November 1, 2010

Too Dangerous to Play At

Having now read through the briefing paper prepared by supporters of the Anglican Covenant for consideration at the Church of England General Synod, I am becoming more and more convinced that the possibly pernicious effects of said Covenant outweigh any possible benefits.

The briefing paper itself is so full of vague prognostications, half-hearted apologies about what might or might not happen, depending on who does what, when and where, it seems the Covenant remains, as I said earlier, a tissue of aspiration thinly veiling a pessimistic mistrust. It also appears to me to be a very dangerous toy to give to a still relatively young Communion, some of whose members have not shown themselves well able to play by what few rules already exist, let alone take on more.

Let us remember as well that the original call for "an" Anglican Covenant (in the Windsor Report ¶118) was geared to “make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection” within the Anglican Communion. But surely forced loyalty or affection are never good things. Force robs both of their profoundest value, their purely voluntary nature. Forced affection, in particular, is suggestive of "date rape." Should the Covenant Process include a supply of Ruffies?

Or have we already so forgotten basic biblical principles of moral theology (such as that "force is not of God" and "love is not rude or boastful and does not insist on its own way"), to say nothing of the apparent amnesia concerning the treasures of our Anglican heritage (humility, provincial autonomy, and diversity) that no further hypnotic is required? 

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Thinking Anglicans

12 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

I've read through 14 pages, half of the number in the briefing paper.

Whence comes the power to establish the Standing Committee to the ACC, which is set up to wield a great deal of power in settling disputes amongst churches who sign on to the Covenant and decide the consequences for those who don't?

I realize that as explained in the briefing, we are led to believe that the decisions of the Standing Committee about "relational consequences" in matters under dispute have no teeth, but I remain doubtful.

Consequently, for some years to
come, there will be a developing and potentially complex situation.


Yes, indeed! A one-word description comes to mind, but it's not suitable for posting here.

The process for incorporating individual dioceses or churches under 4.1.5 indeed "remains rather opaque".

What a mess of pottage on offer here in this Daft Covenant!

What is the Latin for "butler"? I'd like to sign my name like Rowan and Sentamu?

Paul (A.) said...

Mimi, my handy Cassell's has "cellarius", although in your case "cellaria" might be more apropos.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thank you, Mimi. You've highlighted some of the language I've found most troubling. I was originally thinking of calling this the "Pig in a Poke," but Dangerous Toy seemed more apposite given the childishness of it all. (not child-like-ness, which we could all use more of!)

Why urge adoption of such a "potentially complex" and "rather opaque" contract. I wouldn't want to rent a bungalow on such a basis (that if my neighbors don't like how I arrange the deck chair on my porch they "might" invoke "relational consequences"!

As to Latin for butler, my guess would be maior domus. But the fancy Latin names bishops use are the names of their Sees, in the genitive, unless I'm mistaken -- "of Canterbury" or "of York." They take the name of their See as their "married name" so to speak. But since Butler is your married name (I assume) then June Maiordomūs would, I think, be it. (There really should be a "long" mark over the u, which you can enter by typing & # 363 ; ampersand poundsign 363 semicolon -- without the spaces. ) I think it looks rather grand!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Since I lack a See, my married name will do, and I must say, the signature is grand.

June Maiordomūs

(I'll make a note of the method for typing the ū.)

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul (A.), I missed your comment previously. I believe I'll stick with Tobias, as his makes me sound a much grander personage.

Paul Powers said...

I may be mistaken, but I believe Cantuar in this context is an abbreviation for Cantuariensis, the genitive of Cantuaria or Canterbury. The second Bishop of Fort Worth styled himself "Clarence Fort Worth," which is not as felicitous.

The macron in impressive, but I think the nominative form Junia Maior Domus (no macron) is more appropriate because the genitive conveys the idea that she's a possession of Grandpère, which probably isn't what she had in mind.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Paul, I was sensitive to that implication of the genitive -- but this is in fact part of the tradition of women taking their husband's name, to indicate the relationship. It need not be seen as "possession" as such; the genitive also indicates relationship or connection, to a place as in "John of Damascus" or to a family as in "June of Butler."

Grandmère Mimi said...

What fun! And it's all about me!

...the genitive conveys the idea that she's a possession of Grandpère, which probably isn't what she had in mind.

Hardly what I had in mind, Paul Powers, since I've been trying to disabuse GP of the idea for 49 years.

Paul Powers said...

You have a point, Tobias. Besides, since Latin doesn't have a definite article, the nominative form could be (mis)translated as "June the Butler."

Still, even if she doesn't have a see, June Novae Aureliae (June of New Orleans) has a nice sound.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul Powers, June Novae Aureliae has a lovely ring to it, and although it's not a See, it is a place. Then I wouldn't have to bother with remembering how to do the accented ū. Is this my final answer? We'll see.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Send me a mere US$200 Abuela Mimi and I shall print you out a certificate from my Mac to your liking and make it all official.

I shall even design a coat of arms for free.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Dahveed, only $200? Most people ask for a good bit more for their online offers.