Saturday, 16 October 2004

A binding covenant?

The Times claims a scoop today on what the Windsor Report will say. Acccording to Ruth Gledhill:

A commission set up to save the Church from schism will propose a binding covenant.

Anglican provinces are to be told they must sign an unbreakable unity agreement which would prevent dioceses and provinces from ordaining bishops such as Gene Robinson in the US again. A “star chamber” will adjudicate when provinces are accused of breaking the agreement.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 16 October 2004 at 7:44am BST | TrackBack
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Does "star chamber" have the same, universally negative connotations in the UK that it has in the US?

Since one oft-heard conservative complaint is that liberals say the words to the creeds but don't believe them, how will this accomplish anything? I suppose it depends on the content of the agreement, but the one I saw was pretty vague.

Posted by: Ruidh on Saturday, 16 October 2004 at 7:21pm BST

I think, in general, that 'star chamber' is a negative term, yes, implying an arbitrary exercise of power. I fancy it is sometimes used in a not quite so negative way and meaning something a little less arbitrary. Ruth Gledhill, though, must surely have had the negative aspect in mind, it seems to me.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 16 October 2004 at 10:30pm BST

I don't know about the US connotations of "star chamber," but I think that this ("Anglican provinces are to be told they must sign an unbreakable unity agreement") will remind more than a few Yanks of a (Joseph) McCarthy-esque "loyalty oath." (Or a Tudor-era oath of allegiance, for that matter: I pray we Episcopalians don't lose our heads for refusing to sign!)

I still say that ECUSA should just declare that--no matter what--we *are in communion* w/ the AC, and let the chips fall where they may. At any Anglican altar (anywhere), expatriate Episcopalians should answer _Christ's_ invitation to "take and eat." Wherever AC bishops meet, ours show up, and attempt to "sit-in." (Send our delegation to the ACC, etc.--maybe wearing pink triangles? {g})

It's time to lay a little Gandhian/Kingian non-violence on 'em, and see if--in the _crux_ of the matter--the AC decides to side with the Prince of Peace, or the Master of Lies.

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 17 October 2004 at 11:34pm BST

"Star chamber" has pretty uniformly negative connotations in the US: secret trials, lack of due process, inability to confront witnesses, inavailability of appeal -- pretty much what we've been doing to the detainees in Guantanamo.

We'll see the report in a few hours and we'll see if "star chamber" is Ms. Gledhill's own term or not.

Posted by: Ruidh on Monday, 18 October 2004 at 4:09am BST