The Archbishop of Canterbury listening at the ACC
Covenant - but not yet
The ACC have endorsed the Covenant, which was no surprise, but have batted away the crucial Section 4 for further reflection and revision (The Lead; ENS; Colin Coward for Changing Attitude).
They have handed the partridge to the poacher with the instruction, 'see what you can do with it'.
The Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and Primates' Meeting will now have to decide what to do. As this Committee was to be given considerable powers under the RCDC (the latest version of where to centralise control of the Communion) this is unlikely to lead to a lot of change. The ACC has also given the Committee authority to approve their own deliberations. They have, however, specified that only existing members of the Anglican Communion shall receive a copy with a view to ratification.
I guess the goal will be the minimum sufficient tinkering for acceptability. Nonetheless that will mean tinkering a little further away from a punitive or juridical approach.
I still don't like it, whatever they do. Once in place the Covenant will sit on the (fat) books of Anglican documents until another leader or two comes along and says - 'this is unenforceable; give us the powers to make it work'. Little by little, dispute by disagreement, power will leach from the Provinces to the central structures. It's the ratchet effect: whoever heard of a major organization returning to the periphery powers it had once centralised?
Still no word on budget, I note. Still no word on subsidiarity.