Channel: Episcopal News Service Author: Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Episcopal News Service—Kingston, Jamaica] The representatives of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) decided on May 8 that the Ridley Cambridge Draft of an Anglican covenant needs more work before it can be presented to the communion provinces for adoption.
The resolution says
(a) thanks the Covenant Design Group for their faithfulness and responsiveness in producing the drafts for an Anglican Communion Covenant and, in particular, for the Ridley Cambridge Draft submitted to this meeting;
(b) recognizes that an Anglican Communion Covenant may provide an effective means to strengthen and promote our common life as a communion;
(c) asks the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Secretary General, to appoint a small working group to consider and consult with the provinces on Section 4 and its possible revision, and to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee [about six months from now];
(d) asks the JSC, at that meeting, to approve a final form of Section 4;
(e) asks the Secretary General to send the revised Ridley Cambridge text, at that time, only to the member churches of the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and decision on acceptance or adoption by them as the Anglican Communion Covenant;
(f) asks those member churches to report to ACC-15 [anticipated in 2012] on the progress made in the processes of response to, and acceptance or adoption of, the Covenant.
The council had originally been asked to send the entire text to the provinces. However, some members were concerned about the practicalities of the processes outlined in Section 4 of the covenant, “Our Covenanted Life Together,” which attempts to provide a method for resolving disputes in the communion. Much of the concern centered on the provision in paragraph 4.1.5 that “it shall be open to other Churches to adopt the Covenant” because it lacks a definition for “other churches.”
The members agreed 33-30 (with two abstentions) to ask for more work on Section 4.
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