglican Covenant news that has been arriving in my inbox and appearing on the web lately. I was heartened today to hear that the Scottish Episcopal Church has voted against the Covenant, on the other hand, I read very recently that the Church has decided that a. There will be no deadline or time limit on when the Covenant may be adopted and b. Announced it has only received notification of votes in favour and no notifications of votes against. It is also clear from the newly released programme that the failure of the Covenant to gain the required majoirty will not be discussed at Synod next month, in fact there is no mention of it whatsoever! The Covenant has been vaporised!
I'd love someone to explain this to me. I am certainly not following the Covenant proceedings as thoroughly as I did when the whole thing was first mooted, so it might be down to ignorance on my part, but I really don't understand. It looks bizarre and suspicious, words like "face" and "saving", "ostrich" and "head in the sand", and "carpet" and "sweeping under" keep coming to mind. Most of all though, how utterly pitiful and how terribly silly. What a lack of integrity and credibility. You'd  almost think we were talking about a dysfunctional organisation which changes the rules at the last moment, claims to be transparent and then does deals behind closed doors, and  steadfastly ignores anything it thinks might cause problems... hang on a minute, that reminds me of something...

5 comments:

  1. Surely it doesn't remind you of our beloved Church of England? Perish the thought! We all know that the C of E has no secrets and is always utterly transparent in its dealings.

    Sorry, just been distracted by the pigs flying past my window, must go.

    Iffy Vicar

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  2. My understanding is that it was built into the process that a certain majority would be required at diocesan synods level for the matter to be debated at General Synod. I don't think this is a cover up - just due process.

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  3. I am informed by a commentator on Thinking Anglicans that, although it is not a requirement to debate the failure of the Covenant, that,
    "Standing Orders require the Business Committee to submit "a written report or memorandum" containing the results of the diocesan voting to General Synod not later than the second group of sessions following the date by which dioceses had to respond. So this could be in July or the following group of sessions (which will be in November or February)."
    I suspect that they are waiting quietly until Rowan Williams has gone. I just hope they are not planning to send it back around dioceses for consideration all over again!

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  4. Yesterday's Church Times quotes a statement from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (SCAC):
    'The Standing Committee received an update on the progress of the Anglican Communion Covenant. It was noted that eight provinces had endorsed the Covenant to date, in some cases with a degree of qualification. They were the only responses received so far by the Secretary General.' The CT comments:
    'The Church of England, which rejected the Covenant when a majority of dioceses voted against it in March, was not included in the responses received, suggesting that no formal response has yet been submitted to the Anglican Communion office.' It adds that no time frame for the adoption of the Covenant has been agreed, and SCAC will return to the question after ACC-15 meets at the end of October.

    So this may be a case of due process, but long experience of the C of E and General Synod suggests that an awful lot of manoeuvring and politicking is going on behind the scenes.

    Iffy Vicar

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  5. I have to say that I agree. I think the statement about the SCAC only having received "endorsements" is ludicrous given that it is well known that the Covenenant was rejected by the Church of England and has failed to get the required majority overall. I am worried about the comments regarding there being "no timeframe" and about "returning to the question". I think when you see the House of Bishops changing the WO legislation at the last minute, you tend to get suspicious and feel you can't trust anything to be above board!

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