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Saturday, 22 March 2008
Anglican Catechism - Also A No
The Modern Churchpeople's Union blog is right to draw attention to the Global South Anglican Catechism under construction, and its potential role alongside a Covenant that the Global South is pushing in terms of its latest output towards Lambeth 2008 and the exercise of discipline afterwards. The catechism is being written by a task force under Michael Nai Chiu Poon, a conservative theologian from Singapore, who has clashed with GAFCON and now regards it as "Gnostic". Personally I think that label is rather silly in application to them. There is an outline catechism (a sort of work in progress) also from Singapore by Gilbert Wong. Mark Harris back in May 2007 had seen that the deadline for the Catechism was June 2008 and in time for the GAFCON conference. However, given the opposition Poon has faced and shown to GAFCON, it is surely meant for the broader body of Anglicans. Yet this catechism has no authority beyond anyone who would want to take it up (neither has the Covenant for that matter, but it is more likely to be forced) and may be no more than for the Global South. If it so turns out, and has a Anglican Communion perspective to it, then it will be another agent of "Communion schism" rather than unity, just like a Covenant with any teeth will be rejected by national Church after Church in sufficient numbers to render it useless and to be withdrawn.