Thinking Anglicans

reactions to the archbishop's New Statesman article

Updated again Friday evening

This is a selection from the huge volume of articles written today (Thursday) in response to the New Statesman article by Rowan Williams.

Church Mouse What Rowan really said in the New Statesman

Nick Baines Feeding frenzy

Andrew Brown Cif belief Rowan Williams is not interested in party politics

Gary Gibbon Channel 4 News Will Archbishop’s criticism spark repeat of 1980s?

Jonathan Wynne-Jones Telegraph Anyone who wants Britain’s Christian heritage preserved must be glad that Rowan Williams spoke out

Cranmer Three cheers for the Archbishop of Canterbury

Friday morning update

Church Times Primate criticises ‘policies for which no one voted’

Giles Fraser Guardian Archbishop of the opposition

Guardian editorial: Welfare reform: Canterbury tales

Financial Times editorial: Pundit in purple

Telegraph editorial The Archbishop should not have played politics

Independent Leading article: Voice in the wilderness

Gregory Cameron interviewed by BBC Wales video Archbishop of Canterbury ‘right to ask questions’

Friday evening update

Daily Mail editorial Politics, morality and a discredited archbishop

Jonathan Wynne-Jones Telegraph Why the Catholic Church stands to gain from Rowan Williams’ outburst

Church Mouse Top five silly things said in the news yesterday

Nick Spencer Cif belief An archbishop who can spark national debate

Stephanie Flanders BBC God, poverty and the government (includes video interview with Ian Duncan Smith)

Simon Barrow Ekklesia Daily Mail tries to launch a ‘holy war’

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Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

When did we last see a nation hang on the lips of a bishop to this extent? It’s his revenge for the “rebuke” he received the last time. What gives his words power is the way they gently articulate the fears of millions.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Sorry. Despite the huzzahs, I’m still not impressed by Mr. Williams’ “speaking out forcibly.” He is terribly good at speaking out on the evils of others, and terribly bad at admitting his own ills and ill-will – I understand he’ll even shout down those who oppose him (as long as it’s in-private-secrety-secret). The claims that we – somehow – are supposed to separate *this* public Rowan from *that* public Rowan and he’s good here and maybe not-so-good there is spurious. A public figure, especially an archbishop, is the sum of his actions and policies, not piecemeal. Thanks to our friends… Read more »

Antony
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Antony

One wonders why this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2011/jun/09/tony-blair-rowan-williams-which-you-want-to-hear#start-of-comments in the Guardian wasn’t linked to?

Oh, now I see it, it doesn’t serve the “mission” of “thinking anglicans” does it!?

Basil
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Basil

“When did we last see a nation hang on the lips of a bishop to this extent?”

Is that what this is really all about? A desperate bid by the C of E to be noticed by someone? I think the Archbishop has been badly advised. Even the Guardian thinks it was an unwise move.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Giles Fraser – In response to the archbishop’s attack on the coalition’s “radical policies for which no one voted”, the Tory rejoinder has been that no one voted for him either. And they have a point in one respect: greater democracy and openness in the life of the church would be most welcome. Bishops ought not to be chosen in secret little gatherings where distinguished and popular candidates can be easily blackballed for their sexuality’. Mark Oakley makes the same point in the letters page of today’s Guardian. It’s not just the irate Tories making this point then. The Archbishop’s… Read more »

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

Clegg’s miserable little compromise dealt a death blow to a golden opportunity to emancipate the poor.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Michael White’s amusing ramble is hardly a coherent argument, is it, Anthony? As for the merits of Blair’s speech – apart from the fact that he is decisively not an Anglican – the highlighted issue of Clegg’s mess is a typical bit of politico insider stuff. ++Rowan at least has the virtue of saying what a lot of people think: these policies and this government have no mandate. Claiming, as one of the Tories (I think) did last night on TV, that they can only be judged by the standards of their ‘coalition agreement’ merely underlines the point.

Robert ian Wiklliams
Guest
Robert ian Wiklliams

In the last days of apartheid , white South Africa renamed apartheid plural democracy…so never trust names.The Condem Government are trying to privatise state education by setting up so called free schools..which will allow any malcontent to divert millions into their own ego trips .The big society is little more than a sham.

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

‘Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.’

john
Guest
john

I’m afraid I think this is RW desperately trying to claw back some moral capital after some shabby episodes, above all the not very private rubbishing of Jeffrey John at Southwark. Is it excluded that Church people should comment on, and deliver strong moral/religious judgements on, politics? Certainly not. But it crucially depends on how it’s done. Is it excluded that such people should deliver blanket condemnations of whole governments/ regimes? Certainly not, depends on the circumstances. It certainly was appropriate to deliver a blanket condemnation of the Nazi regime (when, actually, Reformed Catholics/Protestants performed rather worse than RC bishops).… Read more »

Robert ian williams
Guest
Robert ian williams

Catholics turning to the Conservative party! No way… we would never vote for the Conservative and UNIONIST party. The party that opposed Catholic emancipation and Irish home rule. After all they now support a liberal morality like new Labour. Cameron drips insincerity.. I could just see him as car salesman. I think Archbishop Nichols has more sense than to hitch his wagon to the conservatives. The Daily Telegraph has some columnists who are totally out of touch with reality…twits like Damian Thompson.. totally taken in by the pretensions of the Ordinariate Thinking Catholics are no lackies of new Labour or… Read more »

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

“An archbishop can’t magically save his reputation for injustice by speaking out when it costs him nothing” – Mark Brunson

Well perhaps he can. The case for radical institutional reform of the Church of England becomes almost unstoppable now.

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

john, Rowan Williams’ stance seems to be one of nuanced criticism not blanket condemnation. I welcome the fact that he is voicing the concerns of some in the C of E who are dealing with the damage caused to the most vulnerable by certain government policies. His track record is far from perfect, but when he does challenge injustice (however cautiously), I would rather support him than attack him for doing so.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Savi, any attack he’s getting, he’s earned. Why would anyone be moved or listen to a man who’s been shown up, so often, as a moral coward? This is just posturing, and serves no interest but his own, and, by being voiced by a man of such poor and disgraced reputation, may actually hurt those whose cause he voices. Rowan Williams has made himself – and his church, I’m sad to say – insignificant and anachronistic to the average UK citizen, and an antagonist to the rest. He lacks any self-awareness and has sold all his moral authority for a… Read more »

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

“claw back some moral capital after some shabby episodes” – John Yes, John, isn’t this the Church’s job to claim the moral high ground with regard to the most disadvantaged in society? And yes, it does begin to redress some of the scandals of the recent past. “the great British public agrees with the Coalition on the problem of national indebtedness” It is imperative therefore that the Church advocates on behalf of the victims of debt reduction given that the parties are chasing the votes of the squeezed middle in marginal constituencies. “he should be focusing on specific injustices” But… Read more »