Friday, September 11, 2009

US Church cannot sign Covenant, say Wright and American critics

From the Church Times-

THE Episcopal Church in the United States cannot in conscience sign the Anglican Covenant, a group of con servatives says. The group includes the Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright.

The criticism of the Episcopal Church comes in a 27-page position paper, “The Anglican Covenant: Shared Discernment Recognized by All”, published on Thursday of last week. The signatories are Dr Wright and four US conservatives: Canon Professor Christopher Seitz, the Revd Dr Philip Turner, the Revd Dr Ephraim Radner, and Mark McCall.

The group contends that the ongoing Covenant process, designed to bring some structure to the Anglican Communion, has inter dependence at its heart. This ex plicitly involves accountability — defined as being open to correction — to other provinces in matters that affect the whole Communion. The obvious case in point is the debate about the blessing of same-sex couples and the consecration of gay priests and bishops.

The paper states: “Without ac counta bility there is no commu nion, and a Church that is unac­countable by definition has ordered its life outside the Communion of Churches.”

The paper cites the recent de cisions of the US General Conven tion to open the door to same-sex blessings, and its statement that “God has called, and may call” gay and lesbian people “to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church”.

The General Convention passed a resolution, D025, which reaffirmed its commitment to the Anglican Communion as an active, partici p ating member. There has since been talk of a willingness to study and sign the Covenent when it is finalised.

The authors of the paper take issue with this, stating: “That the actions of the General Convention constitute instead a provisional rejection of the Anglican Covenant is manifest. . . The actions of the General Convention repudiating the teaching of the Communion on human sexuality can only be seen as the repudiation of the Covenant itself.”

More here-

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