Scottish Episcopal Church rejects Anglican Covenant
Published 09 June 2012
The Anglican Covenant has been dealt another blow after the Scottish Episcopal Church not to give the measure its support.
The General Synod voted 112 to six against the adoption of the Covenant, with 13 abstentions.
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, told Synod that the movement to develop the Covenant had been a “genuine and honourable attempt to heal the life of the Communion”, but added that there had been concerns as to whether it was “un-Anglican” and unable to “achieve its purpose”.
The Covenant, which has the strong support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is an attempt to preserve unity in the Anglican Communion over issues such as women in the episcopate and homosexuality.
Archbishop Rowan Williams has previously said that the Covenant would make Churches “accountable to each other in the Communion”, but opponents believe it would lead to a two-tier Communion.
Explaining the decision not to back the Covenant, Bishop Chillingsworth continued: “Our decision not to adopt the Anglican Covenant is not a decision to reject the Anglican Communion. Nor are we indifferent to deeply held differences of view which are held across the Communion.
“Our decision not to adopt the Anglican Covenant says that we think that this was not the right way. We needed a number of responses to consider - not just one.
“And we needed to recognise that what brings division and difficulty to our life as a Communion is a number of inter-related issues, not just one - not just the single complex of issues around human sexuality.”
The decision comes not long after most of the dioceses of the Church of England voted against the Covenant.
The measure also failed to secure the support of many of the orthodox Anglicans it had been aimed at. Not long after it was first presented, orthodox Anglicans set up a new body within the Communion called Gafcon to represent their interests.
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