|Bishop Mouneer Anis|
In a conference speech he calls for a return to true Anglican values that are both Scriptural and conciliar. Yet in asking to go back he is in fact setting off in a new direction.
He shares the general conservative analysis that in many parts of the Communion there was a generation of clergy and laity who were not grounded in Scripture and who do not believe in the credal essentials of the Christin faith.
But he also sees more of value in the Anglican tradition than many conservatives appear to. In particular he would like to see the Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting playing a truly conciliar role, giving them authority in matters of faith and order, including the interpretation of Scripture.
Not in Communion as constituted at present, of course, too much trust has been lost and too many have strayed from the orthodox path. And Lambeth 2008 lost almost every shred of its conciliar character with the mistaken idea that 'indaba' meant talking to no conclusion.
He calls on the churches of the Global South, together with other orthodox dioceses, to recover their Anglican heritage and remake it: new conciliar structures would set out the Anglican faith scripturally, definitively and authoritatively.
Bishop Anis is a man of integrity and ability. He is standing with those who no longer have time for the Communion as it stands and who will no longer be distracted from his task by its time consuming dysfunctionality.
So (if Bishop Anis' words are heeded) the irony will be that the Covenant, nominally designed to hold the Communion together, will come to bind those who never wanted it in the first place. Those who wanted a Covenant to discipline TEC and other provinces will go off and establish their own, conciliar framework.