Anglican Covenantwas stepped up a gear on Nov. 3 with the formation of an international coalition that says the covenant would constitute "unwarranted interference in the internal life of the member churches of the Anglican Communion, would narrow the acceptable range of belief and practice within Anglicanism, and would prevent further development of Anglican thought."The coalition -- made up of Anglicans in Canada, England, New Zealand and the United States -- has launched a website, called "No Anglican Covenant" that it says provides resources "for Anglicans around the world to learn about the potential risks of the proposed Anglican Covenant."The campaign against the
"We believe that the majority of the clergy and laity in the Anglican Communion would not wish to endorse this document," said the Rev. Lesley Fellows, the coalition's moderator and a member of the Church of England. "Apart from church insiders, very few people are aware of the covenant. We want to encourage a wider discussion and to highlight the problems the covenant will cause."
The covenant first was proposed in the 2004 Windsor Report as a way that the Anglican Communion and its 38 autonomous provinces might maintain unity despite differences, especially relating to biblical interpretation and human sexuality issues.
But some Anglicans, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, have raised concerns about the covenant being used as an instrument of control, particularly in section 4, which outlines a method for resolving disputes in the communion.
Two progressive U.K.-based Anglican groups, Inclusive Church and Modern Church, joined together in late October to campaign against the covenant, which they say is "an attempt by some leaders of the Anglican Communion to subordinate national churches to a centralized international authority, with power to forbid developments when another province objects."