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Anglican Covenant three one?

Prime Bishop Edward Malecdan
The Episcopal Church of the Philippines has decided against the so called “Anglican Covenant”.

The Prime Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Edward Malecdan, addressed the General Synod:

The Anglican Covenant which is supposedly a proposed document to help diffuse the tension in the Communion. The document is intended to be the final arbiter in the resolution of conflicts in the communion and that all member churches will have to adhere to its provisions. The ECP Council of Bishops noted that the document provides for the creation of a Standing Committee that will be the “Supreme Court” as it were, for the Anglican Communion to lord it over all Anglican Provinces. This, to the Council is very un-Anglican because of the autonomous nature of each Anglican Province. Hence, we are not in favor of the document.

In the Primates’ Meeting I attended in Ireland, the unity and diversity of the Anglican Communion was clearly and strongly affirmed. We recognized that Anglicans have many disagreements as a Communion but we still can be agreeable to one another. We can still move towards reconciliation as sisters and brothers as a gift of God to us by persistently talking about our differences. This is the beauty of Anglicanism. Unity in diversity which is a recognized uniqueness of the Communion is preserved.

So we now have (of the 44 regional and national member churches of the Anglican Communion):
three province in favour of the “Covenant”: La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico; The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma); The Church in the Province of the West Indies
one province against the “Covenant”: The Episcopal Church in the Philippines

two provinces have effectively abstained:
Church of the Province of South East Asia has instead of adopting the Covenant has “acceded” to it and added a Preamble to the Letter of Accession
the Church of Ireland interpretation of its subscription to the Covenant is effectively the same as the Diocese of Quincy’s rejection of it.

Don’t ask me why this information from May is only now becoming public.
Sources here and here
image source

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15 thoughts on “Anglican Covenant three one?”

  1. Dear Reverend Father,

    The extracts from the Primate’s address are accurate insofar as he said those things during the Synod last May.

    However, it does not in any way represent an official rejection of the Anglican Covenant. It was not discussed in the sittings of Synod, nor were Resolutions to accede reject presented for discussion.

    It will be inaccurate to say that Bishop Malecdan’s address will suffice as a Provincial rejection of the Covenant.

    1. That’s very helpful, thanks. I noticed the point of a final statement was unclear in my sources. I also noticed the strange time-period between the event and the reporting (and noted that in the main post). I corresponded with a few to try and gain some clarity and on balance there seemed consensus that with the House of Bishops against, what I posted here was the result. If it is now even unclear that the Primate’s speech indicates the House of Bishops is against then, yes, the picture is not what it seems. But do explain if we are missing something in the Philippines’ decision-making processes: is it possible for the House of Bishops to be against something and for General Synod to overrule that House?

  2. I have asked a delegate from one of the dioceses to clarify this matter. He said that there was no action on the Covenant, and moreover, very few people here are aware of it at the moment, or do bother. I have asked him to post his own comments shortly, from his own experience at the Provincial Synod.

    This statement has prompted a group of people to consider defecting to Rome, but the matter has not been confirmed and those concerned are keeping it a secret.

    1. There’s some ambiguity in your sentence I think, Ren. Who is keeping what secret? The group possibly changing allegiance, or people involved in Provincial Synod decisions?

  3. I wonder if there is a kind of Covenant v Anglicanblogger law or rule: the actual support for the Covenant is inversely proportional to the blogs writing against it!

    1. I’m sure that is true, Peter. As a fellow mathematician, we both realise that formula works both ways: opposition to the Covenant is inversely proportional to the blogs writing in favour of it 😉

  4. But if just one blog is in favour of the Covenant our agreed mathematical rule is that the Covenant is then likely to be approved across the Communion.

    Memo to self: do not allow any more blogs to post in favour of the Covenant but do encourage blogs against the Covenant 🙂

  5. I think I am missing something in the grammar of this droll little exchange. Peter, are you suggesting that the more blogs are against the covenant, then the greater is the actual support for it? In that case, shouldn’t we say that actual support for the coveanant is directly, not inversely, proportional to blogs against? The same would be true for Bosco’s rejoinder.

    Mind you, unlike you two gents, I am not a mathematician. I did get 85% for School Cert maths, but have done no further study in that great discipline in the nearly 50 years since.

    Anyway, I suspect that Peter’s law doesn’t work either way. Synod discussions next month will probably be a much better indication.

    1. Always nice to welcome you here, Edward. I got 95% for School Cert maths, Edward. I think it depends on how you lay out the axes. IMO whether Peter’s law works or not is irrelevant: whatever happens at synod discussions about the “Covenant” will not resolve the actual issue that the “Covenant” was created to solve. So maybe the synods’ time would be better spent arguing about which works: Peter’s law or Edward’s law.

  6. I got 0% for School Certificate Maths (it was assessed differently that year and percentages were not involved)!

    Anyway Edward, Bosco and I hope you have a fruitful and extensive discussion of the Covenant at your Synod. Chances are that at our Synod any discussion of the Covenant will be almost literally buried under earthquake related items on the agenda :).

    1. [For overseas readers: secondary school grades in NZ are now – the highest passing grade is “E”, the lowest passing grade is “A”. I am not making this up 🙂 ]

  7. Bosco, I totally agree that whatever synods decide about the covenant, this will not assist at all with the issue the covenant was created to solve.
    I am very taken with your example given in a much earlier blog about someone who loses their keys in the back garden, and looks for them in the house because the light is better. Taking that analogy a bit further, I think we are at risk of seriously undermining the foundations of the house for no good reason, while the keys are still out in the garden!
    Fortunately, several synods are also trying to make progress on the sexuality issues, so maybe, eventually, we will find the keys.

    1. Thanks, Edward. To press your analogy – I think we are in danger of actually moving to another house. But I also think we have been moving to another house for some time now. Whether that house is “better” or “worse”, well that’s another discussion. Blessings.

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