December 28, 2010

Capitalizing “Catholic”

In the form of the Prayers of the People (Form III) that we used in church Sunday, I noticed that the word “catholic” was capitalized. I thought this odd, as I had been taught that, for example, when we use “catholic” in the Nicene Creed, we are referring to the whole body of Christ, whereas “Catholic” tends to refer to the Roman Catholic Church.

This observation led me to track down every instance of the word “catholic” in the 1979 prayer book. There are 37, as it turns out, and, in 24 cases, the word is un-capitalized. In 6 cases where it is capitalized, the occurrences are in the Historical Documents section. (In one case, the Roman Catholic Church is actually what is being referred to.)

I would argue that the 7 instances of “Catholic” in the main section of the prayer book are simply wrong.

See the full list of occurrences of the word “catholic” and my observations about them in “‘Catholic’ and the Book of Common Prayer” on my Web site.

December 26, 2010

On Pressing the Apostle Paul

I was recently sent a pamphlet written by former Florida appellate judge Robert P. Smith titled “On Pressing the Apostle Paul: Attesting the Pastoral and Prophetic Vision of the Episcopal Church.” According to its author, this curiously named essay, written in 2006, “picks up the response [to the Anglican Communion] where our eminent scholars [who wrote To Set Our Hope on Christ] left it, free of the caution they seemed to exhibit in their answering for the whole Episcopal Church. Smith argues that (1) the Apostle Paul had a cultural prejudice against same-sex relations that was not really based on religion and that (2) modern biblical translations have exaggerated Paul’s anti-gay position.

“On Pressing the Apostle Paul” offers some very interesting arguments, but they are unlikely to move the quasi-fundamentalist “biblical Anglicans,” and they are unnecessary to convince liberals that Paul was either mistaken or has been misinterpreted. But there are, no doubt, many moderate Anglicans who find it difficult to resist the assertion that the Bible condemns homosexual activity, even in the absence of rigorous support of such an assertion. For these people, the Smith essay can be an eye-opener.

Smith contends that Paul’s disapproval of homosexual activity is not justified by an appeal to Jewish law or to “natural” law. Instead, Paul simply assumes that women are inferior to men and that sex properly involves the penetration of a socially inferior person by a socially superior one. A man who assumes a “feminine” role, whether in his general behavior or in a sex act, fails in his duty to uphold the proper masculine domination of women.

Modern translators of the Bible, Smith argues, have downplayed Paul’s misogyny, but, in the process, have misrepresented Paul’s attitude toward homosexuality.

It is pointless to try to restate Smith’s reasoning here. One needs the details provided in the essay to fully appreciate his argument. Suffice it to say that an unbiased reader is likely to come away from “On Pressing the Apostle Paul” with an increased appreciation for the pitfalls of translation and possibly a bit of skepticism regarding the phrase “the Word of the Lord” declared after a scripture reading. Increased skepticism about the notion of “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” is another likely outcome of an unbiased reading of “On Pressing the Apostle Paul.”

Robert Smith’s essay in a PDF file intended to be printed as a 24-page stapled booklet can be found here. A PDF file with pages in sequential order can be found here. The author can be reached at the e-mail address given in the essay.

December 22, 2010

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, 2010

I wrote the poem below in 2002 and added it to my Web site, along with a description of its origin. I posted it on my blog last year and have decided to make this an annual tradition. WARNING: This is not the most romantic of Christmas poems.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
by Lionel Deimel

The jingle bells are back,
Ringing jingle-jangle ding-dong-ding
On the street corners and at the mall,
Where the giant Damoclean snowflakes
Hang menacingly from the store ceilings
Over the heads of the make-up consultants,
Displaying their perfect faces, Santa Claus hats,
And belligerent helpfulness.

The colored outdoor lights are back,
Contending with high-pressure, sodium streetlamps
To banish night and veil the pallid twinkle of the stars,
Letting the phosphor-white icicles,
Dripping electrically from the eaves,
Highlight the unnatural landscape
Of rotund, glow-from-within snowmen
And teams of gene-damaged reindeer.

