Rowan Williams is going to retire. You won’t hear The Pink Flamingo sing any dirges lamenting the fact that he is FINALLY going away. It’s about time. He has been an utter disaster for the entire Anglican world. That’s the good news. The bad news is he’s not going to step down until the end of the year. He still has a good nine months to screw things up even worse than they now are.
“…Rowan is a strange mixture of lefty and liberal, the former instinct leads him to believe in prescriptive egalitarian social solutions, the latter relates to how he interprets language and faith — where he can seem progressive or unprescriptive or elusive about what is actually meant by a doctrine or a teaching. For him spirituality would seem to be the poetry of faith: he appeals to Christians with liberal instincts because doctrinal in a literal sense. Language is the stuff of philosophy and theology, and when Rowan distinguishes between the God he believes in and sundry other interpretations of what God is thought to be and to want from us, it is easy to conclude that Rowan is ‘on the side of the angels’ — that indeed he shares one’s view (whoever one may be). Perhaps that is a useful pastoral gift, seeming onside….”
The search is on for his successor. I truly hope it is not John Sentamu. He is far too hard-line, terribly opposed to allowing women to have any role in the church beyond his backward view of things.
“...The odds-on favorite, according to numerous observers, is Uganda-born John Sentamu, the current archbishop of York and the No. 2 official in the Church of England. Sentamu, the sixth of 13 children, fled his homeland and its dictator, Idi Amin, in 1974.
Sentamu has gained a reputation in some circles as a “cleric of the people” for his actions, including cutting up his clerical collar on live television in 2007 to protest the rule of Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe.
Another prospective candidate is Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who gave the address at the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton last year and has a record as a strong campaigner on environmental issues.
Other prospects include Bishop of Bradford Nick Baines, who has gained a reputation as a “blogging” bishop for his use of modern technology; and Bishop of Leicester Tim Stevens, leader of the Anglican bishops who sit in the House of Lords….”
Someone modern, fairly young, and open to new ideas is needed to promote a dying church into the modern world. I swear one of the reasons the Church of England is in such bad shape is because of Williams and his utter disregard for the role of women.
There were a few things Williams has done right.
“...At the same time, Williams faced an insurrection on his right flank as influential Anglican bishops in the Third World dismissed him as irrelevant for not taking a harder line on Western liberals.
His attempt at compromise — an “Anglican Covenant” that would bind member churches that agree to its traditional tenets — has so far been met with tepid enthusiasm by conservatives who don’t think it will work and liberals who say they will not be bound by outside interference.
Williams has warned that the Anglican Communion risks “piece-by-piece dissolution” if its 40 member churches can’t agree on a common set of rules and beliefs….”
“...Anglicanism is a reformation tradition, reflective of adversarial English politics, where over the centuries people have agreed to disagree. Rowan hasn’t played that game. Instead he has given the impression of not speaking from his own heart, but more like a doctor who tells you what’s good for you or (even worse) what he feels the good book implies. In truth it does not matter much exactly what people in the CofE pews think or believe. Like the clergy they believe a very wide range of different theological propositions. But, very specifically, people do not want to be told what they ought to think. Believers have an instinct about how and what they believe. The primary object of religions is not to create a larger more extreme bunch of converts. Religions are effective because their believers and supporters already know where they stand, and act from that. True, CofE Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals have spent the last almost 200 years fighting about their title deeds and caring a great deal about what the truth really is. And Rowan is probably too much of a genuine though liberal Anglo-Catholic — a type that has been rare at Cantuar. But for most people the sort of scruples he has manifested about using his post to advance his party — and assuming there is a kind of unity somewhere — makes no sense. His justification for his approach to the wielding of his authority does not relate to the reality of the Anglican church in England. We are a country where betraying your friends has been seen as more heinous than betraying your nation…”