Friday, November 12, 2010

The Unintended Consequences of the PROPOSED Anglican Covenant

Let's face it folks, we are knee-deep in a discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant as we were instructed to by the General Convention.  What does this discussion look like in your parish?  Well in my parish, we are focused on several issues.  For starters, we are rehashing the issues of the last twenty years including the prayer book, women's ordination, issues of inclusiveness, issue of theology including issues raised by James Pike and Shelby Spong.  Then of course we are hashing the issue of the covenant itself.  What is this thing, why is this thing, how is this thing and what will it do and what will it accomplish.  I look around and the conversations are reasonably civil and we all still go to the rail together but there is an interesting issue here.

This covenant thingy is NOT of the Episcopal Church in the United States.  It comes from those outside who have already carved up some of the diocese here in the United States and would like nothing more than to carve up ALL the diocese of the Episcopal Church of the Untied States.  Don't think so, read the Chapman Memo.  Now here is the really tough piece of news, our general ASA folks know little to nothing about the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States and less about the Anglican Communion.  I know that is not going to sit well with many, but it is the sad truth.  Talk with those who have already left for the Southern Cone and parts of Africa and you will find precious little historical/traditional knowledge of our Church and our Communion.  We, as the Episcopal Church in the United States have allowed ourselves, in our haste to grab all the ASA we could get, to fail at teaching who and what we are.  And guess what?  The bad guys have taken advantage of that.  let me share but one piece of knowledge.  Mr. Schofield, prior to his Conelonial days ran with a Mennonite Seminary.  His closest allies were/are pastors of "Church of the Feel Good".  Review his monthly newsletters and you will see the overtaking of his theology (or at least his political theology) by bible thumping sermon led priests and friends who are not in touch with history or tradition and I think less with reason, though that might be speculative on my part.

So, the real issue for the covenant, or the reason for studying the covenant is to once again drive a wedge between those who know and understand the Anglican Communion and those who do not.  See, the folks out there know we still have not improved our education system and are gambling on our need to be obedient and study the Anglican Covenant.  The folks  that do not understand are now given a chance to once again reconsider moving to the southern cone, or at a minimum the discussion is re-opening all those old wounds once again, not directly, not with intent to teach and study but rather as an oblique attempt to foment revolution.  So the folks in ACNA, AMiA, GAFCON/FCA and all the alphabet soup win one way or the other. 

And so my question.  Is this an unintended consequence or is this another phase of the Chapman Memo?

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Fred, you're quite right that the average pew-warmer is not well-educated in the history of our own church, much less the history of the Anglican Communion. The only reason I know what little I know is because I took th trouble to educate myself by reading.

Perhaps Rowan would rather be in communion with the members of the alphabet soups, rather than the Episcopal Church. Perhaps the covenant is intended for that purpose.