"Some of us in TEC in the past have thought that perhaps the Archbishop (of Canterbury) and others in the Anglican Communion do not understand the baptismal covenant that we hold foundational." -Bonnie Anderson, President, Episcopal Church House of DeputiesOh, there's more here. We may disagree with Rowan Williams on occasion (but we've become a big fan of his theologian wife and listen to her podcast teachings at St. Paul's Theological Centre here), but we've never questioned that he somehow comes up clueless on what a baptismal covenant is. That's a somewhat audacious and, to be frank, arrogant charge. The problem is, TEC doesn't have a "baptismal covenant" in the Anglican sense of the phrase, what TEC has - and exploits - is their free-for-all fun pass to all the attractions.
What the Archbishop of Canterbury may not know, which is perhaps what Bonnie is alluding to, is that in the Episcopal Church often uses the Baptismal Covenant cunningly as a political weapon. It is the justification for inclusion of anyone to be a bishop or to be married in the church. If you've been baptized then there are no barriers. Zip. The Baptismal Covenant is a free pass for all and their appears to be some fear amongst the Episcopal leadership that the proposed Anglican Covenant (which, as we know, Rowan Williams has now required those bishops attending Lambeth to sign on to its concept before accepting his invitation - including the Americans), seriously threatens the Free Fun Pass so much that it may turn out that it wasn't so free - or so fun - after all.
Read the rest here, including the bits about splitting bishops into the "prophetic" camp and the "conformist" camp. What a slam. One does wonder, is everything all right?