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This page last updated 29 November 2010
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Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 22 to 28 November 2010

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

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Rules, Rubrics, Lions, Tigers, and Bears

In regards to your 22 Nov 2010 editorial. I may not be cultured enough in churchy language to understand the various parts of The Covenant, but find myself feeling ill at ease with the concept. Many of us are Anglicans because it gives us contact with Faith, Hope, and Love, and not Rules, Rubrics, and Committees To Resolve Disputes.

WJ Arnold
St Mark's
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA
22 November 2010

The wrong covenant?

If we must have a covenant, why can't it be a covenant to stay together, rather than a covenant dictating how we shall come apart? For the latter is, in fact, an accurate description of the proposed Covenant: its only substantive contribution is its last section, which provides a formal mechanism to carry out that very "piece-by-piece dissolution of the communion" that our good Archbishop has been warning us about--if the ratification process does not bring about the dissolution first.

What if, instead, we formed a covenant to accept one another, regardless of how we might disagree on various fine points of theology...or even when we firmly believe some other group of Anglicans has done wrong? What if we made a covenant that every party in the Communion would swallow its pride, its finely wrought sense of grievance, and its self-righteousness, and instead commit to a position of humility in the face of difference? What if we made a covenant to recognize and love one another as fellow Christians, regardless of how some might offend us, and to do our utmost to preserve the Body of Christ intact? What if we made a covenant to bear the cross sooner than to crucify our brothers and sisters?

Perhaps having an Anglican covenant is not such a bad idea, after all. Maybe the problem is just that we've been asked to consider the wrong covenant?

Brian E. Coggins
The Chapel of the Cross (Episcopal), Chapel Hill

Durham, North Carolina, USA
24 November 2010

The space goes after the comma, not before it

Tee hee. I like the idea that we'll vote down the covenant because of bad syntax. We do have some standards in the good old C of E you know. That's why there isn't a single split infinitive in any of our service books. Also, words such as baptize and authorize are still spelled with a z, as in the US, rather than the usual modern English spelling with an s. And the word 'protestant' occurs in none of our official documents, whereas 'Catholic' is often there.

Granted, our Supreme Governor did vow at her Coronation to uphold the 'Protestant Religion', but since there is no definition of such a thing in English law it doesn't really matter.

Have a happy Advent.

Fr Martin Lawrence
S. Nicholas Brighton
Brighton, England, UK
24 November 2010

Who makes the rules?

The reasons this is the "right" faith for me (as written by your acquaintance this week) are reasons that I have no trouble signing on to.
The many upsets the Communion has been having lately involve those that fall into the private life category. Taking the 1888 Covenant as a guide, most of the sexual questions and prying into other people's state of grace simply do not seem to be in the purview of those who "Make the rules".
I am an American Episcopalian but have strong ties to the Anglican Communion whether or not it approves of us. It would, however, be pleasant to find ourselves growing in oneness instead of picking over the dying corpse of unity.

JC Eriksen
St Clare's
Blairsville, Georgia, USA
26 November 2010

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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