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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Intensification of relationships

Canon Kenneth Kearon
The Anglican Consultative Council met in Auckland, New Zealand two weeks ago, and we are beginning to hear more of what was discussed.

Apparently they "continued to consider how the life of the communion might be enhanced and deepened" by discussing, primarily, the Indaba process, the Instruments of Communion, and, no doubt because Canon Kenneth Kearon was there, the Anglican Covenant.

Kearon is, of course, the Anglican Communion Secretary General and one of the chief proponents - if not major cheerleader - of the Anglican Covenant. Think of him as the Paul Ryan of the Church of England. Everybody knows he's smart, but he's so thoroughly dedicated to the ideology of the Anglican Covenant ("Rule, Britannia!") more than a few people can't believe some of the dumb stuff that sometimes comes out of his mouth.

He's a bit like a pit bull for the Anglican Covenant. The poor man has sunk his teeth into it and just can't seem to let go, even though his boss, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, no doubt has his suitcases packed and probably can't wait to leave the stuffy halls of Lambeth Palace.

At a press conference at the end of the ACC meeting, the following was reported.
Not all of the provinces have been able to consider the covenant since it was sent to them in December 2009 because of their governance cycles, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Anglican Communion Secretary General, said during a press briefing.

The communion’s Standing Committee will meet after this ACC gathering to assess where the covenant reception process stands, according to Kearon. There will come a time, he said, after all the provinces have had their say on the covenant when the Standing Committee will no doubt say that the covenant is “operational” for those provinces that have adopted it.

Those provinces will have voluntarily agreed to an “intensification of relationships” that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has suggested the covenant would create, Kearon said.
“That’s where the difference will be seen for those who have actually adopted the covenant; not whether you are in or out communion because of what you’ve decided, which I think is sometimes the question,” Kearon said. “That’s not going to happen.”
Kearon sounds to my ears like some members of the Republican Party. They simply can't believe that they lost, fair and square, despite all of their attempts at voter suppression and smear campaigns and other dirty tricks.

I thought the Covenant was "operational" when the first province signed on to it. Silly me! Turns out, it seems that it is the Standing Committee of the ACC that will declare the covenant "operational". I didn't read that in the covenant, but apparently, Kearon has also become "the man behind the curtain" who determines reality in Life After the Covenant.

My other question is, just what does "intensification of relationships" mean, exactly? What does that look like, do you suppose? And, precisely what difference will it make for those who have actually adopted the covenant? 

Furthermore, if it means, as Kearon says, that it's "not whether you are in or out communion because of what you've decided," then what does the covenant mean? What purpose does it serve?

See also: The Covenant is dead and, like the GOP, the losers just can't accept reality so they continue to create one of their own. It was the "takers" who stole the election from the "makers".

Apparently, "governance cycles" have been a deterrent to full acceptance of the covenant - which was first released three years ago.

Three years. Not enough time, apparently, governance cycles being what they are, for provinces and synods decide to sign onto the thing.  Oh, and did we mention that the Church of England has failed to sign on to the thing? Ooopsie! So sorry. Nasty little detail, that. You don't suppose that has anything to do with the hesitancy of some provinces and synods to sign on, do you?

Nah! Just keep calm and carry on!
During the hour council members spent hearing a summary of each other’s thoughts on the covenant and the instruments of communion, they learned that “in places where the covenant is contentious, people remain committed to the communion, to talk, to share, to relate to each other,” according to Helen Biggin, Church in Wales.

“Some groups feel we simply don’t need a covenant,” she said. “There was strong affirmation for sections 1 to 3, but considerable caution for section 4 [which outlines a process for resolving disputes]. Some of the reasons for that included a reluctance to give one group authority over another; a concern that it would make Anglicanism confessional in a way it wasn’t before [and] the thought it might be punitive.”

Biggin also noted that some provinces expressed “an anxiety about whether they would then become second-class members of the communion” if they did not adopt the covenant.
That shouldn't be a worry. Kearon would never allow the CofE to be second class to any other constituent member of the Anglican Communion. The whole, unstated purpose of the thing - besides having a means by which to "discipline" The Episcopal Church - is to centralize power and authority in the See of Canterbury.

Well, if would please m'Lord, I rather like my membership in the Anglican Communion messy, not "intense", thank you ever so much. I've got enough "intensity" in my life. I certainly don't need it in the Anglican Communion.

In the meantime, might someone please find a way to 'de-intensify' the good Canon and tell him to just put a sock in it? I mean, Synod is meeting in a special gathering to decide on women in The Episcopacy in the Church of England. Isn't that enough "intensification" of relationships in the Church of England?

Perhaps we could start by repeating this to him:

The Covenant is dead. Long live the Anglican Communion!


John CLIFFORD said...

What you said.
But, please note, Canon Kearan is Church of Ireland, not C of E, not that decreases his devotion to the covenant and Fuzzy Eyebrows.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Duly noted.

Lee Francis-Dehqani said...

Elizabeth, As you have noted Canon Kearon is Irish, might you not revisit your description of him as "The Paul Ryan of the CofE" and Rule Brittania is a very loaded phrase for us Irish people.

As a Cof E priest many many of us are DEVASTATED by Synod's rejection of the measure to allow Women Bishops. We are to be a laughing stock, so laugh away!!!!! But maybe also sometimes cut us some slack?

JCF said...

{{{Lee Francis-Dehqani, and all those in the CofE devastated by the the measure to allow Women Bishops' loss}}}

Here in TEC, we're not laughing---we're grieving w/ you. Loss by only 6 votes: 1 step back, to be followed (GODSPEED!) by 3 steps forward!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lee Francis - I apologize for my ignorance about the country of origin of Kearon, but I'm not laughing about the vote on women to the episcopacy. It's a sad day in the Anglican Communion.

Mark Harris said...

Laughter is hard to hear at times when grieving is going on, still down here in Haiti land where I am trying hard to learn some French and keep a grip on what English I still own, I do think "intensification of relationships" is a bit of wonderfully strange foolishness. I am perhaps behind the times, but I thought "intensified relationships" were something illegal or immoral, involving either illicit drugs or tools or both. But perhaps I need to rethink ancient ways.

Yrs humbl'y, Mark of PaP

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Actually, Mark, I think you may be closer to the truth than you know. Power is a drug, capable of changing one's perception of reality.