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Proposed Anglican Covenant - InclusiveChurch response

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  • umcornet
    Proposed Anglican Covenant - InclusiveChurch response PRESS RELEASE Inclusive Church is grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his reaffirmation of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2006
      Proposed Anglican Covenant - InclusiveChurch response

      PRESS RELEASE

      Inclusive Church is grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his
      reaffirmation of the breadth and diversity of the Anglican tradition.


      His recognition of this fundamental principle and mark of Anglicanism
      - the catholic, reformed and liberal strands of the Communion - offer
      a sound basis for our journey forward together.

      But we have profound concerns about the process of agreeing any
      Covenant. The quick response of some of the more conservative parts
      of the Communion indicates that they see a Covenant more as an
      instrument of division than an instrument of unity.

      The terms and wording of any document will need to "renew our positive
      appreciation of the possibilities of our heritage" in the Archbishop's
      words. A Covenant must therefore give value to the strands in our
      tradition, not excluding reason from our theological method but
      finding a new way of expressing the Anglican approach to the faith in
      today's world.

      If we are to approach the process of agreeing a Covenant with honesty
      and integrity we must as Provinces and local churches be willing to be
      open about our own present situations. Many provinces have
      practices which other parts of the Communion may not support. For
      example, the blessing of same-gender relationships happens regularly
      in this Province even if not officially acknowledged. There are
      ongoing issues around the world over the tacit acceptance of lay
      presidency and polygamy.

      The possibility of a two-tier Communion should not therefore be seized
      upon as a way to exclude those who support the full inclusion of gay
      and lesbian people in the church. The Church of England is in various
      ways very similar to the Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican
      Church of Canada and many of us would hope to strengthen our links in
      the future. It is likely that any wording designed to exclude TEC
      and the Anglican Church of Canada would also exclude the Church of
      England.

      We are also uncertain whether a Covenant would affect the unilateral
      activities the Windsor report hoped to end – for example the election
      by the Province of Nigeria of Revd Martin Minns as bishop for a
      missionary initiative in North America.

      We have serious concerns about the way a Covenant might be applied
      locally in the future. Proposals before the Church of England's
      General Synod for the ordination of women as bishops are specifically
      designed to avoid parallel jurisdictions. How can we reconcile that
      with the proposal to have "constituent" and "associate" members of the
      Communion? Is there not potential for division even at Deanery level?

      Ultimately we believe that we are already brought together by the
      covenant of Baptism. An Anglican Covenant, to reaffirm the bonds of
      unity for our Communion, will have to reflect the essential
      inclusiveness of the Baptismal Covenant.

      Revd Dr. Giles Fraser, President, InclusiveChurch
      Revd Giles Goddard, Chair, InclusiveChurch 07762 373 674

      office@...

      www.inclusivechurch.net
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