The entertainments are back—
The last-minute, Oscar-hopeful blockbusters
Playing beside cheap trifles luring the momentarily vulnerable;
Pick-up-choir, stumbling-through-the-notes Messiahs
Competing with earnest Amahls and Peanuts Specials;
The cute-but-clumsy, tiny ballerinas tripping through Nutcrackers
Sorely in need of crowd control;
And the latest made-for-TV, hanky-wrenching, feel-good melodrama.

The emotions are back,
With love-thy-neighbor, brotherhood-of-man yearnings
Schizophrenically vying with loathing for the driver ahead,
As we pursue our private quests
For perfect love-showing, obligation-meeting, or indifference-disguising gifts,
Our anticipating the giving-terror, receiving-embarrassment,
The disappointing joy, and the exhilarating letdown assuring us at last
That Christmas is upon us.


December 17, 2010

“Vibrant” Communion

“Ten Reasons Why the Proposed Anglican Covenant Is a Bad Idea” was posted on Thinking Anglicans two days ago, and, although many of the comments it elicited were positive, there was some distress over the No Anglican Covenant Coalition’s characterization of the Anglican Communion as “a vibrant, cooperative, fellowship of churches” in Reason 1. (There was little dissent from what was claimed to be the effect of Covenant adoption.)

I wrote about the new document in my last post. For reference, Reason 1 of “Ten Reasons” is the following:
The proposed Anglican Covenant would transform a vibrant, cooperative, fellowship of churches into a contentious, centralized aggregation of churches designed to reduce diversity and initiative. The Covenant would institutionalize the “Instruments of Unity” as never before and would give extraordinary power to the newly enhanced Standing Committee.
It is true that, in 2010, the Anglican Communion looks like a dysfunctional ecclesiastical family. Nonetheless, there are many good things going on within it, including quite vibrant, cooperative partnerships between dioceses, including arrangements between dioceses in The Episcopal Church and dioceses in Global South churches that, on the whole, seems quite hostile to the American church.

I don’t think the Coalition meant to suggest that all is well in the Anglican Communion now. The characterization was meant to apply to the Communion in past and, one would hope, future times, perhaps when the Communion is smaller. (Reason 10 suggests that unhappy churches should be allowed to depart in peace.) Perhaps the Communion should have been described as “a formerly vibrant, cooperative, fellowship of churches” or “a potentially vibrant, cooperative, fellowship of churches.”

December 15, 2010

Reasons to Oppose the Covenant

There is a lot of material on the Web arguing that the Anglican Covenant is un-Anglican, dangerous, divisive, poorly drawn, or just plain stupid. Curiously, there seems to be much less commentary favoring adoption of the Covenant. I do not have a definitive explanation for this state of affairs, but I suspect that Covenant supporters are counting on sheep-like, go-with-the-flow Anglican politeness to carry the Covenant forward. Of course, the fact that the pact is popular neither with the Anglican right nor the Anglican left may have something to do with the lack of enthusiastic testimonials.

In any case, the quantity of anti-Covenant material can be overwhelming, making it hard, at times, to see the forest for the trees. The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has attempted to focus attention on particularly strong arguments against adopting the Covenant by issuing a one-page handout titled “Ten Reasons Why the Proposed Anglican Covenant Is a Bad Idea.”

As a Coalition member, I contributed to the new list, though I didn’t promote what is perhaps my most important reason for opposing the Covenant, namely those who have championed it. (If Bob Duncan is for it, how could it possibly be a good thing?)

Here are some of my favorites—abbreviated here—from the new list, selected as much for their phrasing as for their content:
  • The centralization of authority envisioned by the proposed Covenant is cumbersome, costly, and undemocratic. (Reason 3)

  • The proposed Covenant is dangerously vague. (Reason 5)

  • The proposed "Covenant" seems more like a treaty, contract, or instrument of surrender than it does a covenant. (Reason 9)
You can read the entire list on the Comprehensive Unity blog here.

No Anglican Covenant

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December 14, 2010

Musings on Communion Agreements

My recent post “Two Anglican Thought Experiments” got me thinking about the nature of communion and of agreements concerning communion between churches. My musings, of course, arise in the context of a proposed Anglican Covenant that would, according to the Windsor Report (§118), “make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection which govern the relationships between the churches of the Communion.”

