March 7, 2009
The Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda has made its response to the proposed Covenant available. (Reproduced on the FoCA site.)
They endorse the idea of a covenant which must be based on Scripture and Anglican Doctrine.
In particular they endorse Lambeth Conference resolution 1.10 by which ordinations 'ought to be carried out according to Holy Scriptures and the Book of Common Prayer of 1662. (As applied to practicing homosexuals and lesbians)' and what applies to bishops should apply to deacons and priests equally.
They commit themselves to stand by the following statements:
A) The Lambeth Palace, 2003
B) The Dromantine Statement
C) The Dar-es-Salaam Statement,
D) The Road to Lambeth
E) The Jerusalem Declaration
In conclusion, having said the above, we hold very strongly, that as we continue to engage and develop this ANGLICAN COVENANT, we shall be identified by the Anglican Faith and Practice, based upon the Holy Scriptures, Doctrine and the Anglican Tradition as passed on by the Early church.
1. The Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini Archbishop/chairman
2. The Rt. Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Dean
3. The Rt. Rev. John Rucyahana
4. The Rt. Rev. Augustin Mvunabandi
5. The Rt. Rev. Jered Kalimba
6. The Rt. Rev. Josias Sendegeya
7. The Rt. Rev. Nathan K.Gasatura
This is clearly not an endorsement of the Covenant as proposed, still less one with reduced powers to sanction malefactors.
I am sure no-one wants an Anglican Covenant which is not based on 'Scripture and Anglican Doctrine'. The questions are which aspects of Scripture, understood by what criteria? Which elements of Anglican Doctrine? How are the Early Church teachings to be understood and appropriated today? But, unless there are further documents not made public, these necessary elaborations are not made.
As it stands this document cannot be used by the Covenant Design Group as it adds nothing and suggests no specific remedies to their imprecise complaints.
This is (and not surprisingly) an endorsement of the GAFCON branch of Anglicanism, increasingly separated off from the main river. It is a further step towards differing covenants - whether for cantonisation or schism.