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the fiftieth time someone says it in print it's a "fact"

Jonathan Wynne-Jones says in the Telegraph that this whole "two-tiered Communion" plan enshrined in the proposed Anglican Covenant is going to backfire on the conservatives who backed it. He reports that progressive English clergy and bishops will ask for DEPO (Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, in which a rector asks to be overseen by a bishop more congenial to her/his views) or ALPO (as Fr. Jake has so wonderfully dubbed it -- that would be "Alternative Primatial Oversight," whatever the heck that is; it isn't all all clear in our context at least, as the Presiding Bishop doesn't provide oversight to dioceses) from Americans rather than submit to +Cantuar.

There are two teen-insy hiccups that prevents me from swallowing what this article says whole:

  1. There is no 'proposed Anglican Covenant' at this point -- only a draft proposal for a process that, if everything goes as not-exactly-planned, might lead to such a covenant in six to eight years or so; and
  2. I'm not convinced that +Cantuar is advocating a "two-tiered approach." I wouldn't say it's crystal-clear that the speculation about "constituent" and "associated" elements forming around such a covenant in the Archbishop of Canterbury's most recent letter is anything approaching a "plan," or even seen as a desirable outcome, given both the archbishop's ecclesiology (he takes catholicity very seriously, and I doubt he would want to go down in history as someone who first suggested that we all reenact the split between the Wesleys and the Church of England -- the very thing to which he compared such a development) and the May 22 letter of Canon Gregory Cameron, the Anglican Communion's Deputy Secretary-General, in the same newspaper that printed Wynne-Jones' report. I'm reproducing that letter to the Telegraph below:

No two-tier approach

Sir - Your report ("Archbishop backs two-track Church to heal divisions", May 19) appears to suggest that there is a planned strategy to divide the Anglican Communion in this way to achieve this end. That is not the case.

A paper exploring how a covenant might be drawn up for the provinces of the Anglican Communion has been adopted for discussion and reflection in the Communion by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council.

The potential for a covenant arrangement to entail a difference between those who might wish to sign and those who might not is recognised as a complication, and consideration of this challenge will have to form part of that exploration.

That is a long way indeed from saying that the Communion is preparing for a two-tier approach and further still from saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury backs it.

Canon Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General The
Anglican Communion, London W11

July 1, 2006 in Churchiness, Current Affairs | Permalink


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It appears that even if the two-tiered system becomes the blueprint, the Church of Nigeria will have none of it. Read here:


Posted by: Jim | Jul 3, 2006 12:14:20 AM

Hear hear!

Besides, no one asks the question: would ++Cantuar seriously be so silly as to divide the communion like that? ;-)

Posted by: Mark | Jul 4, 2006 5:23:28 PM

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