Curiously, the Anglican Communion has been a fellowship of churches in communion with one another in the absence of explicit agreements defining the nature of their relationships to one another. This situation has led to confused expectations about such routine matters as how clergy can be transferred or the status of deposed clergy. (See my essay of nearly four years ago “The Covenant We Do Need.”) The situation also seems to make it easy for one church of the Anglican Communion unilaterally to declare itself out of communion with another Anglican church, since it is bound in communion only by tradition. The proposed Anglican Covenant hardly improves this state of affairs, although it does potentially regularize the anathematization of churches.

What is “full communion” between churches, anyway? There seems to be no definitive definition of “full communion,” but, generally, it is an understanding between churches that (1) allows for the full participation of members of each church in the ceremonies of the other and (2) provides, to a greater or lesser degree, for the interchangeability of clergy. An agreement establishing such a relationship might also provide for mechanisms to monitor or maintain it. Full communion presumably is predicated on substantial agreement on doctrine and, perhaps, ecclesiology.

We have been told repeatedly, of course, that the Anglican Covenant is “the only way forward,” but that analysis arises out of either a perverse lack of imagination or, as is more likely, a surreptitious desire to transform our Anglican Communion into an Anglican Church, and a reactionary one at that. In any case, I thought it might be instructive to examine other agreements establishing communion between churches.

In particular, I chose to look at the decade-old agreement establishing full communion between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The agreement, “Called to Common Mission,” can be found, along with explanatory text, in “Commentary on ‘Called to Common Mission’.”

The Episcopal–Lutheran Agreement

“Called to Common Mission” contains this description of full communion (§2), which is elaborated upon in later sections of the agreement:
We therefore understand full communion to be a relation between distinct churches in which each recognizes the other as a catholic and apostolic church holding the essentials of the Christian faith. Within this new relation, churches become interdependent while remaining autonomous. Full communion includes the establishment locally and nationally of recognized organs of regular consultation and communication, including episcopal collegiality, to express and strengthen the fellowship and enable common witness, life, and service. Diversity is preserved, but this diversity is not static. Neither church seeks to remake the other in its own image, but each is open to the gifts of the other as it seeks to be faithful to Christ and his mission. They are together committed to a visible unity in the church’s mission to proclaim the Word and administer the Sacraments.
Certain elements here, such as the juxtaposition of “interdependent” and “autonomous,” will be familiar to those acquainted with the Anglican Covenant. What is definitely in a different spirit than is evident in the Anglican Covenant, however, is this: “Diversity is preserved, but this diversity is not static. Neither church seeks to remake the other in its own image, but each is open to the gifts of the other as it seeks to be faithful to Christ and his mission.” Uniformity is not the goal here.

In following sections, the churches declare that they “recognize in each other the essentials of the one catholic and apostolic faith,” as set forth in such documents as “the unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Small Catechism, and The Book of Common Prayer of 1979.” Specific common beliefs previously agreed upon are then cited, though not at length. Significantly, in §22, we find the clarifying assertion that “the two churches declare that each believes the other to hold all the essentials of the Christian faith, although this does not require from either church acceptance of all doctrinal formulations of the other.” The framers of the Anglican Covenant, on the other hand, demand a greater uniformity of “full communion,” or perhaps some Communion churches have an expansive notion of the “essentials of the Christian faith.” (Historically, homophobia has not been an “essential” of the Christian faith.)

Having established agreement on essential doctrine, the Episcopal–Lutheran agreement turns to mission. It begins in §6 with:
The ministry of the whole people of God forms the context for what is said here about all forms of ministry. We together affirm that all members of Christ's church are commissioned for ministry through baptism. All are called to represent Christ and his church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to participate in the life, worship, and governance of the church. … Because both our churches affirm this ministry which has already been treated in our previous dialogues, it is not here extensively addressed.
The passage essentially establishes that each church has the same relationship to its members, which removes any bar to those members moving between the two churches.

