12 December 2014

So let it be with Cesar

When I was a high school student, Lyon's Twp High, uniquely in the Chicago area, required that we read a fair amount of Shakespeare. I treasure that aspect of my education. Knowing Shakespeare's plays or at least some of them, not only helps a person understand a lot of common phrases, it also leads, as our instructors believed, to an appreciation of good writing.

So, when I read this amazing report I was carried back to a part of Julius Ceasar I memorized and delivered back in 1961. Here is Marc Antony, in his famous eulogy for Ceasar
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.

Shakespeare, "Julius Ceasar," Act III Scene II found at:http://shakespeare.mit.edu/julius_caesar/full.html

Yes(!) the Anglican Communion Office still considers the Covenant to be under provincial review! I suppose we should not be surprised. One of the many criticisms that the No Anglican Covenant Coalition leveled was that it came without any time limits on ratification.

This is a problem we Americans know a bit about. The U.S. Constitution requires that amendments be circulated to the States for approval. Initially, no time constraints applied. At one point a number of amendments, some rather frivolous, were in the approval process and had been so for decades.

So now the question becomes what to do with a thoroughly discredited Covenant that no one really thinks will help the Communion either find or retain cohesion? The answer is "no one knows." What we do know is the thing is simply not going to be the governing framework for the Communion. England, Canada, Scotland, Brazil, New Zealand, and most of Africa have rejected it. TEC will never approve it, but was misled into a sort of limbo, away from simple honesty by a committee chair who certainly should have known better.

The good that Rowan Williams did while Archbishop is largely forgotten. The singular failure of his term, his decent into institutionalism, is enshrined in the Covenant and lives on. His successor cannot convene a "primate's meeting," nor a meeting of the ACC, because either would make the schism visible. Were he to call any such meeting, a substantial number of, "GAFCON" churches would boycott. The illusion of a unified or even fractious community would vanish. Only one on those meetings might be able to formally kill the Covenant. But even that authority could be disputed. No matter, there simply won't be a meeting.

And so, as is so often the case, the evil men, do lives on. Shakespeare was right about Ceasar and right about archbishops. While that evil lives on, those of us who helped, even in some minor way, stop the drive to destroy the Communion, must remain vigilant. Evil lives on.

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