Archbishop Rowan Williams Interviewed in the New Statesman

One friend suggests his refusal to “speak out” is a reflection of Jesus’s own approach, especially when Christ refused to answer Pontius Pilate’s questions at His trial, as described in Mark’s Gospel. “I think that, again, one of the things the Gospel ought to do is make us question the way we put our questions,” Williams says. “So that, right throughout the ministry of Jesus as well as at His trial, a hostile person sitting there could say, ‘He never gives a straight answer to a straight question: “Do we pay tribute to Caesar?”‘ And Jesus pushes it back and says, ‘What are we really talking about?’ I think it’s always important to ask before we make the snap answer: what are we really talking about?”

Thirty years ago, Rowan Williams had a formative experience in Liverpool that would help define his approach as a churchman and an archbishop. “When I first went to train in a parish in the 1970s, I went to one of the worst council estates in Liverpool for a bit as part of my student experience, and the vicar said to me something I’ve never forgotten: ‘The people here have doors slammed in their face every day of the week. I want to make sure they don’t have another one slammed on the seventh.’ That’s a very central vision for me and that’s what I try to work with.”

It is a vision that helps guide him through the crises threatening his church.

Read it carefully and read it all.


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7 comments on “Archbishop Rowan Williams Interviewed in the New Statesman

  1. John Wilkins says:

    I’m always amused when you pull an article from the New Statesman.

  2. Irenaeus says:

    I’m not amused to think of the orthodox bishops who had the Lambeth 2008 door slammed in their faces.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    In any event, Abp. Williams’ “refusal to ‘speak out'” seems selective, indeed systematically so.

  3. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    Delighted that Rowan hates to see doors slammed in people’s faces….so why has he refused to do anything followiung July’s Synod at which orthodox Catholics were routinely ignored, told they are no longer loyal and threatened with being thrown out of the church on a matter of integrity? A code of practice will not do- but regardless it is all we are offered. And trust me- many liberals KNOW that spells out terminal care for our future

  4. Brian from T19 says:

    #’s 2 & 3 have interesting takes on what actually happened. The only ones slamming the doors on the orthodox Bishops and orthodox Catholics are the orthodox Bishops and the orthodox Catholics. As we have seen too many times, people who refused to participate, refused to listen and/or walked away complain about being “forced out.” What’s not amusing is to see those taking negative actions as victims.

  5. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    #4 – By your rationale- the early Christians were never forced into martyrdom- they were welcome to be Christian…just so long as they sacrificed to Roman gods. It is a matter of principle- and forcing a group to accept heretical beliefs without actually throwing them out is equally scandalous to throwing them out publically. IN fact it may be worse as it lacks honesty.

    I consider being ‘forced’ to accept a woman diocesan- without being given structural provision and care once promised to me- an affront to the faith I was taught as a child- the same faith as that of the saints and the church universal. I also find the suggestion that i should silently accept that the church of my birth should allow some to descrate matrimony and treat homosexual relationships as biblical an utter disgrace. So -though I am not publically FORCED out – I am soon to be left with no option but to resign.

    I would also challenge the nonsense that Jesus remained silent in the face of heretical church practice. At almost every point in the Gospels he challenges the hypocritical church leadership- calling them to repentance and speaking in strong words about the reality of hell. Perhaps Rowan should adopt a little more of that aspect of Jesus’ ministry. Prior to his arrest he was most outspoken.

  6. dwstroudmd+ says:

    BfT19 plays the “inclusion and diversity” card in the standard fashion to suggest the inferiority of those whose principles differ from the Party line and the inferior status wished upon them by those in temporary ascendency of power. When the shoe was on the other foot before the reins were firmly grasped, they always pled for consideration and a seat at the table firmly adhering to their errors.
    But, Animal Farm has arrived and the trough is prepared. Eat from it and die or leave because you should.

    Yep. Inclusivity and diversity at their most meaningful and finest. IT only gets worse from here.

  7. dwstroudmd+ says:

    VGR drops the big negative today, BfT19. He says that there are different gods to pray to: his and other people’s. See

    What are your views on this bit of negativity and slamming the door in other people’s faces in view of your comments above?