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IRD Asks: 'Does the Episcopal Church Desire Autonomy or Interdependence'

“Does the Episcopal Church Desire Autonomy or Interdependence?” -IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb

Contact: Loralei Coyle, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton jwalton@ird-renew.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- A draft covenant for the Anglican Communion was released on Monday, February 19. It is the product of the Covenant Design Group appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The draft emphasizes the interdependence of the member provinces of the Anglican Communion and outlines a process by which decisions should be made.

IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb commented:

"The covenant's emphasis on interdependence is welcome and sorely needed to restore the Anglican Communion to health. Scripture teaches us that the different segments of the body of Christ are dependent upon one another. If each province would truly and wholeheartedly follow the counsel given in this draft, we could, by God's grace, see a healed, vital, dynamic Anglican Communion serving as an effective witness to Christ.

"In the past, the Episcopal Church has stressed its autonomy with little to no regard for the rest of the Anglican Communion. Even the baby steps that it took toward the Anglican Communion at its last general convention have been opposed by Episcopal bishops, priests, and laypeople. Additionally, many Episcopal progressives have questioned whether the Episcopal Church should remain in the Anglican Communion.

"While the covenant is only a draft, it is worth asking whether the Episcopal Church would sign it at this stage. Does the Episcopal Church want autonomy or interdependence? Put another way, will it be an agent of healing for the Communion of which it is a part? Sadly, its actions to date suggest that if push comes to shove, it will choose independence over fellowship."