Wednesday, July 23, 2008

GAFCON response to the St Andrew’s Covenant: correction and apology

[Anglican Mainstream] 23 Jul 2008--The Global Anglican Future Conference Theological Resource Group (TRG) has published a response to the St Andrew’s Covenant. This has the authority of that group and is the substantive response from GAFCON.

There are two major concerns about the proposed covenant. First, what will it contain? Will it have sufficient commitment to the doctrinal and ethical commitments of the traditional Anglican formularies? Will it have sufficient material on the process of maintaining unity on essentials?

Secondly, the current St Andrew’s draft focuses the action away from the Primates to the Anglican Consultative Council. In every case except the Church of England, the Primates are the elected heads of their churches. The Lambeth Conferences of 1988 and 1998 asked for enhanced responsibility to be given to the Primates on matters of contention. The St Andrew’s draft reverses this direction and gives responsibility to the ACC for approval of the final text of the covenant and as arbiter of inclusion in the Communion.

Thirdly, it should be noted that even though the Lambeth Conference is an instrument of communion, it has no decision-making role in finalizing the covenant. Rather it is the ACC that will be the final arbiter of what the covenant will contain.

Further, no bishop here has the authority to accept the covenant on behalf of anyone else: such decisions belong to the provinces, their synods and house of bishops.

Related document:
Response of GAFCON to the St Andrew's Draft Text - GAFCON

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