Much of the rest of “Called to Common Mission” deals with ordained ministry, about which the two churches have held different views. Most notably, although both churches have bishops, those of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have not maintained apostolic succession, are chosen for a fixed term, and have not been the exclusive agents of ordination. The basic agreement concerning ordained ministry is outlined in the commentary on §8:
We agree to the common, though not necessarily identical, pattern of one ordained ministry shared between the two churches. The Episcopal Church continues the general, historic pattern of three forms of such ministry—bishops, priests, and deacons. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues the pattern of one form of ordained ministry. Each church’s ordained ministries remain governed by their respective church body. As we live into the common practices of ordained ministries of the two churches, though not identical, [they] will allow the sharing of ordained ministers.
In what follows, both churches give a little. Dealing with deacons is put off for another day. (The Lutherans have non-ordained deacons and are not required by the agreement to ordain them.) The Lutherans “acknowledge immediately the full authenticity” of Episcopal deacons, priests, and bishops. Episcopalians do the same for Lutheran pastors. A shared episcopate requires a gradual process by which new Lutheran bishops experience the laying on of hands by bishops in apostolic succession and the ordination of pastors with the laying on of hands by bishops becomes normative. The Episcopal Church, changed its canons to allow temporarily (i.e., until the exception becomes unnecessary) Lutheran pastors not ordained by bishops in apostolic succession to serve in The Episcopal Church.

These arrangements lead to this extraordinary statement (§14):
For both churches, the relationship of full communion begins when both churches adopt this Concordat. For the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the characteristics of the goal of full communion—defined in its 1991 policy statement, “Ecumenism: The Vision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America”—will be realized at this time. For The Episcopal Church, full communion, although begun at the same time, will not be fully realized until both churches determine that in the context of a common life and mission there is a shared ministry of bishops in the historic episcopate.
The agreement goes on to declare that ministers of each church may serve on a temporary basis in the other, consistent with that church’s traditions and may transfer from one church to another on a permanent basis by making the appropriate declarations to the receiving church. In other words, re-ordination is never necessary when a minister moves between churches.

The agreement establishes a joint commission (§23), accountable to the two churches, for consultation, support, etc. The commission is given no enforcement function.

Rather optimistically, “Called to Common Mission” offers this thought (§24):
In thus moving to establish, in geographically overlapping episcopates in collegial consultation, one ordained ministry open to women as well as to men, to married persons as well as to single persons, both churches agree that the historic catholic episcopate can be locally adapted and reformed in the service of the gospel. In this spirit they offer this Concordat and growth toward full communion for serious consideration among the churches of the Reformation as well as among the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
Finally, the document declares (§25) that it does not affect existing relationships between the parties and other churches, and it does not create new communion relationships with churches in communion with the principals. (This is non-obvious. See “Some Mathematical Reflections on Communion.”) Both churches agree to consult on communion agreements with other churches, to work together on such agreements where possible, and to “not impede the development of relationships and agreements with other churches and traditions with whom they have been in dialogue” (§26).


The influence of the Chicago–Lambeth Quadrilateral is apparent in “Called to Common Mission.” In particular, the requirement for an “Historic Episcopate, locally adapted” has prevented The Episcopal Church from acknowledging immediately a full communion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The asymmetry of the relationship came as a bit of a surprise; I have always assumed that if Church A is in full communion with Church B, then Church B must be in full communion with Church A. Of course, in this case, the full-communion relationship is seemingly not symmetric because the two churches define “full communion” differently. By the Lutheran definition, I suppose, our two churches are in full communion with one another.

I have thought it odd that, for example, that the Church of the Province of Uganda could consider itself in impaired communion (i.e., not in full communion) with The Episcopal Church at the same time The Episcopal Church has not declared itself out of communion with the Ugandan church. One might argue that this is possible because the two churches are using two different definitions of full communion. (Uganda apparently defines “the essentials of the Christian faith” differently.) Actually, I suspect that, even by this measure, The Episcopal Church is not in full communion by its definition with the Church of the Province of Uganda, as I suspect that the interchangeability of clergy is substantially impaired in the current circumstances. Of course, Episcopalians are too polite to make a fuss over this.

Remarkably, although the Anglican Covenant is supposedly all about maximizing the degree of communion within the Anglican Communion, it fails to define “full communion.” Moreover, although the Covenant has a good deal to say about required doctrine, it is less forthcoming regarding other obligations, unlike “Called to Common Mission.” Does a church have to contribute funds to maintain the Anglican Communion? Must its primate attend meetings? Can a church issue a blanket prohibition of clergy from one particular Anglican Communion church from preaching or celebrating in its own churches? Of course, Section 4 of the Covenant would allow any church to “raise a question” about such practices, but the Covenant’s silence makes the entire disciplinary process of Section 4 a complete crap shoot. No one can say in advance what is allowed and what is not. The Covenant creates a Communion government of (almost exclusively) men, not of law (canon, or whatever). This is a major reason to reject it out of hand.

