Saturday, February 17, 2007

Draft ANGLICAN COVENANT ready for circulation - fast work!

[see below; The proposed Anglican Covenant – suggested by The Windsor Report of 2004—and taken up by the Instruments of Unity of the Anglican Family is being created much faster than was originally thought. A draft will go out to all bishops next week and then after their comments the final version will be presented to the Lambeth Conference of July 2008. If it is passed there then it has the momentous task of being approved by all the synods of all the provinces without amendment! Maybe that will be the most difficult stage if not for doctrinal then for legal reasons. Gomez was the principal mover in the West Indies to set aside the historic Book of Common Prayer & Ordinal and replace them with an ECUSA-type prayer book of varied services which they called “The Book of Common Prayer” He has stated that the draft covenant contains classical Anglicanism. Let us hope so! We should know by Feb 20. It is noteworthy that he did not stand with the 7 Primates who refused to come to the Lord’s Table with the lady Primate of ECUSA, even though he has been at various meetings with them protesting about the liberal progressive agenda in ECUSA]

Archbishop Drexel Gomez at Press Conference Dar es Salaam Feb 16

”Good evening; I was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to serve as Chairman of the Covenant Design Group and we had our first meeting in Nassau early in January and as a result of that meeting we were able to prepare a report and to produce a draft covenant for the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The overall purpose of the covenant - the draft covenant is to provide the Anglican Communion with a mechanism for mutual accountability and holding one another together. We believe that when the covenant is finally approved we will have a means of holding each other in check and also dealing with difficult situations that may arise from time to time. Unfortunately the Anglican Communion has no central legal authority and we have really no means of holding one another in check other than through mutual admonition and meeting and talking, so we're trying to make some progress as a global community to establish this mutual accountability and the building up of one another in Christ.

It's not possible for me to discuss the details of what we've proposed until Monday evening when it is publicly released, but what I can say is that we have produced what we consider to be a statement of classical Anglicanism, given our history, and our background we are producing something that has merit and power for the Anglican Community. It is not one size fits all', so it wouldn't apply to all Christian denominations, it is designed specifically to deal with the Anglican Communion in the sets of circumstances that prevail in our church.

We believe that we have been faithful to our tradition and that we have produced a very comprehensive report. I think that both groups that have discussed the report - both the Joint Standing Committee and the Primates themselves - both groups were surprised at the progress that we were able to make; that in a relatively short period -we met for four days - and in that short period of time we were able to produced a full report and to produce a full draft, and so both groups expressed appreciation for the work and gave us reason to believe that in the final analysis the overall recommendations will be well-received. I think more than that I can't say..”


The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon MA., D.Phil (Oxford)

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