Some of the bishops who signed the statement of diocesan independence we have been discussing this week argue that they did so primarily as a means of assuring they can sign on to the proposed Anglican Covenant and thereby secure their place in the Anglican Communion.
This argument seems lacking for four reasons:
1) The place of the Episcopal Church in the communion is not in jeopardy, so extraordinary measures are not required to secure it. (Although one may need to argue that it is in jeopardy to justify the extraordinary measures one wishes to pursue for other unstated reasons.)
2) The measure the bishops have proposed–signing the proposed covenant–would in no way affect their membership in the communion. The action is not actually responsive to the purported threat.
3) Claiming dioceses are independent in order to secure the right to sign the covenant is like claiming you own my house to secure the right to park on my street. Securing such a modest goal does not require such an ambitious claim.
4) It is not up to dioceses to determine whether dioceses can sign the covenant. That matter needs working out at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting.