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Rowan Williams interview on TV

The BBC TV programme The Heaven and Earth Show this morning carried an interview of Rowan Williams which had been conducted in Khartoum by David Frost.

The full video interview (nearly 20 minutes) is now on the web, here.

At present the programme’s website carries only a brief note about it. However, the interview was also discussed on the BBC Sunday radio programme. The website for that programme, which used to be updated within hours of the live transmission, has now announced that it will not be updated until Monday morning. So I cannot at present give a link to the individual item. There is a link to the audio of the entire (45 minute) programme here (Real Audio). The discussion – Ed Stourton talked to Ruth Gledhill – of the Rowan Williams interview, which includes audio clips, starts about 30.5 minutes in and lasts about six minutes.

Update the programme details page has now been updated. The direct link to the 6 minute audio item is here.

Other reports of this interview:
BBC Archbishop fears Church ‘rupture’ NB story has been rewritten and now headlined Williams attacks Guantanamo camp
Telegraph Archbishop fears gay ‘rupture’ of Anglican church
Reuters Anglican leader criticises Guantanamo, terrorism
Press Association Archbishop condemns Guantanamo camp
Associated Press Guantanamo Worries England’s Archbishop

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Tobias S Haller BSGDoug ChaplinPrior AelredJ. C. FisherCharlotte Recent comment authors
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J. C. Fisher
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“Once again, words have consequences, policies have consequences. What, in 10 years’ time, are people going to be able to say about a system that tolerates this?” I agree, ++Rowan Cantuar. . . . which is why I find this [reporter’s para] “starkest public warning about the impending schism in the Anglican Communion over sexuality . . . aiming his remarks at the American Church” so very *disturbing and distressing* (I’d say “disappointing”, but frankly, the ABC’s starting become predictable 🙁 ) So, is this it? We in TEC “reverse its liberal approach to the ordination of gay clergy and… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Someone tell the Archbishop that the answer was given a long time ago:

“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35)

For “life” read “Anglican Communion” — only by by risking the Communion by remaining true to the gospel will there be anything left worth having.

Doug Chaplin
Guest

Tobias Haller said: “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35) For “life” read “Anglican Communion” — only by by risking the Communion by remaining true to the gospel will there be anything left worth having. But it would be just as possible to do this exercise replacing the word “life” with “sexual fulfilment.” and that would lead to the directly opposite conclusion. One of the things that it seems to me people of any shade… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I encourage everyone to listen to the discussion between Ed Stourton and Ruth Gledhill on the “BBC Sunday” program. The Archbishop’s remarks are being “spun” various ways; however, this discussion does a good bit to clarify his meaning. “Can we agree to disagree?” is there identified as the crucial question before the Anglican Communion. I believe the Archbishop is right to say that the costs will be very great if we cannot agree to disagree but must separate from one another. I would add that “agreeing to disagree” is a choice each of us must be willing to make and… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“Self-righteous” is, as self-righteous does, Doug. ;-/ “But it would be just as possible to do this exercise replacing the word ‘life’ with ‘sexual fulfilment.'” This conflict has *nothing* to do w/ “sexual fulfillment”: precisely NOTHING. There’s a saying among African-Americans: “God didn’t make no junk.” *That* is what TEC is standing for—the Gospel we will NOT abandon, regardless of whether the ABC, or anyone else in the AC, chooses to kick TEC out for it (“Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod”: something else African-Americans say/sing). “you might be mistaken” I’m certain, Doug, that both I and… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
Guest

I’m not entirely sure (dear J C Fisher – sorry don’t know what the initials stand for) why my saying that Cromwell seems to me self-righteous should be taken by you as an accusation and hurled back. Perhaps it’s because everyone in the current debate likes to start with an accusation, and is uncomfortable with anything less polemical. I simply disagree that this conflict has nothing to do with sexual fulfilment. I think it has a great deal to do with the modern cultural conception that sexual fulfilment is absolutely essential to a flourishing life as part of teh cutural… Read more »

Prior Aelred
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I honestly thought that “agreeing to disagree” has been the American church’s position all along — The Episcopal Church can’t honestly say that they believe that the approval of the election of Gene Robinson to the episcopate was wrong & repent of the decision, because that would be a lie. TEC also is not demanding that other Anglican churches follow their lead on LBGTQ issues (or the ordination of women, for that matter).

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Doug, You misunderstand me on practically every level. First, I think the unity of the church to be vitally important. What I am saying is that you cannot preserve that unity by making it an end in itself. The church exists for a purpose, as a sacrament: which is a sure and certain means — not an end in itself. When a sacrament becomes an end in itself it becomes an idol. This is reflected in the traditional Anglican attitude to what were percieved as abuses to the eucharist. If I can paraphrase, the church is not by Christ’s intent… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
Guest

Tobias, Sorry to have misunderstood you on this. I think many of my points were aimed more generally than you. A very significant question in relation to what you say is what is the unity of the church sacramental of? There are, clearly, various answers. The one where I assume there would be the highest level of agreement is that it is the unity of the Blessed Trinity – the high level of agreement is due in part, no doubt to the fact that the statement doesn’t easily cash out in specific actions. Another thing it may be sacramental of… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Thank you Doug, for this further clarification. I think we are in a better place of understanding now. The question you raise is important: what is the sacramental “essence” of the church. My suggestion is that it lies in acceptance — which need not indicate approval; for Christians “to accept one another as Christ accepted us” — while we were yet sinners. There is no place for one part of the body saying to another, I have no need of you: and I think I’ve been hearing that a good bit: originally a bit more from Nigeria (as alluded to… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
Guest

Thanks, Tobias, and I’ve also checked your blog posting as well. In general, I think we see the staying together as both desirable and something to do with the essence of being church, although from somewhat different perspectives. I disagree with your assessment of ++Rowan, though. I think what he’s saying is not “If we listen, we’ll all agree.” But that “If we listen, we will understand each other at a deeper level. If we listen as Christians, we will listen with charity: the starting presumption that the person speaking to me is a fellow-Christian with their own integrity. And… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Doug,
I think you are right about the more nuanced view of Rowan’s hopes, though I suspect, given his own views, he hopes as well for an eventual coming together of minds as well as coexistence of bodies!
And yes, he is ever so much better with prepared speeches and addresses than in interviews — although he has a welcome wit, he seems too subtle for his own good at times.