The international group 'No Anglican Covenant Coalition' has announced the appointment of popular author and Oxford University Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, DD, as a Patron of the Coalition.
The group is campaigning against the "Anglican Covenant" document which, if adopted by the 38 worldwide Anglican provinces, would mean that contentious actions are not taken without consulting the whole Anglican Communion.
The Covenant was first proposed after the diocese of New Hampshire ordained a homosexual bishop. After this caused widespread controversy, 2004's Windsor Report recommended adopting a covenant aimed at preventing future disagreements.
The Moderator of the Coalition, Revd Dr Lesley Crawley said he is "thrilled" that Prof MacCulloch has agreed to accept the appointment.
“As one of the acknowledged experts in the English Reformation, he has a very clear understanding of how the centralisation of authority in the proposed Anglican Covenant is at odds with fundamental Anglican ecclesiology.”
MacCulloch, who is openly homosexual, has written several books on Christian history and the English Reformation, including the award winning Thomas Cranmer: A Life and The Reformation: A History. He also devised and presented a BBC television series based on his popular book, 'A History of Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years'.
In the New Year's honours it was announced that Prof MacCulloch was to receive a knighthood for his services to scholarship. Now he joins Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee and the Rt Rev Dr Peter Selby, who were appointed to the coalition last June.
According to its website the coalition believes, "the drafters of the Anglican Covenant were motivated by a desire for uniformity, as they have favoured the use of coercion over the hard work of reconciliation." They also describe it as "dangerously vague" and accuse it of running against the gospel principle of "not judging others".
The debate surrounding the covenant has been building since it was first proposed in the 2004 Windsor Report. English dioceses are currently being asked to decide whether to support the Covenant. The results of this will inform the General Synod decisive vote, planned for July 2012.
February 1st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes