An open letter on the Covenant

Canon Dr Chris SugdenChurch of England Newspaper January 6 2012  To Rev Dr  Andrew Goddard

Dear Andrew

Thank you for your article on the Anglican Communion Covenant in the CEN of December 23/30 2011.

Like you I am committed to a proper debate of the issues so that colleagues can make their own judgements in light of all the facts.

Amongst the facts which it is important to remember are the following:

1. You write that the Covenant has been “consistently supported by the Global South Leadership.”.  Yet on November 24 2010, seven primates [Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda,Tanzania, West Africa, and the Southern Cone of Latin America] representing 40 million Anglicans released a statement that in their view “the covenant was fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate”. Moreover, the Province of South East Asia itself, led at that time by Archbishop Chew, could only commend the covenant subject to the acceptance of a detailed preamble.

2. You also write that “the Covenant has been consistently supported by the Church of England”.   That support has, however, often been qualified.  For example, in the General Synod debate of November 24 2010, Dr Philip Giddings, now chair of the House of Laity, spoke for many when he said that he reluctantly supported the covenant because its key part was only quarter of a loaf and half baked at that.

3. Your basic argument is that the covenant is the “only show in town” which can preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion.  This looks like:  “Something must be done;  this is something; therefore, this is what must be done”. Read the rest of this entry »

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