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calendar   Friday - March 16, 2012

If You Lead, They Will Follow. Or Not.

With Peiper still away from the keyboard, taking care of the important things in life, Drew steps in to see what’s what over in England. And probably gets it all wrong, as we Yanks so often do.

UK: Archbishop of Canterbury to Step Down

Discord in the pews over gay priests, women bishops, and reunification with the Roman Catholic Church??

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has announced he is to step down after ten years as he admitted that the row over homosexuality in the Church has been a “major nuisance”.

Dr Williams, 61, will leave at the end of December to take up a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January. The Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has been informed.

His reign has been plagued by bitter rows over gay clergy and women bishops that have left him struggling to prevent the Church from unravelling.

Explaining his reasons for leaving, Dr Williams admitted that “crisis management” was not his “favourite activity” but denied the rows over homosexuality had “overshadowed everything”.

But he said: “It has certainly been a major nuisance. But in every job that you are in there are controversies and conflicts and this one isn’t going to go away in a hurry. I can’t say that it is a great sense of ‘free at last’.”

Dr Williams said his successor would need the “constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”.

Ouch. Bitter much? Bit him too!

He described the Church of England as a “great treasure” which was still a place where many people sought inspiration and comfort in times of need.

“I would like the successor that God would like,” he said. “I think that it is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros, really.

“But he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a Church which, for all its problems, is still, for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration.

“I think the Church of England is a great treasure. I wish my successor well in the stewardship of it.”

This may in fact be a battle between the Liberal and Conservative elements within the church.

Dr Williams has been long known for his socially liberal views but he frustrated the liberal wing of the Church by siding with conservatives over the issue of the appointment of homosexual priests.

He faces defeat over the Anglican Communion Covenant, a deal designed to prevent the Church splitting. It effective prevents openly gay clergy from becoming bishops by preventing branches doing anything that might cause a schism.

When Dr Williams unveiled the document in 2010, he urged the church to endorse it or risk seeing the “piece-by-piece dissolution” of the Anglican Communion.

The Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Rev Dr Graham Kings, warned that rejection of the Covenant would cause the worldwide church to “disintegrate”, and added: “Rowan Williams has put his whole weight behind this ... For anyone in his position it would be devastating [if it failed].”

Branches of the Anglican church around the world are considering whether the deal should be adopted.

In the Church of England it requires the approval of a majority of the 44 dioceses to proceed to a final vote at the General Synod.

But so far 17 dioceses have voted against, and only ten in favour. The rebellion is being led by liberal dioceses who say they would be punished under the arrangements.

I don’t understand this next bit at all. This COE news from last week is confusing: the Archbishop wants closer ties with the Papacy, but at the same time wants COE Conservatives to stop going over to the Catholics? Umm, wasn’t the COE created in the first place to NOT be part of the Catholic Church? Yeah I know, Henry VIII and his dalliances and divorces and all that. But wasn’t there also some Martin Luther aspect to things? They were contemporaries after all. And the whole point of the Reformation was to distance themselves from the worldly corruption and regality that the Church in Rome had become.

And now the traditionalists in the Anglican faith feel that they can only find their worldview reflected in Catholicism? Horry Clap. This is a BIG DEAL. Really. It is as if the whole country got together and said, “Sod this speaking English stuff. From now on, it’s French all the way. Good enough for the Normans, good enough for us.” It’s an unbelievable break with tradition.

Archbishop of Canterbury in fresh push to stop Anglicans from converting

The Archbishop of Canterbury signalled a fresh push to dissuade traditionalist Anglicans from defecting to the Roman Catholic Church as he joined the Pope in stressing moves to bring the two churches together.

Rowan Williams used a joint prayer service in Rome to call for a renewed drive to “restore full sacramental communion” between the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Dr Williams and Pope Benedict XVI prayed and lit candles together at the Chapel of St Gregory the Great, in a service highlighting 1,400 years of links between the church in England and Rome.
...
The site’s links to England date back to the sixth century when it was the home of Pope Gregory the Great.

It was from there that he dispatched St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, on a mission to help reconvert the Anglo-Saxons.

In his address the Pope described the site as the “birthplace of the link between Christianity in Britain and the Church of Rome”.
...
Traditionalist Anglo-Catholics have warned that the move would set back efforts to restore full communion between the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Several hundred are poised to join the Ordinariate, the branch of the Catholic Church set up for disaffected Anglicans, if a compromise agreement cannot be reached.

But in his address Dr Williams spoke pointedly of the two churches as “one holy catholic and apostolic body”.

Ok, now I am fully confused. I surrender. What on earth is going on? Was the idea that he’d make the COE so much like the Catholic church that the right wingers can be spared the bother of having to convert? How does that square with the rest of the flock, who - and it’s perhaps just my imagination and distorted sense of history - don’t want any part of being Catholic in the first place?? Plus the whole gays thing. Sounds to me like this Archbishop has mined the cricket pitch, and has bowled a googly. This can not bode well for the players in this innings.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • ReligionUK •  
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