The gorgeous Grandmère Mimi
Grandmère Mimi says (comment, here):
I have the sense, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the bishops in the Church of England who do not like the Covenant will not speak against it, for they are too polite to - what? - hurt the ABC's feelings? The Welsh bishops won't cross him either.Sadly I think she's right.
It may be a little more complex than simple politeness, though. There is a mix of loyalty (and not wanting to seem publicly disloyal) with a generation of bishops trained into the collective mould (both senses) by having individuality trained out of them: mini-princes in their own domains and courtiers on the larger stage. I'm not sure that government by nineteenth-century unaccountable autocrats was any better (and there was a different structure of checks and balances in place). However, the result today is that the bishops have become like a one-party state: divisions are kept within the club, the public face must be united. (Unless, of course, you retire to Rome, but that's a different story.)
However that's assuming there has been structured debate in which differences of episcopal opinion have even been aired. There was, of course, discussion at the Lambeth Conference. I'm not at all sure what debate has been had within the English college of bishops - not that I would know, you understand, one way or the other. But I am led to believe that the new Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council - the other half of implementing the Covenant - went through on the nod.
The Welsh bishops are a different kettle of fish, so to speak. There are only 6 diocesans, after all, and one of them is Gregory Cameron. And, yes, they do feel a loyalty to one of their own - after all, how many welshmen have ever been Pope? I have no feel for the way the wind is blowing there but I would be very surprised if they all leaned the same way. It's a relatively small Province but there is a noticeable difference in culture between north and south Wales.
And, in dealing with the episcopacy never forget the old joke that the bishop's symbol is a crook and the sign of an archbishop is a double-cross.