Brisbane defers the Covenant
The Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Brisbane and Diocese of Toowoomba
signed a Covenant on 29 May 2009
The author adds:
There are some real structural problems with the Australian Anglican Church and the covenant. Everyone has to agree otherwise no-one can, and there is absolutely no chance that all diocese will agree so its a moot point.
All we can do about it from this side of the world is to keep affirming our commitment to communion and ongoing dialogue. The covenant debate was a useful trigger for starting that sort of dialogue for those who actually considered it.
So I think Australia should enter into the Covenant. We have further contributions to make as the Covenant evolves. Indeed the unique shape of the Australian Church means we may have a very important contribution to make. We can only do that if we are on board.
I look forward to hearing what emerges from the group discussions this afternoon and to the debate in Synod. You now know what I think, but we Anglicans believe in dispersed authority, so I wait to see what you think?
I’m indebted to Paul Bagshaw for this article, which I’ve just noticed on the ‘Thinking Anglicans’ web-site - placed there earlier.
I especially appreciate one of the statements made by the Brisbane Diocesan Synod, in its decision to ‘defer’ acceptance of the Covenant Process. Here it is:“That this Synod recommends to the General Synod that it:Affirm its readiness to engage with any ongoing process of consideration of the Anglican Communion CovenantRequest clarification from the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to the status and direction of the Covenant Process in the light of the position of the Church of England.
This part of the statement – (highlighted by me) – is, I feel, the perfect rejoinder to what has happened with the Church of England’s Dioceses’ rejection of the Covenant process.
If, indeed, the Church of England rejects the Covenant, why should those of us in far-flung Provinces of the Communion, who relish our own independence, subscribe to a disciplinary code – such as is the Covenant – that would impinge on our own synodical form of government? Hurrah for Brisbane!
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand