Frankly, what's more interesting at this point is not who is listed - which again is predictable (do they ever recruit new people or just keep rehashing themselves into spanking brand new lobby groups over and over and over again?) - no, rather, what is more interesting at this point is who is NOT listed - at least not yet. Watch that space very carefully. Check it all out here. And please pass the Geritol.
Tip of the Tinfoil to SS. Thanks!
SATURDAY UPDATE: Gregory Cameron responds to the lobbyists in England who took out an ad in the Church Times:
From the Bishop of St Asaph
They resort to the old tactics of misinformation and scaremongering about foreigners and outside influences to whip up a campaign against the Anglican Covenant, and replace reasoned argument with a “Man the barricades!” mentality that is little short of breathtaking.
We are to beware, the advertisement says, of the machinations of “another Anglican province anywhere in the world” and of a move “to subordinate the Church to the judgements of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. [The Covenant] would thereby make the Church of England subject to an outside power for the first time since Henry VIII.”
The main target of their opprobrium, worse than a European Commission or a Spanish Inquisition, is “a new international body, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion”. In fact, this body is the same Joint Standing Committee that has muddled through the business of Anglican Communion affairs now since 1969. It is scarcely new — even if it was given its new name by a two-thirds-majority vote of Anglican provinces ratified at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica in 2009.
And the most extreme power at the Standing Committee’s disposal under the Covenant is — wait for it — “to make recommendations” (4.2.7). It is this potential for shock “recommendations” that has Inclusive Church and MCU quaking in their boots, since they argue that any such “recommendations” will “subordinate [the General Synod] to the new centralised authorities”. In fact, the Covenant text clearly says: “Each Church or each Instrument shall determine whether or not to accept such recommendations” (4.2.7).
The Covenant also states quite clearly that “mutual commitment does not represent submission to any external ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Nothing in this Covenant of itself shall be deemed to alter any provision of the Constitution and Canons of any Church of the Communion, or to limit its autonomy of governance. The Covenant does not grant to any one Church or any agency of the Communion control or direction over any Church of the Anglican Communion” (4.1.3).
Like so much else in this advertisement (and I could offer an extensive list), the assertion is simply rubbish.
During the past 150 years, many of the Churches of the world have been formed into Christian world communions; the newest was formed this year, the World Communion of Reformed Churches. There is a general recognition that if local or national Churches are to be truly international and live in a global fellowship, they must do more than just assert their autonomy, but seek to live into an interdependence that truly honours the fellowship of the whole body. This truth was recognised by the Lambeth Conferences of 1920 and 1930, and the Covenant is a careful attempt to balance autonomy with responsibility.
There is no element of coercion anywhere in the text, but there is an acknowledgement that neither can everything that one Church does be foisted on the whole Communion without the recognition that relations can be damaged. What the Covenant sets out in Section 4 is a proper mechanism that allows the articulation of discomfort, even distance, but which honours autonomy.
But this is too much for our latter-day Little Englanders, who bemoan the passing of the armchair bonhomie of the Athenaeum as the measure of Anglican inclusivity. They would, it seems, rather see the disintegration of the Anglican Communion into a series of acrimonious factions than restate a common faith and witness and find grown-up and responsible mechanisms for the articulation of the life of a whole Communion.
Well, I suppose they’re entitled to their opinion, but I do wish that they wouldn’t resort to scaremongering and the misrepresentation of a text in an attempt to swing the debate.
GREGORY K. CAMERON
Secretary to the Anglican
Communion Covenant Design Group 2006-09
Esgobty, Upper Denbigh Road
St Asaph LL17 0TW
Read it all here.