The 49th Synod of the Diocese of Sydney has opposed the adoption of the Anglican Communion covenant, after being told it was 'theologically flawed' and the wrong approach to the crisis in world Anglicanism.

A motion, moved by the Head of Department of Theology, Philosophy and Ethics at Moore College, Dr Mark Thompson, opposed the adoption of the Covenant by the Anglican Church of Australia.

In September, the Sydney Standing Committee issued a report on the Covenant and that report was presented in Synod papers and supported by Dr Thompson and seconder, Robert Tong.

The report detailed five serious theological objections to the covenant, saying it was "fundamentally concerned with maintaining structural and institutional unity rather than biblical faithfulness". 

"The real problem" it says "is a departure from the teaching of Scripture". 

Dr Thomspon says "Undoubtedly the Anglican Communion Covenant has been put together by those with heartfelt concern for the predicament the Communion finds itself in. Undoubtedly those who made the original suggestion and drew up this covenant did so honestly and with integrity. Nevertheless, as you can see, the report prepared for our synod concludes with the recommendation that we oppose the adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant."

He said the report found the covenant was the wrong approach, had serious theological flaws and would not solve the crisis in world Anglicanism.

"Those who have created the problem won't sign it; and if they did without repenting of the departures from the teaching of Scripture it would only demonstrate the uselessness of the covenant itself. What is more, a number of orthodox Anglican provinces throughout the world have already indicated they won't sign it for various other reasons. There are serious questions about how it could be effectively adopted under the constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia. It might be adopted by resolution but would this have any force?" Dr Thompson says.

Dr Thompson urged support of GAFCON and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a better way to respond to the current issues in the communion.

The motion calls for the Standing Committee report on the covenant to be sent to the Standing Committee of the Australian General Synod.

The decision of Sydney Synod is similar to the conclusion drawn by the GAFCON Primates at their London conference a year ago.

The Primates Communique said “...while we acknowledge that the efforts to heal our brokenness through the introduction of an Anglican Covenant were well intentioned we have come to the conclusion the current text is fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate.” 

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