“Called to Common Mission” stands in stark contrast to the Anglican Covenant in that it provides no disciplinary mechanisms at all. It is an agreement developed in a climate of love, trust, and hope; not one of loathing, suspicion, and despair.

Another difference in the two documents is one remarked upon above. There is no attempt made in the Episcopal–Lutheran agreement to bind both churches to identical doctrines. Documents specific to each church, as well as documents developed in common, are recognized as acceptable, even though they may not all say exactly the same thing. “Called to Common Mission” is much more generous with respect to doctrine than is the Anglican Covenant.

This raises an interesting point. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is explicitly acknowledged in “Called to Common Mission,” but the Covenant references no prayer book subsequent to 1662. That book was written more than a century before The Episcopal Church came into existence, was compiled with no American influence, and was never used by The Episcopal Church. The Covenant seeks unity on the basis of our churches’ historical roots and seems ignorant of the fact that churches have moved away from those roots, possibly growing in quite different directions. This fact should have led to a generous acceptance in the Covenant, but we see instead quite the opposite: a rejection of differences and an insistence on a reactionary view of what the Anglican churches must be.

Reading “Called to Common Mission” raises the question in my mind as to what churches Episcopalians would be most comfortable in. Whereas I would feel pretty much at home in a Lutheran church, I suspect that I would feel like an alien intruder attending a church in Uganda, Nigeria, or Rwanda. If so, why should The Episcopal Church be so concerned about its communion with such churches? One can suggest reasons, of course, but not reasons to compromise our own understanding of the gospel to placate the episcopal autocrats of such churches.

We should, I think, dump the whole idea of an Anglican Communion in which each church is like every other church. Instead of bothering with the hopelessly flawed Anglican Covenant, we should draw up an agreement describing how our churches will pursue common mission and what our expectations are of them (including obligations of financial support). Meanwhile, we should pursue bilateral communion agreements with those churches of the present Communion with which agreements analogous to “Called to Common Mission” are possible.

Perhaps after the Anglican Covenant project fails, the Communion will take up that idea.

No Anglican Covenant

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December 9, 2010

A Brief Meditation on ACNA

In checking out developments in the Anglican world tonight, I visited the ACNA Web site, which, at the bottom of the front page, has the notice “©2010 The Anglican Church in North America. All rights reserved.” The copyright notice and the somewhat pretentious domain name got me thinking about the legitimacy of the name of this new church. Its proper name, I decided, should be the following:

An “Anglican” Church in North America

It is not Anglican, in the sense of being part of the Anglican Communion, and it surely is not the Anglican church in North America, since North American hosts, most notably, but not exclusively, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

ACNA banner

December 7, 2010

Two Anglican Thought Experiments

Something to think aboutToday, I offer two tenuously related thought experiments having to do with Anglicanism.

Experiment 1. Anglicanism has made much of apostolic succession, which is a major part of its claim to catholicity. (I should point out, however, that other Christian denominations claim to be part of the “one holy catholic and apostolic Church” in the absence of not only apostolic successions but also of bishops.)

The notion of apostolic succession has a certain romantic attraction, but how important is it really? Suppose some plague wiped out all Anglican bishops, or even all bishops of whatever stripe. (Perhaps some new virus suddenly made purple dye toxic. Anyway, this is a thought experiment, remember?) Would Christianity have been wiped out due to the lack of bishops and the apparent inability to create new ones? Of course not! Not only are bishops not necessary for transmitting the faith, but bishops have often been responsible for heretical movements. Moreover, I refuse to believe that apostolic succession is some sort of magic provided by God. (I’m sure that some will dispute this.) If we feel the need for bishops, we can simply consecrate some more, even in the absence of other bishops to lay on hands. Surely the very first bishop, whoever that was, was not consecrated by three other bishops!

Experiment 2. Imagine a world just like the world today, but lacking an Anglican Communion—a world with 38 churches related historically to the Church of England but with no formal institutional ties. The question is would we feel the need to invent an Anglican Communion, and, if we did, what would it look like?

