Covenant Hope for Unity
Date: May 26
By Andrew Carey
ATTEMPTS to resolve the Anglican crisis over homosexuality have now turned to the Windsor Report’s proposal for a Covenant to bind the Anglican Churches together. It could take up to nine years before such a Covenant comes into being and the end result might be a two-tier Communion, according to a working party which has been looking into the plan.
While the Covenant itself will not solve the current Anglican crisis it could help the Anglican Communion weather future problems, the working party concludes. “In principle ... the Covenant could identify where legitimate differences of view over matters even as important as, for example, the ordination of women could be recognised. In doing so, it could indicate how such ‘agreement to disagree’ on other issues might be reached and what processes might be used to foster trust and unity during periods of extended or sensitive discernment.”
The Covenant could provide protection for ‘conscientious objectors’ to new developments within provinces, the group says. The work on the covenant was commissioned by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. The working party included two legal experts, Professor Norman Doe, and Canon John Rees, the evangelical theologian Dr Andrew Goddard and Canon Robert Paterson, a theologian from the Church in Wales. The group state: “It will not do to say ‘There is one Anglican Covenant for this group and another Anglican Covenant for that group’. For the Covenant concept to work there comes a point at which Provinces and Churches will have to say about the Covenant that they will ‘take it or leave it’.” the rest