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.”

1 comment:

  1. Greetings, Lionel. On the topic of Communion, perhaps Tony Clavier's most recent post would be interesting.


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