Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Primatial option for the Covenant

From The Living Church-

Looking to the January meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion, the first that all expect to attend since 2009’s meeting in Egypt, we should pray for ressourcement of a Virginia Report and Windsor Report variety, relying on their rich ecclesiological catechesis. Archbishop Justin Welby’s reference to Lambeth 1998 and subsequent primates’ meetings in his invitation rather evokes this field, but sustained theological engagement of communion is needed.

Something very much like the Covenant remains, in Oliver O’Donovan’s memorable phrase, “the only game in town” (originally said of The Windsor Report), for the simple reason that it delivers a synthesis of Anglican thinking about the Church wrought as a vision for the future. The alternatives to the Covenant school are amnesia at best, innovation at worst — of an invisibilist or otherwise weakened sort that perceives the Church as simply affective gathering in mission across difference. In ecumenical terms, the pressure to opt for mere “Life and Work” would have us surrender the upward call to a common “Faith and Order,” as if the two are separable.

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