News: Rowan's Last Chance

Added Monday 20th August 2012

Archbishop Rowan Williams, the most perceptive theologian in his post since Saint Anselm of Canterbury (r 1093-1109), has one last chance to redeem his reputation and that of the Church of England by securing the consecration of women bishops on equal terms with their male peers. Legislation has passed all its stages and received the support of 40 out of 42 Dioceses without any support from Williams who has been more of a hindrance than a help by trying to secure safeguards for a tiny minority of dissenters which would endanger the very concept of the Episcopacy. He was behind an amendment at General Synod in 2010 which narrowly failed and he used his position within the House of Bishops to re-introduce it in a modified form which, again, failed but Williams could remedy the situation by using his remaining stock of goodwill to sway doubters in favour of the Measure at the General Synod in November 2012.

If the legislation fails, this will be added to his failure on the gay issue and its purported resolution through the Anglican Covenant.

As a true Christian he has made major concessions to his foes and forgotten his friends and, in doing so, has made too marked a gesture towards the past and been reckless with the future. It's a hard trade-off but the Church needs its growing number of women priests more than its shrinking number of supposedly theologically grounded misogynists.