Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, faces critics on his day of judgment

An embattled Archbishop of Canterbury will confront anger within the Church of England as, on this most critical day of his five years in office, he tries to justify his remarks about Islamic law.

Dr Rowan Williams will open the General Synod in Central London this afternoon with a presidential address in which he will show that he can weather the storm over his recent remarks. He will attempt to set the record straight, insisting that he never advocated a “parallel jurisdiction” of Sharia.

The Archbishop, whose liberal stance has provoked fury among evangelicals, will face further pressure when a senior bishop launches a renewed attack on the Church’s approach to homosexuality.

The Right Rev Michael ScottJoynt, the Bishop of Winchester and fifth most senior clergyman in the hierarchy, will give warning that the Church’s integrity has been “gravely undermined” by its implicit acceptance of same-sex relationships.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

7 comments on “Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, faces critics on his day of judgment

  1. Charley says:

    Mercifully, it appears that RW’s bishopric may be coming to an end soon.

    Surely, at the end of the day the Brits will save their own church. Doing so will require accepting Rowan’s resignation sooner rather than later.

  2. Br_er Rabbit says:

    Perhaps, Charley. And perhaps not.
    But it does show that there is a power that can call +RDW to heel.
    [size=2][color=red][url=]The Rabbit[/url][/color][color=gray].[/color][/size]

  3. rugbyplayingpriest says:

    my guess is he will give a charicteristicly long complicated answer – resulting in no one understanding him and falling asleep with boredom…thus deflating the moment!

  4. Saint Dumb Ox says:

    Should the ABC resign, I only hope his successor is not worse. Frank Grizwold was followed by Schori after all. “Clarity” just may cut the AC in several pieces. If that is Gods will, then Gods will be done.

    I can’t say I look forward to being Catholic, but going solo is not really an option either.

  5. Terry Tee says:

    RW has just made a good address to General Synod in which he made a succinct and clear case as to why we need to think through questions of religious conscience and general law. It is well put. What he should have done before. But ….

    In additon, I’ve just heard him say to General Synod ‘Part of the privilege and the burden of being the church that we are in the nation that we are is that people sometimes look to us to be a coherent voice on behalf of all faith communities.’

    On behalf of all faith communities? This is obviously part of his apologia for having spoken as he did. But I still find it breath-takingly arrogant in its assumptions. This is an idea that is long, long past its sell-by date and has no anchor in reality. This illusion that the Church of England ‘speaks for all faiths’ may explain some of the debacle over the last few days. There are many churches, many religions and they can speak for themselves. They – we – do not need the archbishop of Canterbury to speak for us. I am a Catholic. I think our cardinal will be astonished to hear that Rowan speaks for Catholics. Surely the sooner we have the Church of England disestablished the better. It would, I firmly believe, help it to grow again as it would be a church that people would choose rather than being their religious default setting.

  6. Dale Rye says:

    When the Archbishop entered the General Synod hall to give his Presidential Address today, he was greeted with an unprecedented standing ovation. So much of the “He has no support” theory.

    Re #5: The reason that the CofE has a special position among other faiths is that it is the only one which is (a) Established and (b) equipped with representation in Parliament. If the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster wants somebody to deliver a speech on the floor of the House of Lords, he can’t do it, but a number of Anglican archbishops and bishops can. So long as Establishment lasts (and I think its days are numbered), the Archbishop of Canterbury does have the burden—and as we have seen, it is a burden—of representing the whole faith community to the nation.

  7. Unsubscribe says:

    #5: I think that the case, while well-intentioned, was neither succinct nor clear. The Archbishop is very good at outlining grey clouds of disagreement, but he is less good at proclaiming what ought to be self-evident truths about the dependency of law upon conscience, upon the necessary relation between human rights and the purpose of human life, and the necessary relation between these and theological understandings of the relationship between God and man. I do not read him as proffering any suggestion – whether by recourse to classical theory such as natural law, nor by appeal to categories such as conscience or the social contract – whereby these clouds of disagreement might be penetrated, let alone resolved. I think that after two thousand years of thinking about the relationship between church and state, Christian leaders ought to be able to be a bit more positive.

    Regarding #4, “Should the ABC resign, I only hope his successor is not worse” – I am irreverently minded to misquote Wittgenstein: “Should an ABC resign, we would not be able to understand him.”