The answer, I think, is maybe, but I doubt that any resulting communion would look like the present one. To begin with, I do not think the Archbishop of Canterbury would be so central. England could get away with asserting a special place for the archbishop in an age of empire, but I suspect the former colonies would be less deferential these days. (In fact, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s having any real power is a relatively recent—and arguably illegitimate—phenomenon.) There is perhaps some utility in Anglicans gathering to get to know one another, swap ideas, and discuss possible mechanisms of coöperation. In this more democratic age in which both travel and communication are more easily accomplished than formerly, I don’t think a convention of bishops—and certainly not one lasting as long as the current Lambeth Conference—would be the first sort of meeting people would think of.

Actually, I suspect that our churches would see themselves first as Christian churches in the world, rather than as members of an Anglican fraternity. We make much of our ties between diverse dioceses across the world and our ability to channel aid through other Anglican churches in time of need. An Anglican Communion is not needed for this—we have no need even now for an intermediary in London—and the lack of a communion might encourage closer ties with other churches, which might not be such a bad thing.

In any case, we surely would not begin a new communion with some covenant that surrendered our independence.

What do you think?

December 6, 2010

Dark Day for the Republic

Never have I been as disappointed in President Obama as I am tonight after the announcement of the capitulation to the Republicans over extending the Bush tax cuts. Eliminating those tax cuts should have been the President’s agenda on day one. Instead, the administration postponed the fight to the eleventh hour and after the disastrous November elections. How can Republicans rule the country when the Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress?

Perhaps the Democrats should be replaced by a truly liberal party. The immediate future of the United States is, I fear, dark indeed.

Black ribbon

December 1, 2010

Evaluation of the General Synod Events

It has now been a week since the Church of England General Synod voted to move the Anglican Covenant along the path to adoption. Whereas the Church of England has not yet signed on to the Covenant, it has certainly passed up an opportunity to deliver a fatal blow to the adoption process. Pity!

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, which had worked hard to prevent the Synod from doing what it did, has issued a reflection on what happened. It has the somewhat unwieldy title “Observations on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Presidential Address and the Anglican Covenant Debate in the Church of England General Synod, November 2010,” but it contains some pithy remarks about the events of last week.

My favorite part of “Observations” is this:
It is particularly ironic that Dr. Williams painted a picture of a frightening Anglican dystopia should the Covenant fail, as he and other supporters of the Covenant have been quick to accuse Covenant sceptics of “scaremongering.” It is also surprising, both in this speech and in the subsequent debate, that concerns were raised about the decline of the role of the Church of England, as well as references to its being “the mother church” that needs to set an example, whereas Covenant sceptics have been accused of being “Little Englanders.”
The Archbishop claimed to view the lobbying for and against the Covenant as unseemly, yet he engaged in the same practice, and, I must say, was masterful at it. You have to admire his chutzpa in conjuring up visions of the loss of empire, an image that still has a strong hold on the English psyche. In particular, of course, Rowan spoke of “a real danger, the piece-by-piece dissolution of the Communion and the emergence of new structures in which relation to the Church of England and the See of Canterbury are likely not to figure significantly.” Personally, I find that prospect refreshing, particularly the part about a reduced influence of the See of Canterbury.

“Observations” also contains this insight from Dr. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who participated in the Synod debate:
We are told that the Covenant sets out the framework for family relationships. But what sort of family lives by a covenant, with “relational consequences” for breaches of the rules?
“Observations” has this strong finish:
The idea of an Anglican Covenant was always a means to placate those in the Anglican Communion who were upset by the “controversial” actions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. The Oxford Statement [from the GAFCON Primates’ Council, available here] makes it clear, however, that that faction of the Communion will never be satisfied with unity without uniformity. Its insistence on the Jerusalem Declaration is proof that not even the first three sections of the Anglican Covenant are acceptable. It is obvious that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglican created by the GAFCON movement is intended as a separate, “pure” Anglican Communion that will include churches, such as the Anglican Church in North America, that are not part of the present Communion.

In these circumstances, the churches that subscribe to a more traditional view of Anglicanism than the Anglican vision asserted by GAFCON should abandon the Covenant, which can only divide them, and re-establish the Anglican Communion as a tolerant fellowship of autonomous national and regional churches.
You can read the entire document from the No Anglican Covenant Coalition here.