Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Primates See Covenant ‘With Teeth’ As Unrealistic

From the Living Church-

There has been a “pulling back from the language of sanctions and teeth” in the crafting of the Anglican Covenant, the Primate of Australia told reporters at the Primates' Meeting in Alexandria on Feb 2.

The Most Rev. Philip Aspinall said that whereas earlier drafts of the covenant envisioned sanctions for violations, disciplinary mechanisms were not likely to make it into the final draft.

“Hitting people over the head with sticks” was not what the Anglican Communion wanted to do to provinces that violated the Covenant, Archbishop Aspinall said. Instead, the covenant—designed to set the parameters of Anglican life and worship—is evolving into a document about “koinonia…fellowship…of communion” between churches, and would not be a sanctions-based legal code, he explained.

Creating a document whose goal was increased fellowship, but whose ultimate sanction “is not inviting you to a meeting,” was self-defeating the Australian primate observed.


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