The Church Times is taking an informal poll on whether the proposed Anglican Covenant is the best way to achieve unity. I invite you to go to the article, and then to cast your vote by clicking on the tiny "here" towards the bottom of the article.
I make no secret of being opposed to the specifics of the proposed Anglican Covenant; though not opposed in principle to a covenant based on ministry and mission and with no "pre-nuptial" provision for dissolution of communion. The current proposal is still light on the former and heavy on the latter.
If what is really wanted is simply a mechanism for dealing with conflicts and disagreements when they arise, I think it would be easier simply to codify the already existing powers that the autonomous provinces possess. That is, for example in the present conflict,
- No other province (indeed, no other individual diocese) need permit Bishop Robinson (or any other Bishop) the exercise of Episcopal function within its borders.
- Provinces are not forced to have any more to do with each other than they choose to do.
- Individual parishes within dioceses, and dioceses within their provinces ought to respect the legitimate authority of their superior synods, and not seek to become independent from them.
- Nor should bishops from outside a province interfere in the internal affairs of that province. (The response from the C of E noted that as far as England was concerned this was not only illegal, but probably immoral and fattening as well.)
- Communion in Christ based on baptism is irrevocable;
- Our call is to mission (unity of all people in Christ) and ministry (you know: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting and healing the sick, comforting those who mourn; in short, loving our neighbors as ourselves and doing unto others as we would be done by.) and
- Affirm the fact that a covenant is not something to be broken when tensions arise, but the means by which we remain together "for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health" -- and that these principles apply first and foremost to the church, that holy and sacred mystery.