Covenant Design Group Document Out
Read it at ACNS. We pointy-headed theology geeks are dissecting it as you speak.
OK – my initial reaction is that it all hinges on the interpretation of sections 6.5 and 6.6 of the Draft Covenant:
Each church commits itself…
to seek the guidance of the Instruments of Communion, where there are matters in serious dispute among churches that cannot be resolved by mutual admonition and counsel:
5. to seek the guidance of the Instruments of Communion, where there are matters in serious dispute among churches that cannot be resolved by mutual admonition and counsel:
- by submitting the matter to the Primates Meeting
- if the Primates believe that the matter is not one for which a common mind has been articulated, they will seek it with the other instruments and their councils
- finally, on this basis, the Primates will offer guidance and direction.
6. We acknowledge that in the most extreme circumstances, where member churches choose not to fulfil the substance of the covenant as understood by the Councils of the Instruments of Communion, we will consider that such churches will have relinquished for themselves the force and meaning of the covenantâ€™s purpose, and a process of restoration and renewal will be required to re-establish their covenant relationship with other member churches.
Is that enough to give the Primates the casting vote and disciplinary power? Who makes the consideration of section 6.6?? Yes, section 5 says that the Lambeth Conferences are the guardians of faith and unity, so that, I suggest makes Lambeth ’98 1:10 “anglican doctrine”. But what exactly is the process to discipline provinces that go against it?