Comments: Church Times interviews Rowan Williams

Oh how I hope the Holy Spirit inflames this meeting. We both need each other badly. We to become whole and they to move away from their centrist model.

If they offer an olive branch I will grasp it.

At least that is my view as a priest from the US.

Posted by Allan King at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 2:57pm GMT

I think one of the important things with this article is to read it as a whole, and not cherry-pick this sentence or that sentence. To me at least, it is a wonderfully rich discussion of where the Archbishop sees Anglicanism to be in 2006.

Posted by Paul Davison at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 3:08pm GMT

Well, that is a splendid, quick, and short summary of Anglican values and Anglican attitude. It's probably the clearest statement I have ever heard from ++Rowan on ANY subject. He is not generally given to such succinct or simple statements, but this is quite excellent.

In my ruminations, I realize that in a simple matter like liturgical language "understanded of the people", it took Rome nearly 400 years to catch up with us. It is probably unlikely they will be much quicker about women, married priests, and gays, but eventually they'll "get it".

Posted by John-Julian, OJN at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 4:10pm GMT

It is a lot better interview than the one to the Catholic Herald. This time it is more consistent with itself, and perhaps he was trying too hard to meet a pushed Roman Catholic agenda before.

I particularly like his localism regarding the Anglican approach, and then connecting in with something recognisable, and he is clearer and more consistent regarding his view of the eucharist (though I still don't see how it can be other than a mental act). I'm not sure how to interpret the laughter, whether or not the questions are becoming wearing.

However, this Covenant idea won't work, and there is a hint there that he sees the difficulty. Fascinating how a Covenant is seen as something to be more contemporary than the creeds with "the widening gaps about culture and theological understanding". But that is the problem, something old and worn is easier to use than something new like a Covenant - introduce that and one side and the other will each be disappointed, some going for more and some going for less. When the thing is spinning outwards, trying to force it together can lead to big cracks and a lack of responsibility towards one another. Perhaps those many continuing Anglican Churches will receive more recognition in the future, from whatever angle and more responsibility there.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 4:57pm GMT

But we English Catholics hope very much not. I do not think that Ratzinger will put up with much Rowanesque nonsense.

Posted by katie at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 5:29pm GMT

The Archbishop states, "...we are where we are on the ordination of women because of a theological conviction, and we really are not just being fashionable feminists: we believe that it’s something about the baptismal gift of being in the priestly people of God that is at issue; and that something is lost if that priestly identity of the whole people of God doesn’t find its expression in, potentially, any one of the baptised, man or woman."

I think this is an important difference between Canterbury and Rome, but also between differing Anglicans. It seems to me that this articulation of "the priesthood of all believers," which God can express in the life of *any* believer, is important not only for issues of the ordination of women, but also for issues of GLBT persons and of "orthodox" oersons and of persons from all those growing, non-Anglophone churches.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Friday, 17 November 2006 at 11:34pm GMT

Katie's comments are not at all helpful or illuminating.

So many of our many Episcopalian converts were
Roman Catholic. That makes this meeting much more meaningful in my mind. Of course the Roman approach to women, celibacy, gays, etc. is awful and (hopefully) bound to fall away with time. However, there is an incredible social witness in the Roman church - and many of our saints and holy places are "managed" by the Roman church. Therefore an ongoing sharing and witness between these two fraternal branches of the body of Christ remains so very important. God speed to ++ Cantuar (and I hope for a similar meeting between Rome and ++ Schori sometime soon!)

Posted by Byron at Saturday, 18 November 2006 at 3:10am GMT

When asked why he remains an Anglican, Dr. Williams mistakenly answers with his opinions on papal infallibility. When corrected and asked again why he is an Anglican he replies that:
"this is the Church Catholic in this place".

It is indefensible to say that the "Anglican Church" [sic] is "the Church Catholic" in this Realm... No one reading this will defend the statement, yet supposedly it is the reason why Dr. Williams is an Anglican. What about the Orthodox? The Methodists? The Jehovah's Witness? The Mormons? Who decides "this is the Church Catholic in this place"?

To his credit he recognizes that:
"we know nearly everybody thinks we’re wrong, but we can’t see our way to that."

Posted by Ley Druid at Saturday, 18 November 2006 at 5:28am GMT

The meetings at the Vatican where Pope Benedict wagged his finger and tossed blessed water yet again at cardinals and prelates asking simple questions like is it possible to be married and still minister, was rather serendipitous, coming as it did on the eve of a visit to Rome by ++Rowan, who may bring framed pictures of his wife Jane to show the Pope.

Posted by The Admiral of Morality at Saturday, 18 November 2006 at 3:01pm GMT

Ley Druid, we might be wise to take Paul Davison's advice and not cherry-pick this or that sentence. Or, in your case, not cherry-pick a fragment from a sentence.

The full sentence from ++Rowan, which you quoted only in part, reads, "I’m an Anglican because this is — it’s what I learnt in Sunday school, really — this is the Church Catholic in this place, gathered around the word and the sacrament, exercising a canonically continuous, recognisable form of the threefold ministry, structurally slotting in with how Catholic Christianity works."

In other words, ++Rowan didn't decide that this is the Church Catholic in this place, ++Augustine did.

Posted by Matt Humphreys at Saturday, 18 November 2006 at 3:07pm GMT

I sense that when he says, "This is the Church Catholic in this place", he is deeply saying,

'This is home.'

Posted by laurence roberts at Saturday, 18 November 2006 at 7:54pm GMT

Thank you Matt for your reply.
I wasn't trying to cherry pick. I was commenting generally on the way ++Rowan responded to the question of why he is an Anglican.

Would many (any?) other Anglicans answer the same way? Do you think that it is a helpful answer for non-Anglicans? I don't think so.

Posted by Ley Druid at Sunday, 19 November 2006 at 8:16am GMT

Thanks for the clarification, Ley.

Would many other Anglicans answer the question the way ++Rowan did? The difficulty here is that not many Anglicans are going to be asked that question in the same context as ++Rowan has been asked; as the successor of Augustine, primate of the Church of England, and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion who is about to meet with the Pope in Rome.

The question wasn't asked in a merely academic sense. If it had been, I imagine that ++Rowan would've given a more general, more "helpful" answer than he did.

Posted by Matt Humphreys at Sunday, 19 November 2006 at 12:14pm GMT
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.