I'm happy to say that the diocesan synods of Leicester and Salisbury [UPDATE: and Rochester and Portsmouth] have voted against the proposed Anglican Covenant, the latter in spite of, or perhaps because of, an exceptionally double-minded address by Bishop Graham Kings. I read his speech before hearing about the result of the vote, but found it an astonishing example of the kind of ideological blindness I referred to in my previous thought for the day.
I say this because I would like to think the half-truths and outright misrepresentations in this address were the result of self-deception rather than a desire to deceive. However, a statement such as
The Anglican Communion Covenant – and the full title is very important for ‘Communion’ is at its centre – is the proposal backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. This is considerable backing and should not be dismissed today ‘unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly’, to use words from the Book of Common Prayer Marriage service. Sadly, some of the dismissal of it has been along those lines. I suggest it should be accepted ‘reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God’.can hardly bear the standard of truth, since the proposed Covenant was not, for instance, available for review by the Lambeth Conference, and the extent to which the current draft is "backed" by anyone other than the Archbishop is surely open to question. It can fairly be said that all of the above approved the idea of a Covenant, but Bishop K here implies that the current proposal is their dish of tea. There is also some deeply revisionist history about the ordination of women, particularly omitting the disuasions from their ordination to the episcopate. I perhaps need say little more about using the analogy to the marriage service for something many recognize as a pre-nuptial agreement with dissolution clauses built in!
Then there's that ironic urging of heeding Deanery Synods in favor of the Covenant, and voting for it so that the General Synod, rather than the Diocesan Synods (such as he's actually addressing, and to which it was referred), can be the final arbiter. This odd leap-frogging of authority is a phenomenon I've long noted in Covenant advocates -- every other level of authority is appealed to, so that dioceses and the world-wide communion are imbued with ecclesial reality, but the maligned "national or provincial church" is seen as a kind of legal fiction. I think ultimately, like water, ideologues want to seek the level where they think they will succeed, regardless of any intrinsic logic of authority.
In any case, it is reported that the two dioceses named above have turned it down, and Salisbury by a substantial majority: House of Laity: 19 for; 27 against; 0 abstensions.House of Clergy: 11 for; 20 against; 2 abstensions.