The Covenant will engender unity in the Communion and enable a workable balance between provincial autonomy and mutual dependence.Vote against the Covenant - any day.
Well, it all depends what you mean by ...Unity
It won't engender unity:
- It seems as though there will probably be a balkanisation of the Church.
- Provinces which prefer the Jerusalem Declaration as a basis for co-operation are unlikely to sign the Covenant as well.
- Provinces which sponsored intrusion into the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church in the US are unlikely to sign because (a) they could not sign a Covenant which TEC could also sign and (b) they have already seen action taken against the Southern Cone and recognise it could happen to them.
- Some Provinces (the United Churches of North and South India, probably Hong Kong and possibly others) cannot sign because of national laws which govern them.
Relationships between member Churches, and between tiers or zones of membership, would always have been complex. The Covenant is a further and unnecessary layer of complication.
Instead of unity there is likely to be, at best, even greater unevenness of membership and participation. At worst, and at most probable, the push to sign the Covenant will be a trigger for some Provinces to declare formally that they are disuniting from the rest.
The balance of autonomy and interdependence
This is the heart of the matter and no-one knows the impact of the Covenant.
- The Covenant makes unequivocal affirmations of the jurisdictional autonomy of each signatory.
- But the Covenant also creates mechanisms which could lead to sanctions being applied to a Province on the recommendation of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.
- The exercise of interdependence relies on goodwill, trust and mutual recognition. Where these are absent no document or organizational mechanism can ever be an adequate substitute.
Vote against the Covenant.