Church Times – It’s a relationship, not a doctrinal quiz

Centrists / Religion

Canon Vincent Strudwick, a member of the ACC sub-group working on the design process for the Anglican Covenant, has offered some thoughts on what the Convenant might be, and how it might come into being:

“As Dr Williams has indicated, there may be those who cannot opt in; but the aim must surely be to include all of good will who hold the unity of the Communion dear, and who are willing to offer sacrificial restraint in order to grasp the opportunity and hope that the covenant process offers.

The crafting of the process and the wording of the covenant are still not finalised. In its response to the proposal (resolution A166), ECUSA at its General Convention signalled its desire to stay within the Communion and participate in the covenant. But it was clearly fearful that the wording of commitment might appear to close the debate in the search for truth before it had begun.”

“I suspect that before we are ready to finalise the words, the renewal of trust that the Archbishop’s statement has generated needs to be assimilated. Now is not the time to talk more of ‘constituent Churches’ and ‘associate Churches’ of the Communion — because the ‘re-imagining’ of the Communion is part of the covenant agenda, and belongs to all who participate.

The starting-point for those who engage in the process is that the covenant does not require them to accept all doctrinal opinion, sacramental devotion, or ministerial practice characteristic of other provinces, but that each believes the other to hold the essentials of the Christian faith, and that all commit themselves to respect the integrity and good faith of those whose search has led them to different understanding in matters of importance.

It is the proper role of the Communion, as part of its common life, to attempt to shed new light on these differences, attempting to discern both the truth that is our goal, as well as the grace in our search. My ‘illusion’ is that we have an Archbishop who can preside over such a re-imagining, and that we have a creative opportunity that should not be sidetracked lightly.”

Read the rest here: Church Times – It’s a relationship, not a doctrinal quiz

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...