Mar 6, 2012

PRESS RELEASE -- NO ANGLICAN COVENANT -- NEW PATRONS: ¨ "An Anglican Covenant would impose a legalistic and damaging uniformity on the rich diversity of the autonomous national churches of the Anglican Communion,”

New Patrons from New Zealand, Australia and England

LONDON No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, has announced the appointment of three new patrons:

· The Rt Revd James White, Assistant Bishop of Auckland, Anglican Church Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia;

· Dr Muriel Porter, OAM, journalist and author, Anglican Church of Australia; [wikipedia]

· The Revd Canon Dr Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, Cambridge University, Church of England. [wikipedia]

“I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Bishop White, Dr Porter and Prof Coakley into this role with the coalition,” said Crawley. “We now have patrons from four provinces of the Anglican Communion, which indicates the breadth of concern about the centralization involved in the proposed Anglican Covenant.”

The Revd Canon Dr Sarah Coakley

The future of the Anglican Communion depends on genuine, God given ‘bonds of affection,’ and nothing more or less,” according to Bishop White. “The proposed Anglican Covenant is an attempt to get the toothpaste back in the tube with a spatula, and it won’t work.”

Dr Muriel Porter

"An Anglican Covenant would impose a legalistic and damaging uniformity on the rich diversity of the autonomous national churches of the Anglican Communion,” said Dr Porter. “Those churches would lose the freedom to respond prophetically to the Spirit of God as a sign to other churches, as many did over the issue of women clergy. Further, it would threaten our cherished synodical governance."

“The disturbing theological vacuity of the Covenant document nonetheless comes with a hidden iron fist: do not be misled by its rhetoric of friendly collaboration between national churches,” according to Prof Coakley. “The Covenant bespeaks a quite different ecclesiology from that of Cranmer's ‘blessed company of all faithful people,’ and profoundly alters what it means to be Anglican. The deepest theological challenges of our day cannot be answered by hapless bureaucratic manipulations of our theological tradition.”

Today’s appointments bring the total number of No Anglican Covenant Coalition patrons to seven. The previously appointed patrons are:

· The Rt Revd Peter Selby, retired Bishop of Worcester, Church of England;

· The Rt Revd John Saxbee, retired Bishop of Lincoln, Church of England;

· Dr Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kt, Professor of the History of the Church and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford University;

· The Revd Dr Marilyn McCord Adams, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, former Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford University.

To date, the proposed Anglican Covenant has been approved by eight dioceses of the Church of England (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol; Canterbury; Winchester; Sheffield; Bradford) and rejected by 13 (Wakefield; St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Birmingham; Derby; Gloucester; Portsmouth; Rochester; Salisbury; Leicester; Sodor and Man; Chelmsford; Hereford). Approval by 23 diocesan synods is required for the Covenant to return to General Synod. Rejection by 22 dioceses would effectively derail approval of the Covenant by the Church of England.

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition is an international group of Anglicans concerned about how the proposed Anglican Covenant will radically change the nature of the Anglican Communion.

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