Matter of Substance

The Proposed Anglican Covenant (PAC) is not structured as a means to reach agreement on difficult issues, but as a means to manage disagreements on any issues whatsoever when they happen. It has nothing to offer as a way forward: all brake and no engine. As a nobbled runner in the race for new models for the governance of the Anglican Communion, it is never going to win, precisely because it does not govern, or propose to govern. It still leaves the traditional autonomy (in any and all things, let’s be honest and clear) up to the individual provinces, and by its own account shields their local constitution and canons from outside interference like the sensitive private parts they are. The PAC can manage some of the interrelations between the provinces — but again only to the degree that the provinces are willing to take up the recommendations of the official recommenders. That is what it says.

If this is beginning to sound like the elderly dowager in the upstairs bedroom banging her stick against the floor to quiet her fractious and disruptive heirs and assigns gathered in the parlor, the analogy may not be too far off. To what extent is the Anglican Communion in danger of becoming a provincial staging of Gianni Schicchi?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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